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About US

©Beth Kingsley Hawkins

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We are motivated by compassion.

 

We are amazed by the creative, supportive ideas

of those who want us to succeed.

 

We are humbled by the generosity

of our members, donors, and sponsors.

 

We are deeply moved that our goals

find so much enthusiasm in a less than rosy world.

 

All of this encourage us

to envision even greater levels of success.

 

H. Ross Hawkins, Founder

1939 to 2020

A tribute to our founder, Dr. H. Ross Hawkins

          We wish to pay tribute to Dr. H. Ross Hawkins, who founded the Society in 1996 and was at its helm for the last 24 years as executive director. His unexpected death at 81 was a profound loss. As one member put it so beautifully: “He was the king of hummingbirds! I know his work will live on in every little wing flutter!”

          Ross’s love of hummingbirds began when he enticed the Ruby-throats in North East, Maryland to come to the bedroom window to dine. This evolved into creating a garden with special flowers to attract them and resulted in the purchase of a new camera. This was followed by both Beth and Ross having fun taking turns holding a flowering red bee balm while the other photographed the curious hummer coming to it.

          When Ross learned there were hummingbirds that were endangered, he felt a calling to protect them. To augment his vision, he drew a diagram of a wheel with ‘Hummingbird Society’ in the center, and spokes representing all the aspects he would have to learn to form a non-profit, and the Society was born. This was an opportunity to bring his multi-faceted talents together—computer expertise and a love of research (a Ph.D in chemistry), fund-raising and interpersonal skills (22 years as a stockbroker), love of nature and photography, professional speaking skills, plus he had the heart of a true educator. In Ross’s own words: “Hummingbirds are endearing and charismatic and they also have the potential to give us joys and insights.” 

          Hummers motivated both Ross and Beth to travel to learn more about them, with trips to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. Ross himself made two trips to Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile to study the endangered Juan Fernandez Firecrown, and a trip to confirm the range of the Honduran Emerald. A permanent move from the East to Sedona, Arizona added the plus of many more species, providing a year-round resident, the Anna’s hummingbird, who delighted with its song. This resulted in Sedona becoming the permanent home of the Society. 

          Due to Covid-19, a small, masked, socially-distanced gathering was held for Ross outside the Society in the courtyard. Beth sang ‘The Rose’ for him… ‘love, it is a flower, and you, you plant the seed.’ As she was singing, a male Anna’s hummingbird perched on a branch above her head and sat there awhile as if to listen before he took flight. We knew it was Ross’s spirit right there.

          A neighbor gave him a final tribute, “Your dreams have given others life. You have created for many a way to express their love.” 

          Ross, we salute you with the rainbow wing of a hummingbird. Through your knowledge and vision and compassion, you have made a powerful impact on this world.

Board of Directors

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David Salman

Director

David is a 1979 graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Horticultural Science. He is the founder of Santa Fe Greenhouses (1984-2012) and the High Country Gardens mail order catalog (1993-present). He is currently Chief Horticulturist of High Country Gardens online ornamental plant catalog and owner of Waterwise Gardening LLC, a small wholesale greenhouse and ornamental plant breeding business.

Through thirty plus years of hands-on experience, David has acquired expertise in a wide range of horticultural endeavors including greenhouse production, perennial propagation, ornamental plant seed production, rock gardening, commercial tree farming and xeric landscaping.

David is a specialist, propagating and growing waterwise native and Old World plants and is now devoting much of his time to the breeding and improvement of water-wise, ornamental plants for the Great Plains and Intermountain West. He has been a leading spokesperson/advocate of xeriscaping (waterwise landscaping), use of native plants and planting to feed pollinators through habitat-focused gardening

         

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Beth Kingsley Hawkins

Interim Executive Director

Marblehead, MA High School 1956
Brown University, Providence, R I 1956-58
B S in music education, University of New Hampshire 1960
M A in music and music therapy from Ball State for studies at
the Orff Institute, a division of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria 1977
FAMI Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery
CMT-Certified Music therapist through the Am. Association of Music Therapy
Elementary Music Teacher, Westtown Friends and Montessori
Music Therapy professor and field supervisor, Immaculata College, PA
Music therapist in Geriatrics, skilled care and Alzheimers
Music psychotherapist in private practice 1978- present
Reiki master
Charter member of North American Nature Association
Professional Nature Photographer specializing in hummingbirds
Sole-proprietor of Sedona Hummingbird Gallery 2006 – present
Author of Anna's in the Snow and Hummy the Magnificent
Presenter at the Hummingbird Festival for 10 years
Mother of 3 sons, 5 grandchildren, married Ross Hawkins in 1987
Co-founder of the International Hummingbird Society

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Cletus (Clete) A. Toschlog

B.S. - Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
MBA - Stanford University
Process Engineer - Stauffer Chemical Co.
Financial Analysis - Air Products and Chemicals Co.
Controller - Imperial Chemical Industries
Owner - Wild Birds Unlimited

President

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Betsy Burnett

Treasurer

B.A. - Sociology, University of Texas (Arlington)
Project Management, Customer Service Process Management,

A T & T Operations Hq. (26 years)
Secretary, Humane Society of Lincoln County (N.Mex)
Director, Ruidoso Concerts Association
Member, Lincoln County Bird Club
Member, Cecil County Bird Club

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Mary Kelly Jones

B.S. Social Work, University of Dayton
M.S. Counseling, University of Dayton
Retired Mental Health Therapist
Mental Health Consultant for Head Start, Dayton, Ohio

Secretary

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Kate and Randy Safford

Randy is a practicing attorney having represented small to medium size businesses for over 45 years.  Randy's tuba expertise keeps him busy playing in several community bands; he also helped to found and has been on the board of a professional musical ensemble, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, since its inception in 1982.

Kate, now retired, has spent her career in the Human Resources field, advising employers regarding planned talent acquisition, company downsizing and reorganization, along with specialized training, development, and mentorship of employees. Her love of gardening includes building perennial gardens, specifically species that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

 

Both Kate and Randy are supporters of many nonprofits in their own community (Birmingham, MI) and nearby Detroit and are also deeply involved in nurturing their 10 grandchildren.

Director

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Carole A. Turek, M.D

B.S. - Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA (Biology & Chemistry)
M.D. - Temple University Medical School, Philadelphia, PA
Practicing Anesthesiologist 1985 to the present
Founder, Hummingbird Spot
Hummingbird Photographer committed to photographing every
species of hummingbird in existence

Director

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Karen Fogas

Director

Karen Fogas is past Executive Director of Tucson Audubon Society, where she oversaw efforts to restore, protect and preserve habitat for Southern Arizona’s rich bird species. 

She has many years of non-profit leadership, including as a staff member with the

Sierra Club.  She is on board  to do what she can for hummingbirds.

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Dr. H. Ross Hawkins

1939 to 2020

B.S. - Chemistry, University of Tulsa (OK)
Ph.D. - Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley)
Research Scientist, E.I. du Pont de Nemours (9 yrs)
Investment Advisor, Delta Financial Advisory Services (2 yrs)
Account Executive, Lehman Brothers (2 yrs)
VP, Investments, Morgan Stanley (22 yrs, retired)
Charter Member, North American Nature Photography Association
Member, Northern Arizona Audubon Society
Founder and Executive Director of the Hummingbird Society
Editor, The Hummingbird Connection
Professional Speaker since 2010

Former - Founder and Executive Director