homepage logo

CROW holds annual Membership Meeting

By Staff | Apr 10, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, Cynthia M. Hawkins, Board President Paul Ben-Susan and Darren Grotrian.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel held its 2018 Membership Meeting on March 27 at the Visitor Education Center, with members, staff and the board of the directors in attendance.

There was an introduction of new and returning board members and a review of 2018 achievements.

Two new board members were elected, Darrin Grotrian and Cindy M. Hawkins.

Grotrian is assistant manager and assistant vice president at Bank of the Islands. A graduate of Manchester University with a degree in business management and a Certificate of Entrepreneurial Thinking, he serves as treasurer for the Sanibel Community Association. In 2015, he was selected to represent the bank at the Florida Bankers Association Emerging Leaders, Washington D.C. Fly-In.

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

PHOTO PROVIDED The 2019 board officers are: Lynne Birdt, secretary; Dave Nichols, vice president; Cindy M. Hawkins, treasurer; and Paul Ben-Susan, president.

Hawkins is a shareholder, president and member of the board of directors of Wiltshire, Whitley, Richardson & English P.A. She joined the 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 bachelor’s degree in business administration and Master of Accountancy in taxation, Hawkins is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a recipient of the Elijah Watt Sells Award. A Florida resident since 1972, she is a member of the board of United Way Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties and is past president and treasurer of the Pilot Club of Fort Myers.

The 2019 board officers are: Paul Ben-Susan, president; Dave Nichols, vice president; Hawkins, treasurer; and Lynne Birdt, secretary.

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

Executive Director Alison Charney Hussey, Medical and Research Director Dr. Heather Barron and staff veterinarian Dr. Robin Bast presented the following from CROW’s 2018 highlights:

– In the summer, harmful algal blooms devastated the coast of Southwest Florida. As a result, CROW admitted over 500 patients exhibiting symptoms caused by the toxic algae. The 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 was 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 a local media outlet’s People of the Year Awards.