Who We Are

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Chairman, Frederick Beste, III, Wind Gap, PA
Elected 2001

Vice Chairman
, Scott Weidensaul, Schuylkill Haven, PA
Elected 2013

Peter Bennett, New York City, NY
Elected 2004

, Barbara Altman, Orwigsburg, PA
Elected 2008

Assistant Secretary, Ferd Thun, Bethlehem, PA
Elected 2005

Officers do not have term limits.

2016 Board of Directors

Board members receive no financial compensation and offer time and expertise on a completely volunteer basis. The board meets three times per year with the annual meeting held in early November.

William M. Anderson, M.D., Camp Hill, PA
Elected 2008. Second term expires 2016.

Robert Barkanic, Auburn, PA
Elected 2011. First term expires 2015.

David Bonenberger, Tamaqua, PA
Elected 2016. First term expires 2020. 

Christine Clayton, Old Lyme, CT
Elected 2014. First term expires 2018.

Lewis Cyr, Coopersburg, PA
Elected 2012. First term expires 2016.
Deborah Edge, M.D., Washington, DC
Elected 2009. Second term expires 2017.

Dick Eales, Malvern, PA
Elected 2015. First term expires 2019.

Stephen Edge, M.D.,
Elma, NY
Elected 2008. Second term expires 2016.

Ellen Ferretti, Dallas, PA
Elected 2014. First term expires 2018.

Ken Hawkinson, Ph.D., Kutztown, PA
Elected 2015. First term expires 2019.

Tom Kerr, Kempton, PA
Elected 2008. Second term expires 2016.

Soloman Lausch, Ph.D., Leesport, Pa 
Elected 2013. First term expires 2017.

Joseph Mallory, Greenwich, CT
Elected 2012. First term expires 2016.

Dan Rubenstein, Ph.D., Princeton, NJ
Elected 2013. First term expires 2017.

Amy Ruszala, Akron, OH
Elected 2015. First term expires 2019.

Bill Sands, Wyomissing, PA
Elected 2014. First term expires 2018.

Houston Stebbins, Tuxedo Park, NY
Elected 2012. First term expires 2016.
Scott Weidensaul, Schuylkill Haven, PA
Elected 2013. First term expires 2017.

Jeff Weil, Wayne, PA
Elected 2015. First term expires 2019.

Minturn Wright, Lafayette Hill, PA
Elected 2013. First term expires 2017.

Frederick J. Beste III, Chairman

Wind Gap, Pa. Elected 2001.

Frederick J. Beste is the President and C.E.O. of the General Partners of Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds and the Chairman of the Board of the NET Ben Franklin Technology Partners (Bethlehem), a subsidiary of Lehigh University.

Fred is a member (and former vice president) of the Board of The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (Harrisburg). He was the 2001 recipient of the Blair L. Thompson Memorial Award for career achievement in venture capital.

Fred earned his B.A. in economics from Stetson University, and he lives with his wife Polly in a pre-Revolution-era stone farmhouse just outside of Wind Gap, PA.

Peter Bennett, Treasurer

New York City, NY. Elected 2004.

Peter Bennett is the founder and chairman of Liberty Partners, a New York-based private equity investment firm.

Peter is a member of the Board of Lehigh University, the Advisory Board of New Leaders for New Schools (NYC), the Dean's Advisory Council for Lehigh University's College of Education.

In his free time Peter enjoys cooking, gardening, golf, and sporting clays. Peter and his wife, Jean Nevins, split their time between their apartment in SOHO, NYC and their farm in Bucks County, PA.

Scott Weidensaul, Vice Chairman

Photo courtesy of Bill Ulrich

Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist "Living on the Wind," about bird migration, and "Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul." His newest book, "The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America," is the result of more than five years of work, and was published in 2013.

Scott is also an active field researcher whose work centers around bird migration, particularly the northern saw-whet owls, a reclusive species native to North America. Scott works with The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, and together they have banded more than 5,000 owls.

Scott has been coming to Hawk Mountain since he was a boy. He is also a founder of the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, a board member of Audubon Pennsylvania, and is active in many conservation and birding organizations. He and his wife Amy live in western Schuylkill County.

Ferdinand Thun, Assistant Secretary

Ferdinand Thun received his B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Lehigh University in 1956 and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1960. He was the director of Planned Giving at Lehigh University from 1973 to 1995 and the director of Penn Square Mutual Fund from 1989 to 1997.

Ferd serves on the board of several organizations, including the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Wildlands Conservancy (including as chair of Development Committee from 2005 to 2009), and Thun Investment Company.

Ferd describes himself as a "water rat" and has enjoyed cruising most of the East Coast in a variety of boats and canoeing many local rivers. He and his wife enjoy traveling to visit nieces and nephews who are scattered about the country.

