Heidi McCree Becomes New Audubon Florida Board Chair

McCree will be the first female Chair since 1999 when Florida Audubon Society merged with National Audubon Society to become Audubon Florida.

Audubon Florida has named Heidi McCree as Chair of its Board of Directors, effective January of 2021.

Heidi McCree, residing in Tampa, is an attorney who has been involved in water and land conservation policy throughout her career. Heidi is a member of Leadership Florida, Class XXV, and she was honored in 2009 with the Audubon Florida, Women in Conservation, Special Places Award. McCree has served on the Audubon Florida Board of Directors since 2014, serving as Vice Chair since 2016, and chairs the Policy Committee.

Building on a Legacy

Women have long been a driving force at Audubon. The very first Audubon societies were founded to stop the whole-sale slaughter of Florida’s wading birds to feed feathers into the women’s hat trade.

In 1920, Katherine Tippetts - already a leader within St. Petersburg Audubon - became president of the Florida Audubon Society. She had already convinced Pinellas County to create 11 municipal bird sanctuaries, and within three years of her presidency, helped establish 30 more municipal sanctuaries, including the designation of all of Volusia County as a bird sanctuary for a 2-year period.

Leah G. Schad from West Palm Beach served as a board member in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and eventually as Chair of the Florida Audubon Society Board of Directors. She was active in initiatives to establish and sustain Preservation 2000, Forever Florida, and other efforts to conserve environmental lands. Notably, Schad served on the South Florida Water Management District board at a time when crucial decisions were being made about the future of the Everglades.

McCree Brings Wealth of Experience to Chair Position

McCree served on the Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board from 2000 through 2008. In 2005, she was unanimously elected as the first female Chairperson of the Governing Board.  She was also appointed to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council as well as the Foundation and to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program Policy Committee. She is a Founder and past President of the Tampa Bay Conservancy, was President of the Preserve Hillsborough campaign, and is involved in Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, among other local Tampa Bay community organizations.

McCree received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and a juris doctor from George Mason University School of Law in 1992.

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