Waterfowl Festival Welcomes New President & Board Members

The Waterfowl Festival has welcomed new leadership and four new members to its Board of Directors for 2010. Ron Flohr has been elected President of the nonprofit organization. Pat Crane, Henry Dove, Kim Newcomb and Melanie Young were selected as new board members.

In addition to Flohr as President, other members of the Festival’s 2010 Executive Committee are Doug Collison, Al Gipe, Kevin Greaney and Martha Horner as Vice Presidents, Tracie Thomas as Treasurer, and Sandy Wrightson as Secretary.
A Vice President for PNC Bank, Flohr has been a Waterfowl Festival volunteer for seventeen years. He started as one of the young Ducksitters, the student volunteers who run errands and help out at exhibits during the event. He has served on the Board of Directors for the past five years.

Flohr takes over as President from Albert Pritchett, who has stepped down after five years at the helm. Having reached the limit of his eligible consecutive terms on the board, Pritchett has retired from the leadership, but plans to return to the board after the mandatory one-year hiatus.

As President, Flohr looks forward to working with the new board members. “All of these individuals have a strong history with the Festival,” he said.

Pat Crane is a retired professional in the medical education field, who moved to Easton from New Jersey in 2002. She has a long record of volunteer activities, including serving as President of the Easton chapter of American Association of University Women from 2003 to 2007 and event coordinator of the Plein Air Festival since 2005. She has served as co-chair of the Waterfowl Festival’s Masters Gallery since 2004.

While the Waterfowl Festival family has known Henry Dove since 1998 as the man in charge of tickets, the legal community has known him almost a decade longer as Senior Assistant State’s Attorney for Talbot County. A Festival volunteer since 1992, he is also a charter member of Talbot Partnership and serves on the Talbot County Juvenile Drug Court Steering Committee, among numerous other civic activities.

Kim Newcomb grew up in St. Michaels and currently has much of the local area’s waterfowling history preserved in her home. Her first job was at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where she studied decoys and the waterfowling trade. She became chairman of the Festival’s Artifacts Exhibit in 1996, where she met her husband, Ronnie Newcomb, a fellow avid collector. A real estate appraiser, Kim is a member of Mid Shore Board of Realtors.

Melanie Young turned from a career in retail management to one administering youth soccer leagues inCalifornia and Georgia, raising a family in between. In the mid-1990s, she became active with Habitat for Humanity in Georgia, bringing that experience to the local chapter when she moved to the Eastern Shore. Since 2006, Young has volunteered with the Waterfowl Festival at its Tidewater Gallery, becoming co-chair of the exhibit last year.

In addition to Pritchett, other retiring board members are Anne Croker, Sean Mann, John Mautz and Vance Strausburg. Flohr thanked all of the departing members for their service to the organization, noting the importance of the board members’ efforts in staging the event each fall.

In looking ahead to the coming year, Flohr emphasized the significance of the new Bay Street Ponds renovation as an example of the Waterfowl Festival’s ability to partner with community organizations to use donors’ dollars most efficiently in forwarding its conservation mission.

“With Environmental Concern’s outstanding advisory assistance, we were able to take about $30,000 and turn it into a $360,000 project using government grants,” he said. “This was a great example of leveraging funds that we can put to good use for habitat conservation and rehabilitating Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

The 40th Waterfowl Festival will be held in Easton November 12, 13 & 14, 2010.  For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, contact the Waterfowl Festival office at 410-822-4567 or visit its website,www.waterfowlfestival.org.