After an outstanding tenure leading Audubon New York’s Board for five years, Virginia (Gini) Stowe will step down as Chair, while continuing to provide Audubon New York with her exemplary leadership as a member of the board. Karen K. Thomas, a current member of Audubon New York's Board, will be taking on the role of Chair starting February 1st.
"We are very fortunate to have Karen take on the important leadership role of Board Chair," said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon New York. "Her strong commitment to environmental issues and to our mission, solid experience on non-profit boards, success in leading capital campaigns, and positive attitude make her an ideal successor to our highly accomplished Gini Stowe."
Gini's accomplishments as Board Chair were notable. Since her introduction to Audubon New York in 1996, she was an active and steady force for both the board and staff. Gini will focus her continued involvement on helping to ensure a successful completion of the renovation of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, a project which she has been a driving force behind since its inception. Gini's dedication, commitment and expertise are supreme, inspiring and have been a huge asset to Audubon New York.
Karen is a lifelong nature advocate and enthusiast. She joined Audubon New York’s Board in early 2017 and has proven to be a wonderful colleague and deeply committed addition to the board. Karen is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Wild Center and has helped to establish and grow its Youth Climate Program, which educates and empowers high school and college students globally to become leaders in the climate movement. Several participants were invited to the White House and COP21, Paris. Karen also co-chaired the Campaign for The Wild Center, successfully surpassing their $20 million goal.
Karen is an avid personal and community gardener focusing on native plants and ecological design. She has been a member of the Rye Garden Club for over 30 years, serving as president from 2008-2010. She also designed and installed the pollinator garden at the Edith Read Sanctuary in Rye, NY, and leads programs on pollination. Additionally, Karen served on the Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows for her alma mater, Trinity College in Hartford, CT, from 2003-2015. As an alum of New York Botanical Garden Horticulture program and Hog Island Audubon Camp, she brings her combined interests of birds and habitat to the board.
Audubon New York welcomes Karen K. Thomas to her new role and thanks our beloved Gini Stowe for all she has done for our birds!