Donna Whitehead, Center Director
Donna served as Office Manager for the Center for seven years before assuming the position of Interim Director, then Center Director. Donna has been a Master Gardener since 2000, and a Master Naturalist since 2004, engaging in community service through leading programs, working on community projects and advanced education. She served on the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau Holiday Experience committee. She is a member of Kiwanis Club of Joplin and an active member in her church, as well as serving on the Board of Connect2Culture.
Chris Pistole, Education Director
Chris, originally from Pittsburg, KS graduated with his B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from Pittsburg State University. After graduating he worked as the program director at NatureReach, a nature education outreach program in Pittsburg. During that time he coordinated Raptor Reach, a rehabilitation program for sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey. At the same time, he worked for the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center (Greenbush) with the Abernathy Science Education Center. Most recently he worked as a park naturalist with the Johnson Co. (Kansas) Park and Recreation District at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe, KS In Chris' free time you may find him bird feeding, hiking, camping, scuba diving, photographing nature, gardening or mountain biking.
Tara Danner, Development and Membership Coordinator
Tara is a lifelong resident of the Four State area and graduated from Missouri Southern State University with her BA in Marketing and Management. She has over 19 years of experience in marketing and management, strategic planning and analysis, and operational excellence. Tara is involved in Joplin Noon Rotary, actively serving on the membership committee, as well as active in JACC Young Professionals Network. In her free time, you can find Tara enjoying time with her family and friends, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Ken Middick, Buildings and Grounds Caretaker, Master Naturalist
Ken has been an Audubon Center Volunteer since 2007 before joining the team in 2011. He has volunteered on projects for the Neosho Fish Hatchery and special events for Children’s Miracle Network. He is a member of Leawood Village Church of Christ where he serves as Teacher and Music Instructor. Ken has taught CROAK (Creeks, Rivers, Oceans, And Kids) summer school classes for several years and has been a Master Naturalist since 2010.
Robin Standridge, Development and Volunteer Coordinator
Robin has worked with youth and adult volunteers with not for profit agencies in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma for the past 17 years. She worked as Director of Volunteer Services for Ozark Area Girl Scouts and served in the United States Army at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. Most recently Robin worked as the Drug and Violence Prevention Director for the Alliance of Southwest Missouri. Robin is a successful grant writer and enjoys helping her community grow through collaboration and partnerships.