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Board of Directors - Biographies

Elison, Glenn - Glenn was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. in wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a M.S. from Washington State University. Glenn was commissioned in the Navy in 1972 when he and his new bride, Denice, were assigned to Adak, Alaska. Following his separation from the Navy in 1975, Glenn began his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. His initial assignment was with the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge on Amchitka Island on the far side of the International Dateline. Glenn managed the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge following its establishment in 1980. In 1983, Glenn began a ten year tenure as refuge manager for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during the most contentious period in the long debate over oil and gas development on the Refuge's Coastal Plain. Glenn's final assignment with the FWS was as assistant regional director for statewide wildlife and land management programs. Glenn was the lead Service negotiator with the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council's habitat protection program. Ultimately, 300,000 acres of key salmon, brown bear and other fish and wildlife habitat were added to the Kodiak, Kenai, Alaska Maritime and Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuges.

Glenn is currently the Alaska State Director for The Conservation Fund, a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to habitat protection. He and his wife, Denice, reside in Anchorage. They are the proud parents of two grown children, Heather and Travis. They are avid Alaska wilderness travelers. Glenn continues to indulge his life long passion for fishing, hunting, hiking and river rafting.

Fowler, Ronald - Ron Fowler was born and raised in Texas where he grew up in Houston and Abilene.  He received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University.  In January, 1965 he started his career with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Venice, Louisiana.  He served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army in both Korea and Viet Nam.  He returned to the Service in 1969 at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina.  He returned to Texas A&M and was awarded a M.S. Degree in Recreation Resources Development in 1972. He was then assigned as the Assistant Refuge Manager at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia.  In 1974, he returned to Louisiana where he was assigned to the Ecological Services Field Office in Lafayette.  In 1977, he moved to the Washington Office where he served in the Division of Refuge Management and the Division of Realty.  In 1986, he was assigned to the staff of the Presidents Commission on Americans Outdoors which was chaired by Governor Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. In 1987, he returned to the Division of Realty, where he coordinated the Service's Land Acquisition Priority System. In 2009, he retired from the Fish and Wildlife Service with 45 years of Service.  He and his wife Bonnie, live in Arlington, Virginia.

Hultman, Don - Don Hultman was born and raised in Minnesota.  He received a B.S. in Communications and Wildlife and a M.A. in Education from the University of Minnesota after serving two years in the United State Marine Corps.  Don spent 30 years working for the National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  He worked at refuges in Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Montana; has held supervisory positions in the Twin Cities Regional Office; and was Deputy Chief of Refuges in Washington, D.C.  Don's last assignment was Refuge Manger of the 240,000-acre Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge based in Winona, Minnesota and Refuge Supervisor for eleven other refuges on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.  He retired June 3, 2009.

In 2007, Don received the "Refuge Manager of the Year" award from the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and received the Department of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award the same year.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, gardening, writing, and practicing wildlife management with his wife Lauri and daughter Sarah on their small hobby farm near Trempealeau, Wisconsin.  

LaRiviere, Florence - Florence is a native Californian. She obtained her B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1945. She has been an advocate since 1960 for the preservation of San Francisco Bay and its marshlands. Only a National Wildlife Refuge seemed adequate to protect those priceless lands, and she belonged to the group that lobbied Congress repeatedly until the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1972. Since wetland losses in that highly urbanized area continued, in 1985 she co-founded and has chaired since, the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, which again lobbied for legislation, enacted in 1988, that expanded the authorized size of the Refuge, doubling it to 43,000 acres. Since that time, she has continued her volunteer efforts for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge protecting lands until they can be acquired. Her committee has been the recipient of state and local awards as well as several from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented in Washington D.C.: The National Wetlands Conservation Award 1991, Outstanding Contribution Award for Dedication to the Principles of Conservation and Wise Resource Stewardship, 1993, and Special Commendation in Recognition of Exceptional Contributions to the Service, 1997.

