CROW holds Annual Membership Meeting

SANIBEL, Fla., (March 29, 2019) -- The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) held its 2018 Membership Meeting at CROW’s Visitor Education Center on March 27, 2019.  Those in attendance included members, staff, and the board of the directors.

The agenda consisted of the introduction of new and returning board members and a review of 2018 achievements.

CROW is pleased to announce the election of two new board members: Darrin Grotrian and Cindy M. Hawkins (pictured with new Board President Paul Ben-Susan, middle).

Darrin Grotrian is the Assistant Manager/Assistant Vice President at Bank of the Islands. A 2009 graduate of Manchester University with a degree in Business Management and a Certificate of Entrepreneurial Thinking, he currently serves as the Treasurer for the Sanibel Community Association. In 2015, Darrin was selected to represent Bank of the Islands at the Florida Bankers Association Emerging Leaders, Washington DC Fly-In.

Darrin has been an island resident since 2010 with his wife Rebecca who works for the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation at the Native Landscapes and Garden Center.  They both have been volunteers for the Sea Turtle program at SCCF for eight years.  He is also a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.

Cindy M. Hawkins is a shareholder, president and member of the board of directors of Wiltshire, Whitley, Richardson & English, P.A., a full-service accounting firm offering a comprehensive range of business and personal accounting services. Cindy joined her CPA firm in 1989, and provides a range of services with a focus in tax planning, preparation, trusts and estates, employee benefit plans and exempt organizations.

A University of South Florida graduate with a summa cum laude bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master of accountancy in taxation, Cindy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She earned the Elijah Watt Sells Award, a national recognition conferred by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding performance by professionals who pass all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination on the first attempt and earn the highest combined scores in the nation.

A resident of Florida since 1972, Cindy grew up in a military family that moved according to her dad’s U.S. Navy assignments. She is an active member of the board of United Way Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee and is past president and treasurer of Pilot Club of Fort Myers, a chapter of the international service organization. Cindy has two children; Jason, a recent graduate Florida State University and Jessica, a Junior at Bishop Verot High School.

The 2019 board officers are:  Paul Ben-Susan, President (far right); Dave Nichols, Vice President (middle left); Cindy M. Hawkins, Treasurer (middle right); and Lynne Birdt, Secretary (far left). 

Returning board members are Christine Attardo, Edgar Burton, Amanda Curran, Bill Horvath, Cathie Lewis, Dan Murphy and Kelley Provo, Esq.

Alison Charney Hussey, executive director, Dr. Heather Barron, medical & research director, and Dr. Robin Bast, staff veterinarian presented CROW’s 2018 highlights:

•      In the summer of 2018, harmful algal blooms devasted the coast of Southwest Florida. As a result, CROW admitted over 500 patients exhibiting symptoms caused by the toxic algae. This number was significantly higher than an average year’s red tide patient caseload.

•     Throughout the entire year, CROW celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Events included an open house in January that welcomed nearly 1,000 people to the AWC Visitor Education Center, two off-island events, and CROW Founder Shirley Walter as the grand marshal of the Sanibel Independence Day Parade.

•      CROW received numerous recognitions including a Chrysalis Award for Eco-Innovation and being named a finalist for the News Press’ People of the Year Awards.