Our Board of Directors comments about why they wanted to be involved with Eagle's NEST.
LeAnne Quenzer - Visalia, CA - “I value being a good steward of the Earth God gave us to use and enjoy. I believe caring for our resources is a natural response to my walk with God and living out my faith. I believe we all have a responsibility to care for the world we live in and Eagle’s NEST seems to address these very important issues. I have had an interest in these things for a very long time!"
Ariana Goulbourne - Visalia, CA - “God shows us His beauty and greatness through His creation: His oceans, His mountains, His forests. I am happy to be a part of Eagle's NEST, a team that recognizes and accepts our responsibility to educate and work with others to ensure that His greatness endures and thrives."
Jonathan Matteson - Pullman, WA - “The mission and vision of Eagle's NEST is extremely relevant nowadays. I have known our CEO, Todd Slinde, for many years and hold him in the highest esteem. It's an honor to serve on this board. Thank you for your support!"
Jean Chaffee - Fresno, CA - “As a lifelong Christian, I have sought how best I can be used to share God's Word. My involvement with wildlife has led me to appreciate God's creatures more and more. It is undeniable that His hand is in all of life. The mission of taking responsibility for the care and protection of this earth is found in Eagle's NEST. We, as Christians, need to lead the way and I am delighted to join with others who feel the same.”
Greg Simpson - Exeter, CA - “In our divisive age, Eagle’s NEST’s goal of bringing people together in positive, non-confrontational ways for the common good is a very worthwhile endeavor."
Steve Lawton - Visalia, CA - "The Eagle’s NEST program provides us with a focus on God’s creation and helps us to develop a community that will appreciate God’s wonderful gift. Todd’s work in bringing this message to our community helps us to reach that Common Good in recognizing the need to care for His creation. I wish to support Todd in his goals and assist in this endeavor to continue his successful mission."
LeAnne Quenzer is a Hospice Registered Nurse with a BS in Nutrition and AS in Nursing. She resides in Visalia, CA with her husband Galen. Together they have two grown children. Leanne grew up Mennonite where her faith became a significant part of her life - youth group, summer camps were a big influence. Currently, she and Galen are members of First Presbyterian Church in Visalia. LeAnne loves camping and hiking in the mountains and road trips with her family as well as singing/music, reading and baking. Of note - Social justice and environmental issues are important and emphasized topics for LeAnne, believing that there is a natural connection between her Christian faith and these issues.
Jean Chaffee was born and raised in the Fresno area, attended a 4 room school in Madera, and graduated from Fresno State. She spent 28 years as a teacher and principal of a K-8 school. In 1987, following her marriage to Paul Chaffee, Mrs. Chaffee became involved in the Fresno Chaffee Zoo as a zoo docent. For 30 years, Jean worked with raptors, led tours, education labs, and as a civic speaker. Mrs. Chaffee has also authored 7 children’s books based on the Chaffee Zoo animals. Jean and her husband rekindled their interest in traveling, especially to Africa. Many of the Chaffee’s travels have centered on seeing animals in their natural habitat, Rotary and church mission trips. Jean’s church, First Presbyterian, is located in downtown adjacent to a very poor area. For 4 years, she directed a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for the neighborhood kids providing breakfast, lunch and a bus trip to the zoo on Friday. VBS attendance averaged 120 which included a Mother’s Class. In the summer of 2015, the church hosted a Zoo 2 You camp for the same neighborhood kids. Volunteer zoo docents modified the zoo camp curriculum to fit an off-grounds setting. Friday’s class was held at the zoo and attendance was over 90%. Jean’s 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren have inherited her love for the zoo and traveling.
Ariana Goulbourne was born and raised in Visalia, CA. In December 2011, she graduated from UC San Diego, earning degree in psychology. She began working at Pro-Youth in Goshen after working as an instructional aide for Visalia Unified School District. She currently works as a Site Director at Fairview Elementary School. She has enjoyed working with children since first volunteering with the Sunday school program at St. Mary’s Church in high school. Ariana enjoys sharing her passion for education with her students. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, traveling, yoga and playing word games (You might have even seen her on television as she was recently a winner on the Wheel of Fortune TV game show!). She is thrilled that the partnership between Eagle’s NEST and Pro-Youth is bringing knowledge about the environment, gardening, and conservation to youth in the Central Valley.
Greg Simpson was born in the midwest and raised in Exeter, California. He attended College of the Sequoias and CSU Chico, earning a degree in English. Subsequently, he completed his masters degree with Fresno Pacific University. He is a retired educator, having taught for thirty-two years. For much of that time he served as Exeter Union High School’s coordinator of Special Education Services. His teaching years were enriched by opportunities to develop and supervise vocational opportunities of Special Needs students, as well as providing guidance throughout the department for teachers, students, and their families. In addition, he designed and taught courses in Creative Writing and Improvisational Drama to the school’s top, college bound students. Later in his career, he became the Architectural and Industrial Drafting instructor. As a retiree, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, Barbara, canoeing, hiking and traveling to their favorite sports in California. When at home, they enjoy entertaining and being entertained by their grandchildren. And when time allows, Greg can be found in his studio pursuing his interests in art and music, or working in his garden. It was the combination of a junior college ecology class and early backpacking trips into the Sierra high country with friends which first spurred his involvement with environmental issues. He has continued that focus of interest and concern since then.
Steve Lawton was raised in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley where he enjoyed and appreciated the central coast with its coastline and scenic areas that he explored while growing up. He arrived in Tulare in 1977 to begin a 33 year career teaching history at Tulare Union. Today he resides in Visalia enjoying his retirement with his wife, Jackie. One of their daughters is a middle school teacher in Visalia and the other is a real estate broker in Fresno. In retirement, Steve and Jackie spend time enjoying their two grandchildren and traveling to numerous places on their “bucket list”. Both Steve and Jackie are active members of Christ Lutheran Church and assisted in bringing the Eagle’s Nest message to their bible study group. Steve grew up with a love of the Sierras from his experiences as a young man backpacking and camping with his family. This love of the outdoors has led Steve and Jackie to frequently go to Shaver Lake so they can view and experience God’s wonderful gift of nature. Now Steve sees the Eagle’s Nest adventure as a further step in that experience.
Jonathan Matteson’s appreciation for symbiosis as the key to sustainability stems primarily from his professional background in the horticultural industry. As a trustworthy businessman and the founder of Garden Marketing, Mr. Matteson gave numerous presentations and private consultations to independently-owned nurseries and garden centers throughout the Western US. In August of 2012, Jonathan resigned from the Director of Marketing position he held for nearly a decade to begin his academic career as an award-winning interdisciplinary Teaching Artist. Please visit www.jsmatteson.com for more.