Audubon of the Western Everglades is the oldest “grassroots” conservation organization in Southwest Florida, established in 1961.
Our Mission: Protecting Southwest Florida’s Natural Resources and Wildlife through Advocacy and Education.
We accomplish our Mission by focusing on:
Environmentally responsible land use
Protection and recovery of imperiled wildlife and their habitats
Clean water for people and wildlife
Planning for climate change and sea level rise
Board of Directors
Eileen Arsenault, President
Eileen joined the AWE Board in 1983. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Louisiana State University and worked for several years in the Cultural Resources Division of Coastal Environments, Inc., in Baton Rouge. After moving to Naples in 1982, she became the manager of a wholesale dealer of antiquarian maps and prints. For the past almost 30 years, she has been managing the Arsenault Studio and Banyan Arts Gallery, both in Naples. Eileen has played a leadership role as a board member of various nonprofit organizations, including Collier County Historical and Archaeological Preservation Board Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust, Environmental Coalition of Southwest Florida and Young Audiences of Southwest Florida.
Jim Henderson, Director
Jim Henderson, President/Owner – William C. Huff Companies, originally from Maine, has owned William C. Huff Companies since 1988.
William C. Huff has two locations located in Naples, Florida and Barrington, New Hampshire. The company specializes in complete logistics support for high and ultra-high net worth homeowners, builders, designers, architects and estate managers. With a wide range of services for local, national and international clients, the company also serves as an art shuttle, and specialized antique/heirloom handlers.
Today, Jim is an advocate for solar energy and owns the largest solar powered building in Collier County, Florida. Jim recently launched JLH Sustainable Housing, LLC with a goal to construct a home made from mostly recycled materials that would be able to run 100 percent on solar power. His new company recently completed construction of the first sustainable and attainable solar home located in Naples. JLH Sustainable Housing’s goal is to offer homes for sale that are not only affordable to buy but, will be affordable to own, with less overall cost than other conventional homes.
Jim is very active in the community and is a Friends of Foster Children Forever board member. His passion for the environment as well as his respect for his community and employees, drives him to make a positive impact in the community.
Jim and his wife Nan have two children. He and his wife maintain residences in both Naples and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Jacqualene Keay, Director
Jacqualene’s background is somewhat unique, and her education, language skills and life experiences set her apart. Her short-term goal is to work in the financial service industry. As a flourishing investor for her own account, she wants to help others achieve financial independence and success. She has a passion for teaching women and helping them understand their finances. Her future endeavor is to get involved in politics and run for local and state offices.
Jacqualene was born in the Bahamas and raised in Naples, FL; after graduating from Lely High School in 1988, she enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany. Germany became her new home and she enjoyed not only her career, but also traveling extensively all over the world. As such, she speaks German fluently. When she traveled to each country, Jacqualene would socialize with the locals and learn to greet them in their own language. Therefore, she knows the greetings/conversation starters for over 12 languages.
While in Germany, Jacqualene earned a scholarship to the American College of Financial Services and is working toward her certification in Financial Planning. She is socially adept and networks extensively. Jacqualene is involved in political, business and social groups in Naples. Most importantly, she is passionate about people and volunteering in the community to provide services to those who needs it most. The heart of who Jackie is is that of a person of faith, virtue and compassion. She looks forward to getting back to serving the communities with relentless passion, love and energy.
Alan Keller, Director
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Alan’s family has lived full- or part-time in Naples since 1946. He has a Doctorate in Human Development from University of Chicago. While serving in several capacities with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund, he assisted 35 developing countries in conducting studies of the relationships between population growth, economic development, health, and environment and helped those same countries to establish maternal/child health and contraceptive services. He was based in Mexico for 14 years and in Zimbabwe for 5 years, where he led a multinational technical team serving 16 southern African countries. Alan is Past President and current Conservation Chair of Audubon of the Western Everglades.
Sharda Spahr, Director
Originally from England, Sharda has been a Naples resident for over 46 years and is a graduate of Naples High School and Rollins College. She presently owns and operates the Old Naples Surf Shop on Third Street South in Naples.