Ferd was introduced to Hawk Mountain and the nearby Pinnacle more than 60 years ago and it has always been a sanctuary for him as well as for the hawks.

Barbara Altman, Secretary

Outgoing and energetic, Barbara has an eclectic background that starts with work as an environmental educator at the W. Alton Jones Environmental Campus at the Unveristy of Rhode Island, where she earned her B.S. in wildlife biology 1975. Her career  switched gears when she moved to New York City to work at the Mercantile STores home buying office before marrying her husband Jim and settling in New Jersey to raise their two children Susan and Frank.

At Hawk Mountain, Barbara serves on the education and development committees and isa  four-time chair of the annual Benefit for Birds Gala, which has enjoyed tremendous success under her leadership. She also has served two terms on the board of education in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, before moving with her husband to a restored farmhouse nestled in the shadow of Hawk Mountain.

Barbara is a passionate collector and owns Aunt Elva's Antiques, featured in Martha Stewart Magazine, an avid golfer, and loves all creatures big and small.

Robert Barkanic

Robert ("Bob") Barkanic is the Senior Director External Affairs at Talen Energy and he previously served as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and as an engineering manager at Bechtel Power Corporation. He spent time volunteering at The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and The Lake Wynonah Home Owners Association Board.

Bob received his B.S. in structural engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

When not working, you can find Bob at the beach, in the mountains, on the water, or out golfing. He enjoys bicycling, teaching and coaching, watching sports, and spending time with his three children.

David Bonenberger

David J. Bonenberger is the vice president of Distribution Operations for PPL Electric Utilities.  Bonenberger oversees the planning, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of PPL Electric Utilities’ distribution system to ensure safe and reliable service to customers. 

Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bloomsburg University and a master’s in business administration from Wilkes-University.  Dave also serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Minsi Trail Boy Scout Council.  He serves as the vice president of Urban Scouting. 

Dave resides with his wife Francine in Tamaqua, PA. They enjoy the outdoors with their dog, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.   

Christina Clayton

Chris is a Harvard alum who went on to earn a law degree from Columbia before settling in at Xerox Corporation in Stamford, CT, where she served the corporation for more than 20 years, becoming Deputy General Counsel, and then Vice President and General Counsel.

Now retired, Chris can commit more time to her passion for birding and international travel. A long-time member of Hawk Mountain, she also is a life member of the Linnaean Society of New York City, President of the Trustees of the Old Lyme Land Trust, and past Secretary of the board at the Connecticut Audubon Society. She also has volunteered her expertise as a lawyer for the Partnership for Children's Rights in New York City and served on the board of Fresh Art, a non-profit focused on promoting the talents of low-income, disabled artists in New York City.

Chris resides in Old Lyme, CT with her husband Stanley where she enjoys the outdoors and adding new birds to her life list.

Lewis Cyr

Lewis Cyr is an Executive Vice President at National Penn Bank in Allentown, PA.  Lewis has nearly 25 years of experience in banking and he holds a bachelor's degree in economics and history from the University of Delaware.

Lewis also serves on the Board for the Boys Scouts of America (Cradle of Liberty Council) and is active with the Autism Society. He previously served on the board for the Salvation Army, Penn State Berks and the DaVinci Science Center.

Lewis enjoys going to the movies, learning about history, exercising, craft beer, and watching football at all levels.

V. Richard Eales

Dick is a retired business man with work experience in the energy, software, light manufacturing and investment banking fields. He is currently a director of Range Resources Corporation and an active investor in a family business. 

A birder since grade school, Dick and his wife Nancy have travelled acorss the United States and beyond to pursue their passion and one day hope to compile their global Life List. Dick also is an active conservationist who also serves on the board of the American Bird Conservancy, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Willistown Conservation Trust (Chair of the Bird Conservation Committee), and also is a Trustee Emeritus and two-time past Chairman of The Nature Conservancy of Pennsylvania.

Dick attended Cornell University, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and served in the Marine Corps. He and Nancy reside in Malvern, Pennsylvania where they pursue their joint interests include historic preservation, Planned Parenthood, travel, gardening, and baroque music.

Deborah Edge, M.D.

Deborah Edge is the granddaughter of Sanctuary founder, Rosalie Edge, and has served on the Board since the late 1980s. As a primary care internist, Deb founded a private medical practice on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., where she worked for 30 years. She retired from full time practice in April, 2011. Since then, she has been working half time at So Others Might Eat (SOME), providing health care to the indigent and homeless of D.C. She also has a lifelong interest in conservation and birding, which she hopes to devote more time to.

Deb is also an avid musician, and plays classical string bass in several Washington, D.C. community orchestras, as well as chamber music when the opportunity arises. She is married to Neal Mann, and the two live on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.. They have two daughters, Rebecca Edge Mann and Sarah Edge Mann.

