Promoting the enjoyment, study, and conservation of Wisconsin's birds.

Members of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology will elect both a new president and vice president during the Society’s 79th Annual Meeting on May 19 at the Green Lake Conference Center. The Nominating Committee, led this year by Peter McKeever of Monona, who also serves as the society’s legal counsel, will bring to WSO’s annual convention a slate of four officer nominees. The committee is recommending election of:

-- Myles Hurlburt, from Rib Mountain in Marathon County, who has served as vice president for this past year, as president.

-- Mary Korkor, from Hartland in Waukesha County, who chairs WSO’s Development Committee, as vice-president..

-- Dani Baumann, from Saukville in Ozaukee County, for re-election as treasurer, a post she has held since January of 2017.

-- Jenny Wenzel, from Caledonia in Racine County, for re-election as secretary, a post she has held since 2012.

Stepping down as president after serving the standard two consecutive terms is Michael John Jaeger of Madison in Dane County. Jaeger has announced plans to remain on the board to become chair of the Conservation Committee. Jaeger, who was elected president in 2016 after serving two years as vice president, retired in 2014 from the staff of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. He also has chaired WSO’s Scholarship and Grants Committee.

In his first term as president, Jaeger helped lead a successful half-million-dollar drive to expand WSO’s Honey Creek Preserve and has worked to increase WSO’s public profile as a force for bird conservation, traveling widely to forge contacts with other conservation groups, local bird clubs and Audubon chapters in the state.

Here are short self-profiles of the four officer nominees:

Myles Hurlburt

As vice president, Myles oversaw a recent board retreat to review the organization’s strategic plan and is leading efforts to find successors for several committee chairs. Myles grew up in Durand, has lived his entire life in Wisconsin and currently calls Rib Mountain (Marathon County) home. He says he has always been drawn to the diversity the four seasons provide here. As a child, he was introduced to the enjoyment of nature from his dad and brothers by their participation in many outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and trapping. But it wasn’t until he became interested in the pure enjoyment of just being surrounded by the beauty of nature and the peace and tranquility it brought him, that birding became his passion. 

Besides bird watching, his other interests include, photography, golfing, and spending as much time as possible with his wife Sue and four sons (Zach, 30; Alex 26;Nicholas, 23, and Bailey 17). Myles works for Sentry Insurance in Stevens Point and has a B.S. in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University and an associate degree in computer science from Chippewa Valley Technical College. His current nemesis species is the Connecticut Warbler.

Mary Korkor

When asked what she loves about being a birder, Mary responds, that it’s “like going on a treasure hunt and being rewarded each time with a lovely surprise. Birds are the lovely stained-glass windows of the world.” Mary began her service to WSO on the Conservation Committee. She later became chair of its Development Committee and has worked on the fundraising campaigns for the annual Honey Creek Birdathon/Bandathon and for Dischler Addition to the Honey Creek Preserve. 

Prior to joining the WSO Board, Mary served on the boards for Wisconsin Public Radio, the Kettle Moraine Garden Club and her local library foundation. She has participated in advocacy work in both Madison and Washington, D.C. When not watching the birds on her 40-acre hobby farm with gardens, a native prairie, pastureland and a pond in Waukesha County, Mary enjoys visiting her children, hiking, cooking, gardening and exploring the world.

Jenny Wenzel

Jenny has lived her entire life in Wisconsin and has always been interested in nature. She has always enjoyed feeding backyard birds but was turned on to birding as a hobby by a warbler walk advertised by the Hoy Audubon Society of Racine and Kenosha in 2008. She quickly made lots of new friends on the walks and became hooked on birding. Jenny has been active in the Hoy Audubon Society ever since and has served on Hoy’s Board of Directors as president, vice president, treasurer, newsletter editor, and is currently a director. Jenny greatly enjoys attending WSO field trips. She joined the WSO Board in 2012 as secretary.

Jenny and her husband David live in Caledonia (Racine County), monitor a 20-box bluebird trail at the South Hills Golf Course in Franksville, and vacation in Marinette County each summer. Jenny also volunteers as the Kenosha County Breeding Bird Atlas coordinator and as a Wisconsin eBird reviewer for Racine and Kenosha Counties. She has seen 345 species of birds in Wisconsin; her favorite is the Pileated Woodpecker. She’s been on birding trips to Costa Rica, Peru, Arizona, Texas and Washington. Besides birding, her other hobbies include gardening, hiking, canoeing, nature photography (including birds, of course) and playing with her two dogs, Maddie and Bentley. Jenny is employed as an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist with Aurora Health Care.

Dani Baumann

Dani Baumann was appointed to the board in January 2017 to succeed Mickey O’Connor as treasurer and was elected to the position at the June 2017 convention. She recalls being tricked into starting her birding career at 4:30 a.m. on May 6, 2011, in the middle of Wyalusing State Park while on a “No, we won’t get up early” trip. Since that day her life has revolved around birds and numbers.

Dani graduated in 2007 from UWM with a Bachelors in Business Administration - Accounting and is an accountant at PFlow Industries. A dedicated volunteer, when she isn’t in her office, Dani can be found coordinating WBBA2 atlasing efforts in Ozaukee County or editing The Timberdoodle News (newsletter of the Noel J. Cutright Bird Club). You may also recognize her name from “Let’s Go Birding,” a past feature in The Badger Birder. Amazingly, Dani also finds time to bird the wonderful hotspots of her home county of Ozaukee. Outside of birding, you can often find her reading a good book with her two cats, Braun and Charlie, curled up in her lap.