The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has bestowed its highest honor, the Eagle Award, to Lynne and Chip Shotwell. The award was conveyed at the Conservancy’s Annual Meeting for members Jan. 18. In addition, five new board members were elected.
The Shotwell’s history with the Conservancy dates back to Lynne’s father, Elmer Wavering, a boat captain and early supporter of the Conservancy in the 1960s. Through the years, her family became more involved, and Lynne served on the Conservancy’s board and chaired the Magic Under the Mangroves event. Lynne was a cabinet member during the Saving Southwest Florida campaign, and she and her husband are invaluable advisors and donors, supporting many projects, including the Shotwell Wavering Family Filter Marsh, the advocacy fund, and a new vehicle for the python research and removal efforts capable of going deep into the swamp. Their son Henley is also involved, co-chairing the RedSnook fishing tournament for three years. The couple also established one of the first-ever endowments that supports policy work at the Conservancy.
“One of the things that the policy department so appreciates about Lynne and Chip is the fact that they are not scared away by a fight,” said Nicole Johnson, director of environmental policy for the Conservancy. “They understand that some of the most important issues that the Conservancy engages on might not be easy, and there are going to be battles, but they are behind us and committed to us 100%. Their support ensures that we have the tools and resources we need when we are engaging in some of these difficult battles on the policy front.”
The Conservancy’s Eagle Award is the highest award presented to the individual or group whose work and actions protect the natural environment and quality of life in Southwest Florida. Past recipients have made their contributions in many ways, including philanthropy, grassroots activism, art and conservation leadership.
In addition, five new board members were elected at the meeting:
- Christian Campbell, who previously served as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of YUM! Brands from its formation in 1997 until his retirement in Feb. 2016. Campbell oversaw all legal matters at YUM and was responsible for the oversight of YUM purchasing as a director of YUM’s purchasing cooperative with its franchisees. Prior to joining YUM, he was a senior vice president and general counsel at Owens Corning, a leading global producer of fiberglass insulation and composite building materials. For the past two years, he has been active as a member of the Conservancy’s Environmental Affairs Committee, the Legal Advisory Group and a strong financial supporter.
- Sheila Demkovich has volunteered in the von Arx Wildlife hospital since 2007 and is vice chair of the Wildlife Committee. She helped develop routine lab tests for animal parasites with the help of the Conservancy’s veterinarian, and she trains interns to perform this testing. Sheila has been an avid bird watcher for more than 50 years, including international travel. Her North American life list is near 500 species and her world life list is 1,000 species. Demkovich and her husband Paul have invested in numerous key projects and programs at the Conservancy over the years.
- Linda Grijalva has a special interest in Everglades restoration and environmental policy, serving on the Magic Under the Mangroves and Environmental Affairs committees. She is a former Naples Children & Education Foundation trustee and grant committee member. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, Daughters of the American Revolution (Big Cypress Chapter), naturalization committee chair, and patron at the Central Park Conservancy and New York Historical Society. With a black belt in Shotokan karate, Grjalva was a USA Karate Federation Senior Women’s National Champion.
- Cedric Shaw retired as group president from Illinois Tool Works of Glenview, Ill. in 2015. He was responsible for the Signode Americas Industrial Packaging businesses, including Software technologies and world-wide innovation leadership. Prior to that, Shaw served in multiple high level corporate positions. He was a four-year letterman and team captain for the University of Iowa football team. Shaw has been active in the Environmental Affairs Committee of the Conservancy and believes strongly in its environmental education endeavors.
- Roger Weston served as the chairman, president and chief executive officer of GreatBanc, Inc. He currently serves as a director of numerous public and private companies. He is an avid fisherman and when in Naples fishes nearly every day. Roger and his wife Pam have supported the Conservancy though Magic Under the Mangroves, and he has participated in python necropsies since being introduced to the work of the python team last year. He is a life trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, collects Asian art, and has donated many pieces to that museum. The Roger L. and Pamela Weston Wing and Japanese Art Galleries, which opened at the museum in 2010, displays many of those pieces.
About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 57-year history focused on issues impacting water, land, wildlife and the future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.