Stephen Edge, M.D.

The grandson of Hawk Mountain founder, Rosalie Edge, Stephen is a cancer surgeon and researcher with more than 27 years of experience. He currently serves as the Cancer Center Director for the Baptist Cancer Center and as an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Tennessee. Stephen is also part of the Executive Committee of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as well as the Executive Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer.

Stephen's research focuses on evaluating and improving community-wide quality of cancer care and he is currently leading a new cancer center program to develop high quality care across a large geographic network in the Mid-South.

Stephen recently moved to Memphis with his wife after 21 years of living in Buffalo, NY. They love bicycling, traveling, and keeping up with their kids now that they are empty nesters.

Ken Hawkinson, Ph.D.

The president of Kutztown University, Dr. Ken Hawkinson arrives in Berks County from Illinois, where he served since 1988, most recently as provost. He joined the university as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and he also is a former military officer, having served in the U.S. Army as both an infantry officer and a public affairs officer.

Dr. Hawkinson earned his bachelor's degree in history and a Master of Arts in speech communication from Westner Illinois and went onto earn a Ph.D. in speech communication/performance studies from Southern Illinois University. He was a Fulbright scholar from 1990-91, during which time he taught American studies at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in West Africa, and conducted research in African folklore and oral tradition. He also served for two years as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Mali.

Thomas J. Kerr

Thomas J. Kerr is the president and founder of Thomas J. Kerr LLC, a privately-owned management service company, which recently served as a consultant for the city of Allentown's Office of Sustainability. He is the former president & CEO for Wildlands Conservancy, and served as the Interim president for Hawk Mountain from March 2010-October 2010, prior to the hiring of Jerry Regan.

Outside of work, Tom is deeply involved with conservation organizations, and was a founding board member for the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association and a council member of the Conservation and Natural Resources Citizen Advisory Council. He was the 2008 recipient of the L.L. Bean "Outdoor Hero" Award, which recognizes work in education, advocacy, and conservation.

Tom received his B.S. degree in business administration from Temple University. He lives with his wife Carla in Kempton, P.A., where he enjoys canoeing, biking, and competitive motor-boat racing.

Solomon Lausch, Ph.D.

Dr. Solomon ("Sol") Lausch is Executive Director of the Berks Business Education Coalition, a group that promotes business support for education. He also serves on the board of the United Way of Berks County and the Schuylkill Valley Community Library.

Sol previously served more than 20 years as superintendent for two Pennsylvania school districts, and he has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Maryland, a master’s in special education from Loyola College, and a bachelor’s in secondary education from Millersville State College.

In his spare time Sol enjoys reading 20th century American history. He also spends his days gardening, traveling, and sharing his Pennsylvania Dutch heritage with unsuspecting, captive listeners.

Joseph Mallory

An enthusiastic birder with a long history of service to the Mountain, Joe Mallory is a retired partner of Booz Allen Hamilton, an international management consulting firm. Joe served as past chairman of the board during which time he led the organization through a strategic planning process that resulted in a new mission statement. He also guided the Sanctuary through a leadership transition, and worked hard to build stronger board-staff relationships.

Joe is also active with the Connecticut Audubon Society where he served as treasurer, and is a trustee of Booz.Allen.Hamilton. He can often be seen running, biking, or birding and splits his time with his wife Wendy between their homes on the coast of Maine and in Connecticut.

Amy Ruszala

Amy presents a First Energy donation to staff scientists Laurie Goodrich, JF Therrien, and Keith Bildstein

Amy is a Scientist at FirstEnergy in the Environmental Department and currently serves as the avian expert for the company, working with state agencies throughout FirstEnergy territory on various issues. Previously, she worked with Ohio Department of Natural Resources on monitoring and banding peregrine falcons nesting at company power plants along the Lake Erie Shore and she also has worked with the Pennsylvania Game Commission on finding nesting alternatives on distribution poles and installing nesting platforms for osprey around the Shenango Reservoir. Amy is FirstEnergy’s representative to the APLIC group, the national utility organization that provides guidance on mitigating avian interactions with power lines.

When she's not working, Amy volunteers with local running groups to help maintain trails in the Cuyahoga National Park, she runs multiple ultramarathons a year, and enjoys hiking, and backpacking.

Daniel Rubenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Daniel Rubenstein is a professor of zoology, ecology, and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, where he is the director of African studies and a chair member in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Dan's research focuses on the decision-making process in animals and how an individual animal's behavior is influenced by phenotype, environment, and the actions of other individuals in the population. His research has been featured in numerous scientific publications, including The American Naturalist and Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology.

In addition to his work at Princeton, Dan serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, a non-profit dedicated to preserving farmland and natural resources.

In his free time Dan enjoys traveling and visiting museums.

