March 14, 2011, Chapel Hill, NC – Audubon North Carolina welcomes Heather Starck as the new Vice President and Executive Director of the nonprofit conservation organization. Starck has been the Director of National Audubon Society’s Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio, since 2004. In her new position, effective today, Starck replaces former executive director Chris Canfield, who became National Audubon Society’s Vice President for Gulf of Mexico Conservation and Restoration in September 2010.

“I am delighted that Heather has joined Audubon North Carolina as Executive Director,” said Joe Bearden, Chairman of Audubon NC’s Board of Trustees. “I look forward to seeing her commitment to birds, conservation, and Audubon in action. Her experiences will serve her well in this key leadership position.”

“My journey in the conservation field has been a great preparation to lead Audubon North Carolina,” said Starck. “As state director I will combine my passion for bird conservation and engaging people with my experience as a leader and with fundraising. I am honored to join such an amazing team of people and continue my career with Audubon.”

Starck led all efforts to create the new Grange Insurance Audubon Center, including developing the vision and business plan, completing a $14.5M capital campaign, managing design and construction of a LEED Gold certified 18,000-square-foot center, and assembling a talented staff that is winning awards for innovation in program design. All of the Center’s programs are directly working to meet conservation outcomes from the conservation plan developed for the Scioto River-Greenlawn Important Bird Area.

Starck played a prominent role in the community of Columbus, Ohio, serving on Mayor Coleman’s Green Team and Young Professionals Commission. She recently completed a fellowship for Emerging Women Leaders of Columbus and has served on a variety of task forces and host committees. New Audubon President and CEO, David Yarnold, selected Ms. Starck to serve on a steering committee of 12 people to draft a new strategic plan for the organization.

Starck began her career with National Audubon Society in 2000 when she managed the Everglades Education Center for Audubon of Florida. Working with students from the urban core of Miami, Starck and her team led field study programs in Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay National Park, and John Pennekamp State Park.

Ms. Starck received her Bachelors Degree from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She spent several years working on marine biology initiatives, including stints at the Miami Seaquarium and the Mote Marine Laboratory, where she worked on shark tagging studies and dolphin surveys. Ms. Starck also spent two years managing the Monteverde Butterfly Garden in Costa Rica. Starck is based at Audubon North Carolina’s headquarters in Chapel Hill.

Heather Starck - new Audubon NC executive director