Diana Mullis, President

Diana Mullis moved to WV from MD in 1979 and is a founding member of PVAS. She is retired from a 37 year career with the USFWS and USGS where she worked in administrative services. Diana has served many terms of office on the PVAS board including Membership, Education, Secretary, Vice President and President. She is also the PVAS wildlife rehabilitation coordinator, bird seed sale coordinator, event committee member, and an honorary MN.  Diana enjoys birding, botany, gardening, cooking, quilting, and knitting. She and her husband, Bill Palmisano, live on 60 acres about two miles outside Shepherdstown. 

Jane Vanderhook, Vice-President

Jane is retired from a career as a Computer Systems Software Designer. She previously served on the PVAS Board as Treasurer from 2004 to 2008. She currently chairs the Events Committee and is on the Board Development Committee, and has been chairing the Youth Program Committee for the last year.  She is an active community volunteer and has served on the boards of Jefferson County Youth Soccer League, Country Day School and her homeowners' association. She holds a degree in Experimental Psychology, and minored in Math and Physics.

Mina Goodrich, Secretary

Mina retired in 1999 after a long career in health care with the Department of Veteran's Affairs, both in Martinsburg and Washington, D.C. A native of Shepherdstown, she has been a member of PVAS since its early days. She previously served as Secretary from 2001 to 2004. Mina has also been active on the boards of the Friends of the Shepherdstown Library, the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society and the Shepherdstown Men's Club. She also volunteers regularly at the Shepherdstown Library. She has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Shepherd University and an M.B.A. from Frostburg State University in Maryland.

Lex Miller, Treasurer

Lex has been a Shepherdstown resident since 2004 and joined PVAS in 2008. Before retiring in 2002 he was the Research Actuary for Watson Wyatt and Company, an employee benefits consulting firm, for whom he worked for 22 years. Prior to his actuarial career, he was a mathematics teacher in the public schools of Montgomery County, Maryland. Since retiring, he has been active in the AARP Tax-Aide program, serving as District Coordinator for the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia from 2005 to 2008. He is also active in the Shepherdstown Film Society and Good Shepherd Caregivers. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Lehigh University and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Peter Smith, Immediate Past President

Peter retired in 2002 as director of public affairs for the Association of American Universities, a post he held for 15 years. Previously he had worked as a journalist and served as press secretary to three different U.S. Senators. He joined the PVAS Board in 2004 and chaired a Board Development Committee that developed a 2005 plan for restructuring the organization. He has a longstanding interest in conservation issues and is a member of The Nature Conservancy. Locally, he is a member of the board of the Shepherdstown Rotary club and has also served on the boards of the Friends of the Shepherdstown Library and the Shepherdstown Men's Club. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

At-Large Board Members

Clark Dixon, At-large Board Member

Clark A. Dixon, Jr. is retired from the National Park Service (NPS) with 34 years of supervisory and management experience as Supervisory Park Ranger, Nature Center Director, Park Manager (superintendent), and Regional Program Manager.  As a Park Manager and Superintendent he oversaw four National Parks during his career.  Since retirement in 2003, Clark has taken up other pursuits including substitute teaching in Jefferson County WV schools.  Clark has served over 45 years (youth and adult) in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America and has served other youth organizations in varied adult leadership postions.

Diana Gaviria, At-large Board Member

Diana Gaviria is a public health physician with board certification in Family Medicine. She has served as Health Officer with the Berkeley County Health Department since 2003 and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the WVU School of Medicine. Prior to 2003 she was a physician in private practice in Martinsburg, WV and Kernersville, NC. She attended Brown University undergraduate, obtained her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. She received a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.  Her interests in the field of public health include prevention of chronic disease, healthcare-associated infections and environmental health. Outside of work she enjoys volunteer work with the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, running, skiing, travel and spending time with her husband Jon Pike, and their two sons Sean and Daniel.