She has a strong non-for-profit commitment that includes environmental causes; being extremely active in the Friends of Rookery Bay, Naples Equestrian Challenge, NCH Auxiliary, and various leadership roles with her childrens’ schools. Currently Sharda is Chair of the Moorings Bay Citizens Advisory Committee, Moorings Property Owners Association-Bay and Waterways Chair, serves on the board of the Third Street South Merchant’s Association and is on the City of Naples Envronmental Advisory Committee.
She has two grown children and 3 grandchildren; 5 & 2 year-old grandsons, and a 2 year-old granddaughter . Her husband Steve is Regional Vice President and Manager of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC in Naples.
Sharda currently serves as a Director and Membership Chair Audubon of the Western Everglades.
Kathy Swingley, Director
Kathy Swingley has lived in Naples for 33 years. Thirty-two of those years she has worked in the Collier County Public School system as a Career and Technical Education teacher and is currently the Director of the Teaching Academy at Naples High School. Kathy is happily married to her husband Rod, and both are proud parents of 2 sons and 2 grandchildren. Always an outdoor enthusiast, Kathy enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking, biking, traveling, and most all outdoor activities. She prides herself on being an outdoor adventurist. Kathy is a member of the 2014 Leadership Collier class and has volunteered for many organizations over the years, making positive changes in the community. At this time, she serves as a member of the Community Service Advisory Board for the City of Naples, is a volunteer boat captain for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, is an American Heart Association CPR and First Aid Instructor, and most recently has been appointed to the AWE Board, serving as its Education Chair.
Andrew Tyler, Director
Andrew has been a full-time resident of Southwest Florida since 2016, and a regular visitor for the previous twenty-six years. The appeal of being in the Everglades ecosystem was a particular draw and since being here full-time he has jumped in to volunteer with a number of local not-for-profit organizations: Naples Botanical Garden, Rookery Bay, as well as Audubon of the Western Everglades, through the Owl Watch and Bird Stewardship programs, have all provided both field-based and lecture learning opportunities.
He is also on the board for Friends of the Fakahatchee (FoF), an organization that functions as a “Citizen Support Organization” in the Florida DEP system for State Park volunteers. The FoF serves a dual function, conducting support functions for the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, based in Copeland, Florida.
In his professional life Andrew works as an Analytical Chemist, and started out in academia as both a researcher and a teacher. Elsewhere, positions in biotechnology, pharmaceutical research companies, and companies that manufacture and market scientific equipment provided a fulfilling and varied exposure to an enormous variety of important analytical processes, from research into the methods of ant-to-ant communication, toxins of blue-green algae ( a very topical subject !), food manufacturing, as well as CSI laboratories and challenges of criminal law enforcement; as well as the business and marketing challenges unique to each area.
Andrew is still happily married with Karen, together for over thirty years, and our two sons pursue their respective professional lives in computational sciences and international relations.
Michael Rechtin, Director
Michael Rechtin and his wife live on Marco Island and travel extensively. He is passionate about all areas of science and technology and a strong advocate for the environment. Michael has science and technology experience in biological sciences, computer science, chemical and materials sciences, mechanical engineering, and mathematics. He also has legal skills in: technology law and intellectual property and general counsel in corporate and nonprofit organizational space.
He was a Partner at Foley and Lardner law firm, Chicago, IL and Chairman of the Chicago Intellectual Property Department.
Michael also worked as an Associate Patent Attorney with Amoco Oil Chicago, IL where he reviewed and evaluated technology inventions, prepared technology licenses and obtained patents.
Before that he worked at the Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL as Research Associate where he carried out research on solar energy and alternative energy technologies. Earlier in his career, Michael was a Research Scientist for Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX where he researched optimum glass window compositions for improved laser transmission for forward looking infrared radar(“FLIR”)
Education and Honors
• Ph.D, Materials Science And Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA
• Bachelor of Science in Materials Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
•Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Post Doctoral IBM Fellow and graduate student Lecturer, Materials Science and Engineering
• J.D. with Honors from IIT Chicago-Kent law school, Chicago, IL
• Legal Officer for the Marco Island America’s Boating Club.
