"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Click their names to learn more about them
Growing up in Oyster Bay with the woods as her backyard, it is no wonder that Stella Miller grew up to be an ardent lover of nature and wildlife. Splashing in the creek, exploring every corner of the woods, her days were filled with discovery and adventure. When Stella was not outdoors, she was voraciously reading nonfiction wildlife/conservation books which also helped to foster her deeply held commitment to wildlife protection. This lifelong passion led her to volunteer for Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon, joining the board in 2006 and in 2007 stepping into the role of president; a position she still holds today.
Since 2006, Stella has spearheaded conservation advocacy efforts such as the national “Save Our Raptors” campaign, Long Island to Guatemala, The Avian Connection partnership, the Long Island “Keep Your Cats Indoors” educational campaign and a Bird Friendly Communities Initiative. She is a founder of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition and was instrumental in assembling the original 40+ organizations that comprised the coalition. As Director of Programs and Outreach, she oversees community events, monthly nature programs, and she manages HOBAS’ volunteer corps, the Habitat Heroes. Forming collaborations and building bridges, she works with other community organizations as well as stakeholders on a state, county and town level, in order to protect our natural areas.
After creating a Youth Outreach Committee, Stella mentored teenagers, teaching these teens the valuable skills they needed to become community leaders themselves. She created a “Bridging the Generation Gap: Connecting Teens and Seniors Through Nature” program which was implemented in various nursing homes. In March 2011 she was a recipient of the Norman Stotz Award for Outstanding Chapter Leadership, awarded by Audubon New York and in 2013 she was one of the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s “Top Advocates for Historic Preservation and Education” for her dedication to preserving Long Island’s natural history. Recently she was recognized by the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce for her work on behalf of Audubon.
During her free time, she is an avid advocate for social justice and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and of course, birding.
Simone DaRos grew up on Long Island and was fortunate enough to spend her summers in Montauk. Being surrounded by the unspoiled East End of Long Island helped to nurture her deep love of nature. Simone grew up with many unusual pets, in a family who loved all animals, great and small. She joined the board in 2006 and now holds the role of Vice President. A first grade teacher in the Huntington School District for over 20 years, Simone enjoys traveling, birding, hawk watching, wildlife rehabilitation and exploring habitats on nature walks and hikes.
No biography at this time.
Brendan Fogarty is a recent graduate from the Cornell University College of Engineering, from which he has both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. He studied energy systems and has a passion for renewable energy integration. This interest stemmed from his lifelong love of nature and planning for a more sustainable world. Brendan is an energy analyst at the Reliable Power Alternatives Corporation. He has been active with HOBAS since 2007, as a member of the Youth Outreach Committee, where he helped lead field trips and public programs. In 2016 he joined the Board of Directors as Recording Secretary.
In his spare time, Brendan is an avid outdoorsman, birder, bicyclist, and musician, playing Irish bagpipes whenever his neighbors aren't home.
Tess Copa Todd is an Environmental Educator and has also taught pre-school and kindergarten. When not volunteering with HOBAS, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and the great outdoors. Tess became Co-chair of the Children’s Programs Committee in May 2012 and has been a board member since March 2014. She and her husband, Jason, recently welcomed two future conservationists to the family-twin boys, born in October 2016.
Sonia Garrido is the Field Trip Chair and Publicity Co-Chair for Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon. She became involved in the organization in 2014 after attending a beach cleanup and connecting with the mission of the organization and join the Board of Directors in 2015. Having been passionate about wildlife and the environment from a young age, she studied Environmental Policy at the University of Kansas, where she became interested in sustainable development.
She worked in Peru at CAPIS Nonprofit where she developed environmental projects dedicated to increasing the financial means of less privileged populations as well as addressing environmental concerns. She currently works in the Communications department at Stony Brook University and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Stony Brook University and a Certificate in Public Relations from New York University.
In her spare time, Sonia loves reading, watching foreign films, traveling to far away lands and playing with her adorable dog Roxy (aka Poopsie).
Coby Klein is a doctoral candidate in biology at the City University Graduate Center and a graduate teaching assistant at Queens College. His dissertation research focuses on the evolution of pesticide resistance in Colorado potato beetles. For the past 12 years, Coby has been a birder, bird bander, bird researcher, and general all around bird enthusiast. Coby leads popular field trips for HOBAS and is the coordinator of a bird banding project at Underhill Preserve. He lives in Huntington with his wife, Nomi, and two children, Eliana & Ezra. Look for Coby early in the morning at Makamah or Muttontown Preserves and in the evening in the kitchen making dinner.
Growing up in Sayville, Andy Burke discovered his love for nature by spending summers at Baiting Hollow Scout Camp. It was also at this age when he began to develop his passion for birds, which started with the family’s pet parakeet, and then grew into the joy of outdoor birding. Andy served in the Coast Guard and followed that with a career with the MTA. Recently, Andy, with his wife Christine, opened a Wild Birds Unlimited store in Syosset.
Sean grew up in Wantagh NY, just minutes away from the beautiful Jones Beach. His love of nature started at an early age when his parents would take him hiking on all of the nature trails Long Island has to offer. This early exposure to nature fostered a passion for wild places which developed into an understanding that these places must be protected through conservation efforts. He is also passionate about sustainability, keeping up to date on the latest technologies.
Sean holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University and an MBA in Finance from Hofstra. He currently works in Mergers and Acquisitions for a large gardening company on Long Island.
In his spare time he enjoys building furniture, playing 19th century baseball, and hiking with Waffles, his Pomeranian.
|Bird-Friendly Communities:||Stella Miller, Simone DaRos|
|Birdseed Sale:||Cathy Fitts|
|Children's Programs:||Tess Copa|
|Field Trips:||Sonia Garrido|
|MAPS Banding Program:||Coby Klein|
|Membership, Community Outreach and Programs:||Stella Miller, Brendan Fogarty|
|Communications and Publicity:||Stella Miller, Sonia Garrido|
|Volunteer Corps:||Stella Miller|
|Website Design:||Stella Miller/Eric Larson|
|Website Implementation:||Eric Larson|