2020 TWS Council election results

A rainbow appears over Sunrise Meadow at Yosemite National Park. Credit: Scott Stellar

The results from the 2020 TWS Council elections are in. TWS members have elected Don Yasuda as the next vice president of TWS. Valorie Titus will join Council as the Northeast Section representative. Andrea Orabona was elected as the Central Mountains and Plains Section representative. They will begin their term at the end of September during the Virtual Conference.

TWS extends its thanks to all of the candidates who ran for office, including Art Rodgers, Timothy Green and Terry Messmer.

Meet your new Council members!

Don Yasuda

Vice President

Assuming the leadership role in TWS is something that I’ve thought much about since I served as the Western Section Representative on TWS Council. During my time on Council I saw how an effective President could lead TWS by reflecting TWS’ history, understanding the present and visualizing the future. What I admired about Council and TWS were the TWS leaders who could see the best in each Council member and who could guide, encourage and challenge them to provide the best service to the Society. I have waited until I have gained a broad understanding of TWS and its members such that I now feel I can offer effective leadership to build on the historically strong leadership legacy of TWS as it continues to fulfill its mission.

My vision for TWS is to elevate its effectiveness to meet the needs of wildlife and people in the 21st century. Yet, I am committed to TWS remaining the preeminent professional society that emphasizes the importance of science-based wildlife management and conservation of biological diversity that is necessary for a diverse human society. To accomplish this, TWS must reflect and represent that human diversity. I know I can lead TWS in its quest to be more inclusive so our membership of wildlife professionals reflects society, which, in turn, will ensure that our views and positions on wildlife-related issues are contemporary and relevant.

If I earn the honor of serving TWS, I will be diligent that TWS remains financially sound, operationally effective, and focused on understanding member needs while encouraging the empowerment of all members to achieve their potential. I strongly believe that our collective strength will ensure that TWS continues to remain vibrant and relevant to its members, contributes to the sustainability of wildlife resources, and benefits society as a whole.

Valorie Titus

Northeast Section

I feel that the wildlife field is ever-changing. We are developing new techniques and technologies, and attracting a more diverse professional base. While still maintaining our rich history and culture as wildlife conservationists, we need to adapt to the changing world around us. We need to work to encourage and engage our young professionals (and students), and listen to their concerns and needs while expanding our professional development opportunities for all levels of the profession. Wildlife professionals need to take a strong stance on preserving and conserving our wildlife and wild lands so that future generations can learn and live better than we did. We need to strive as professionals to reach out to the public and our youth to continue the love of the outdoors and all it has to offer. It’s a challenge, in this time of technology, to express the importance of nature, but we are at a critical turning point ecologically. As a member of council, I will work to create ways to open up our field to a diversity of talents and strive to creatively support all the professionals in this field that want to make the world a better place for all.

Andrea Orabona

Central Mountains and Plains Section

My involvement with The Wildlife Society (TWS) began as an undergraduate at Colorado State University (CSU), thanks to several mentors who introduced me to our professional organization, and some of whom I am still in contact with today.

At CSU, I served on a few Student Chapter committees and as Secretary/Treasurer, President-Elect, and President of the Student Chapter. That positive experience transitioned to serving at the state level with the Wyoming Chapter of TWS as chair of several committees (including the Celebrating Our Wildlife Conservation Heritage [COWCH] committee, of which I am still involved), At-large Board Member, Secretary, President-Elect and President.

From there, I learned the value of continuing to serve and remaining engaged at the Central Mountains and Plains Section level as an At-large Board Member, President-Elect, President, and immediate Past-President (a total commitment of 6 years). And in 2019, I was inducted as a TWS Fellow.

With the experience and knowledge I have gained over my 34-year wildlife career, my next focus and passion is to continue serving the wildlife resource and our professional organization at the level of Section Representative to The Wildlife Society Council.  I envision a continued robust effort to ensure we promote and deliver science-based management and research decisions, and strive to include all who have the knowledge, passion, and skills to contribute to wildlife science.

If elected, please know that I will be open to conversations in any form (e.g., cell phone, text, email, in-person) to ensure that I am your spokesperson for our Central Mountains and Plains Section.


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