• Awarded IBM Fellowship at MIT
• Author of legal and scientific articles
Ted Rodman, Executive Director
Ted Rodman as AWE’s Executive Director brings with him an impressive record of business growth, strategic marketing, brand management and development in the corporate and nonprofit organizational environments. His strengths include: aligning business vision with market realities, P&L management, earned and raised funds revenue generation, social media strategy, graphic design, advertising, direct mail, content marketing, contract publishing, exhibit design, and public relations.
Prior to joining AWE Ted was managing partner and creative director for Marketing Vision, and provided business development, membership and donor prospecting, collateral material and communications design, contract publishing, media planning, as well as print, digital, and online advertising for a broad base of New England and national clients.
Additionally, Ted’s professional background included:
~ Rockport Group – Founder and CEO
~ Sugarloaf Mountain Corporation – VP Marketing/Sales
~ Outward Bound/USA – VP Marketing
~ Corporate Design Systems – President
~ Oxford Paper Company – New England Marketing Manager
Ted and his wife co-founded the Ducktrap Bay Trading Company, a Camden Maine retail and online wilderness and sporting art gallery business specializing in Atlantic Flyway antique decoys, decorative bird carvings, and original signed/numbered wildlife art prints. He was an active chapter member of Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited.
Ted was a philosophy and art major at Lake Forest College, and a merit scholarship student at the Chicago Art Institute Summer School. He lives in Naples, Florida with his wife and Blue Merle Collie and enjoys fly-fishing in Maine and Montana every chance he gets.
Brad Cornell, Policy Director
Brad Cornell currently is Policy Director for both Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, a joint position he has held since Summer 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001. He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration issues to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, nesting shorebirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls. He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic for ten years prior to joining Audubon. Brad and his wife Martha have two adult native Floridian children.
Pete Quasius, Advocacy Director
Pete Quasius has been an environmental advocate in Florida for almost 30 years as a voice for restoration, conservation and preservation in southwest Florida while planning for smart growth and seeking public access to public lands and waters.
After grad work at Duke University he had a 25 year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Pete retired to a family home on Bonita Beach in 1992 and immersed himself in environmental activities and local political affairs. He is one of the founders and moderators of Eco-Voice, Inc.
A birder, sailor and fisherman, he earned a U.S Coast Guard captain’s license, joined Everglades Angler Outfitters as an ORVIS fishing guide, and established Time’s Fly’N Charters. He served several terms as president of Audubon SWF and continues to be a member of the advocacy staff of Audubon Western Everglades and board member of Peace River Audubon. He is vice-chair of the Snook Foundation aka Angler Action Foundation. He became president of the Cypress Chapter of the Izaak Walton League in 2019.
Pete advocates for protection and recovery efforts in the greater Everglades, the Big Cypress, and Florida’s estuarine and coastal waters.
After decades of making his home on the shores of the Caloosahatchee, he now resides on Babcock Ranch with his wife Maria.
Lori Beall, Program Director
Lori Beall has been with AWE for 15 years, 13 as the Membership Director, and two years as the Program Director. It is a great fit since she has a passion for the environment and all the animals that occupy our unique landscape. Lori grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Hartford as a Computer Science Major. She worked at CIGNA Healthcare and managed private County Clubs while in Connecticut. She worked in the marine industry for 3 years in the Caribbean and New England then moved to Southern California, where she was an Area Sales Manager for CompUSA for 6 years. Lori and her husband Gregg moved to Naples in 2000 and have two teenage children, one in College and one in High School.
Brittany Piersma, Field Biologist
Brittany has a BS in Environmental Science and worked as a zoo keeper at the Naples Zoo for 4 years. She has a wide range of experience with Southwest Florida’s wildlife from volunteering with FWC, Rookery Bay, Panther Refuge, and Audubon.
She worked as FWC’s Critical Wildlife Area Shorebird Biologist for the last three summers on Marco Island, where she monitored nesting shorebirds out on Sand Dollar. The last two winters she worked as a Shorebird Steward for Audubon Western Everglades surveying the migratory flocks, training volunteers, and doing outreach with the public.
Now she is a Field Biologist for AWE continuing wintering bird surveys, helping with the burrowing owl program, and pursuing our new Gopher Tortoise land study.