Neely, Burkett - Burkett worked for an oil exploration company in the Rocky Mountain States and Alaska for 6 years. The seismograph work was sometimes performed on and around National Wildlife Refuges. One significant job was on the Kenai NWR in 1958, which was the beginning of the oil boom on the Kenai Peninsula. This was his first experience in dealing with NWR regulations and special permits. Burkett also served a two year tour of duty in the U. S. Navy. In 1963, he returned to college at the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a BS degree in Biology and graduated in May 1965. He immediately went to work for the FWS as a Refuge Manager Trainee at Savannah NWR on June 1, 1965. In June 1967, Burkett was promoted and transferred to Mattamuskeet NWR as Assistant Refuge Manager. During his time at Mattamuskeet, he also served as the Coordinator for an intensive, 10 week basic training course for Summer Trainees for two summers. In February 1971, Burkett was transferred to the position of Refuge Manager at Cape Romain NWR. During his time at this refuge, he was involved in a sea turtle egg transplant program which was an effort to reestablish Loggerhead Turtle nesting on Chincoteague, Back Bay and Pea Island NWRs. Burkett also was a member of the Eastern Brown Pelican Recovery Team. In August 1974, he was reassigned to Pee Dee NWR to begin initiation of the development phase of the relativity new refuge. In October 1976, Burkett was transferred to the Washington office and was assigned to the Branch of Planning. One of his duties there was to finalize justification packages for proposed wilderness areas on refuges for presentation to Congress for consideration. In October 1978, he was reassigned to the Alaska Native Claims Office as Deputy Chief. Burkett served as Acting Chief of that office from May 1980 until March 1981, during which time the Alaska National Interest Lands Act was passed. In March 1981, he transferred to Loxahatchee NWR as Project Leader. During this period, he was involved in the Everglades Water Quality lawsuit in which the United States sued the State of Florida for allowing water to enter Loxahatchee NWR and Everglades NP in violation of State water quality standards. He received the Meritorious Service and the Distinguished Service awards for his role in this issue. Burkett remained at Loxahatchee until his retirement in 1998, after 33 years of service in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Redfearn, Don - Don started his career with Refuges on June 30, 1950, as a Clerk-typist at Bitter Lake NWR. His "friends and neighbors?" selected him to spend a two-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps from March 1952 - Feb. 1954. A transfer to Bear River Refuge as Clerk-typist kept him busy until September 1954, when he enrolled at Utah State University. He received his BS degree in wildlife management in March 1958. He kept his foot in the door during college by spending summer of 1955 with Research (Botulism studies) at Bear River, student trainee at Bosque del Apache in 1956, and student trainee at Monte Vista NWR in 1957. He also kept bread on the table by working fall weekends on the hunter check station at Bear River, 1954-57. 

Don was reinstated as permanent employee on March 10, 1958, as Refuge Manager Trainee at Monte Vista NWR. He transferred to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in April 1960 as Assistant Refuge Manager. From there he transferred to Ouray NWR, Vernal, Utah in 1961 as Refuge Manager. He went to Albuquerque Regional Office in January 1964 as Chief of Master Planning - Region 2, then became Asst. Regional Supervisor early in 1965. The next transfer was to Refuge Manager, National Elk Refuge, in Feb. 1966. His next post was Regional Supervisor, Alaska Refuges, in June 1977, and retired on September 30, 1982. Don has been a Volunteer for Refuges at Togiak, and resident volunteer at Arctic, Bosque del Apache, and Midway Atoll.

Reffalt, Bill - Bill served on National Wildlife Refuges in Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico before working as a wildlife biologist in the Albuquerque Regional Office of the Fish and Wildlife Service. After transferring to the Washington, DC office in 1973, he supervised the FWS staff that helped design and plan new and expanded refuges in Alaska, and assisted the Department's legislative support that led to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, adding 54 million acres of prime wildlife habitats to the Refuge System. He then served two years as the Chief of Refuges and two years as Chief of the Division of Wildlife Management prior to leaving the FWS in 1984, after 26 years of federal service. Bill then served as the Program Director for National Wildlife Refuge System programs at The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC. Following nine years in that role, he served another four years with the Society as the Program Director for National Parks and Alaska Lands. All of these positions involved extensive legislative work with the Congress, and networking and coalition building among key wildlife conservation organizations and the grassroots. He retired in 1999, after nearly 40 years of work associated with wildlife conservation and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Bill remains actively involved in those important issues even in retirement.