Tanner Haid, At-large Board Member

Tanner resides in Harper’s Ferry and is a recent Shepherd University graduate who majored in Environmental Studies.  Tanner is employed by the Cacapon Institute as their Urban Forestry Coordinator.  Tanner’s background also includes two field seasons with the USGS Aquatic Ecology Lab, employment as Land Steward at CraftWorks at Cool Spring, and six years experience as a whitewater river guide.

Leigh Jenkins, At-Large Board Member

Leigh has lived fulltime in Morgan County, WV since 1989, after moving there from the Washington, D.C. area. She was raised in El Paso, Texas where she was an active member of the Trans-Pecos Audubon Society. She worked as an Environmental Specialist for Gifford-Hill and Company, a cement corporation, in Texas before moving to the Washington, D.C. area. She presently teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Advanced Placement Environmental Science, as well as Advanced Biology, at Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. She is a member of the Morgan County Master Gardeners and also active in the Potomac Valley Master Naturalist Program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Texas A & M University and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso. She returned to Shepherd College in 1994 to receive her teaching certification in Biology and is currently a candidate for a Master of Arts degree in Science Education/Curriculum and Instruction at Shepherd University.

Lou Scavnicky, At-large Board Member

Lou retired in 2009 from a recent six-year position as a construction project manager in the healthcare field. Previously he retired from a 25-year career with AT&T. In 1996 Lou and his wife, Jackie, bought their retirement property along the Opequon, built a home there in 2006, and moved from Maryland to Berkeley County in 2007. Lou has had conservation in his blood since he was a young adult growing up in rural, western Pennsylvania. At 21 he bought a 100-acre farm in northwestern Pennsylvania and with help planted about 5,000 trees; that started it all. He and Jackie are both Berkeley/Jefferson County Master Gardeners. Lou is a PVAS Master Naturalist, successfully completing the program in 2011 and is currently in his second term as President of the Eastern Panhandle based Opequon Creek Project Team. Lou completed his undergraduate degree in Business at the University of Pittsburgh and secured a Masters in Project Management from George Washington University in Washington. He is a finish carpenter, building many one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. He and Jackie are now enjoying their retirement along the Opequon with activities which include canoeing and kayaking, fishing, bicycling and gardening.

Michael Sullivan, At-large Board Member

Mike works part time as a consultant with a DC-based environmental engineering firm.  He and his wife, Susan Hirsch, live outside Shepherdstown in the Steamboat Run Community.  As a hydrologist and water resources specialist, Mike has worked extensively on watershed and water quality projects in the mid-Atlantic area including the Potomac River.  During his career he held positions with EPA, the National Weather Service, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  Mike has also held leadership positions on the boards of DC Greenworks and the Federal Water Quality Association.  His interest in birding and conservation date back to his twenties when he joined the environmental movement following Earth Day.

Amanda Whitmore, At-large Board Member

A native of Shepherdstown, Amanda now lives in Boonsboro with her husband and year-old son Eli.  Amanda graduated from Shepherd University in 2004 majoring in Environmental Studies, and in 2010 earned her MA in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University.  Amanda is currently employed by the National Park Service at Gettysburg as Volunteer Coordinator.  As a PVAS volunteer this past year Amanda worked closely with Sandy Sagalkin and drafted the Board-approved PVAS Proposal for the Backyard Naturalist Program.

Board Members Emeritus

Jean Neely

Retired after a career in the U.S. Navy, Jean and her late husband moved to Shepherdstown in 1979.  She was the founding president of PVAS in 1982 and has remained active in the chapter, holding a variety of offices.  She is an avid birder, and has travelled to many areas of the western hemisphere in pursuit of her hobby.  Jean is concerned about the alarming decline of many species of birds, and supports programs such as habitat preservation and pollution abatement aimed at protecting those birds we have left.  She has been an emeritus member of the board since 2006.  She received the Spirit of the Panhandle Award from the Eastern WV Community Foundation in 2005, and was named a Woman of Distinction in 2013 by the Girl Scouts.


          © 2014 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director
phone // 304-676-3397

Ellen Murphy, Program Director
phone // 304-676-8739

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
phone // 304-876-8471
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