Bill Sands

­­Founder and CEO of Sands Enterprises, Inc., Bill Sands serves as broker of Sands & Company Real Estate, the largest branch of the corporation which is headquartered in Wyomissing and serves Berks, Lancaster, Chester and Schuylkill Counties in Pennsylvania, and the eastern shore of Maryland.

Bill has long embodied the entrepreneurial spirit and by a young age, he had amassed real estate holdings that stretched from Antibes, France, to the U.S. Virgin Islands, to the Maryland shore, and west to Rancho Mirage, California. In 2003 he established www.PaRealEstate.com, one of the first web-based realty sites of its kind in Pennsylvania, and today the firm remains a leader in social media marketing.

Bill’s success and unique vacation portfolio caught the interest of Daniel McGinn, the Senior Editor of The Harvard Review, and when in 2008 McGinn published House Lust…. America’s Obsession with our Homes, he included contributions by Sands. The ensuring national publicity surrounding the release brought mainstream media features for Bill including Forbes and Newsweek.

This drive for business is matched by his work in the community he has served for nearly 30 years, including positions on the board of the Reading Berks Association of Realtors, the City of Reading Architectural Review Board, the Collection Management Committee of the Reading Public Museum, and the Leesport Bank Advisory Board. And, with a personal interest in and commitment to architecture, Bill also has purchased and restored multiple homes throughout the region, and as a result, is preserving the rich history and value of the surrounding communities.

At home, Bill is an outdoor enthusiast with a keen interest in birding, and resides with his partner in Bern Township along Tulpehocken Creek where the two enjoy an abundance of raptors including a resident bald eagle. Bill says he has rescued many birds in his lifetime and has a 30-year friendship with his feathered friend Roscoe, his pet yellow-naped Amazon parrot.

Houston Stebbins

Houston Stebbins received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972, and is retired from his work of 30 years as a financial advisor with JP Morgan/JP Morgan Chase where he served as managing director of debt restructuring and bankruptcy. Prior to his financial career, he taught english and algebra, and he used his educator skills in the financial world, developing and teaching a new course segment for JP Morgan trainees.

He recently served two terms as mayor of Tuxedo Park, NY, where he lives, and held previous positions as chair of the board of zoning appeals. He continues to serve informally as a financial advisor for the Town of Tuxedo and other institutions.

Houston resides with his wife Dena and enjoys birding, skiing, astrony, travel and cooking, and is a noted Civil War buff.

Jeff Weil

A Princeton graduate with aHarvard Law School degree, Jeff is an attorney at Cozen O'Conner, Philadelpha, where he serves as co-chair of the litigation section, chair the Commercial Litigation Department, and also sits on the board of directors and management committee. Prior to joining Cozen, he was a partner with Dechert LLP in Philadelphia, where he served on the Executive Committee and as chairman of its Hiring Committee.

Jeff is a member of the American Law Institute, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and is active in public service. A graduate of Leadership, Inc., a nonprofit program designed to select and train civic leaders of Philadelphia, he also has served at various times on United Way committees, Bar Association committees, the Princeton Schools Committee, and the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federations board.

A third-generation Hawk Mountain member, Jeff joined the board in 1993 and served for many years include five as chairman, a position he assumed in 2000.

Minturn Wright, III

A life-long birder and conservationist, Minturn served in the U.S. Army during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge before returning stateside to pursue his education. He graduated from Yale and earned his law degree from Pennsylvania Law School before joining up with the second-largest firm in Philadelphia, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, where he would remain until his retirement. He and wife Nonya had four children: Minturn IV, Richard, Robert, and Marion.

In 1958 he joined the board at the Academy of Arts & Sciences in Philadelphia, and at age 32, he was the youngest to serve. Today he has dedicated more than 50 years to the organization. In 1983 he joined the board at Hawk Mountain, and when long-time chairman Joe Taylor stepped down in 1991, he turned the reins over to Minturn, and during a new era for the Sanctuary. The position of curator had just been eliminated, and the board hired new Executive Director Cynthia Lenhart. Serving as chairman from 1992 to 1997, Minturn led the organization through this time of transition, as Hawk Mountain moved forward its global mission, and began to grow its science and training program.

Outside the Mountain, Minturn has been a passionate birder and spent decades traveling the world to add new species to his list. He and Frank Gill authored on behalf of the International Ornithological Congress the widely popular, “Birds of the World: Recommended English Names,” the book that is still supplemented by a website, the IOC World Bird List, and continues to provide regular updates to the published material.

Minturn’s life list includes 5,880 species, but he points out that there are more than 10,000 species to look for, and any travels now are solely to search for endemics. He resides in Lafayette Hill near Philadelphia where he continues to enjoy the outdoors and local birding excursions.

Baker Tilly