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Photo by Tom Grey

Board Member Elections


Board Member Elections - June 2019

The Nominating Committee of the SCVAS Board of Directors nominates the candidates below for elected positions on the Board for the term indicated. New directors and officers take office July 1, 2019.


SCVAS members in good standing will be provided with instructions for voting electronically in June. If you cannot vote electronically, you have the option of coming to the Nature Shop at McClellan Ranch Preserve in Cupertino to fill out a paper ballot. Voting will conclude on June 30, 2019.


      Position & Term: President 2019 - 2020
Diane Hart describes herself as an adult-onset birder who makes up with enthusiasm for what she lacks in expertise. She has served on the SCVAS Board since 2011, becoming its President in 2017. She sits on most of the Board’s committees and is active on SCVAS’s Education Committee. Diane is a nationally recognized education author and assessment consultant. She has written 20 textbooks on U.S. history, world history, geography, American government, and economics, most of which are still used in schools across the country. She has also consulted widely on social studies curriculum, instructional design, and standards-based assessments. Her most recent project has been the development of cross-cultural competency tools to prepare government personnel heading overseas to work effectively with people from cultures different from their own. Diane embraces being out-of-doors, whether birding, gardening, cycling, or leading tours at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve where she volunteers as a docent. What she loves most about birding is that she can do it anywhere, from the ends of the Earth to the Safeway parking lot.

Position & Term: Vice President 2019 - 2020
Vivek Khanzodé has been interested in birds and nature since a trip to Costa Rica in 2009. The Resplendent Quetzal mesmerized him, and since then he has been traveling the US and the neotropics in Central and South America annually on nature themed vacations to capture the beauty of birds. Vivek has been a member of the SCVAS Board since 2011 and currently serves on the Executive, Membership & Development, and Nomination Committees. He brings to the Board the perspectives of both a committed birder and an engineering manager in the Semiconductor industry in the Silicon Valley. He is a strong supporter and active presenter in the Bay Area Bird Photographers group of SCVAS. In his spare time, Vivek photographs birds in the Bay Area and beyond. His bird photos have been published by the National Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, and several other conservation related organizations. His bird and nature photographs can be enjoyed at

  Position & Term: Treasurer 2019 - 2020
Bob Hirt has been on the Board since 2003 and as Past President serves on its Executive Committee. He is also active on the Birdathon, Finance & Investment, and Membership & Development committees. Bob has been involved in Bay Area Audubon activities since 1977 and has served on the Boards of Golden Gate Audubon (President), Farallon Island Foundation (Treasurer), and Friends of Richardson Bay (Controller) and Audubon Canyon Ranch. In his view, SCVAS is the leader in the South Bay in birding activities, wildlife education and environmental action. He sees SCVAS as assertive and collaborative in protecting bird and wildlife habitats. Bob earned an MBA in Finance at Western Michigan University and a CPA certificate while at KPMG in San Francisco. His business career was in Corporate Finance specializing in Corporate Tax and Treasury with Bank of America, Lucky Stores, Measurex, Solectron and ending at SanDisk. After retiring from his international tax consulting practice, he is devoting his time to SCVAS, birding, and his four grandchildren.
  Position & Term: Secretary 2019 - 2020
Joan Leighton has been on the SCVAS Board since 2004 and has acted as its Secretary for most of that time. She also serves on the Executive, Nominating, and Personnel committees. A professional librarian, Joan started her career at Harvard's East Asian Library, went on to manage the several libraries of a national accounting firm, and then came to Stanford where she oversaw many of the programs and services of Stanford's main and undergraduate libraries. Retirement was followed by three years with San Francisco's Koret Foundation directing a national book award program. Joan’s time is now spent birding while traveling, hosting emerging string quartets, collecting fruit stickers (one of the largest such collections in the world), and playing with family and friends up and down the California coast.
  Position & Term: Director at Large, seeking election for a 3-year term
Barry Langdon-Lassagne grew up at the foot of Mount Diablo in the East Bay where he would frequently hike and camp. He started actively birding in the 1980s in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He banded birds for SFBBO in the early 1990s and he's been participating in SCVAS's annual Spring Birdathon since 2005. Barry recently retired from a software engineering career at Apple after nearly a quarter century and now has more time to devote to his love of nature and conservation. He is excited for the opportunity to contribute more substantially by joining the SCVAS board and committees. He still enjoys programming, managing to combine it with birding by writing a bird check-listing app for the iPhone. His other interests include bird and wildflower photography, astronomy and astrophotography, and baking bread.
  Position & Term: Director at Large, seeking election for a 3-year term
Bill Walker has been birding in California since 1996 and photographing wild birds and their environment since 2003. He teaches bird photography at Google, Point Reyes Birding Festival, and the Coastside Land Trust. His photos are published on Instagram and at Bill joined the board in 2019 after years of participating in Spring Birdathon and Christmas Bird Counts. He serves on the Field Trip Committee. He credits the SCVAS 2012 trip to Costa Rica with opening a door to birding travel, which has been very rewarding. Bill has worked in software engineering at Apple, Cisco, Mozilla, and most recently, Google. Bill holds a PhD in Computer Science from University of Illinois, where he studied object-oriented software, jazz piano, and electronic music. Bill currently directs the choir at University Lutheran Church in Palo Alto.