The Arizona Mushroom Society is an all-volunteer organization that operates to further its goals of education, scientific discovery, and charitable support. The organization has up to 7 at large board members on its Board of Directors that have 2-year terms. Each year, the Society holds elections to fill those board positions that have come to term. At this time there are 5 board positions up for the vote.
Changes to the AMS
This year AMS President Mike Dechter has met his 3-year term and will be stepping down from the board as well. Current board members Terri Clements and Chris May have completed their 2-year terms and have chosen to step down as well to let others have a chance. All three of these folks will continue to participate and volunteer with AMS to serve its members and meet its organizational goals.
Who Can Vote
Each AMS membership has the ability to vote. Since an AMS membership covers your entire family, that means one person from each family (i.e. voting party) covered by a membership can vote. Please make sure that only one person per membership participates in the voting. Each voting party can cast as many votes as there are board position up for election. Thus, for this election, each voting member has 5 votes.
Who Are the Board Candidates?
We are extremely fortunate to have a number of current AMS members who are willing to roll up their sleeves and join the team. To be clear, ANYONE can volunteer to help AMS, but it is the Board of Directors that manage the financial resources and guide the organization on how to serve its mission and its almost 900 members.
The following are the candidate statements by those who accepted nominations to be on the Board of Directors for 2021 through 2023:
How To Vote
Sarah Douthit - About a decade ago, I became intrigued with the idea of self-sufficient and sustainable living. That intrigue was fueled by finding the joy of mushroom hunting. For me, mushrooms are not simply tasty treats from the forest. They represent the interconnectedness of all living (and dead) things. I became obsessed with how mushrooms fit into my desire for self-sufficiency. Mushrooms also bring like-minded people together. I'm fortunate to have met many wonderful people through AMS. I hope to return the favor by bringing fun and a sense of wonder to the Board. I don't pretend to be an expert, but learning together is half the joy of the journey. I look forward to helping further the mission of AMS.
Lori Perrone - I am interested in being a board member because I think AMS is a fantastic organization. From the very beginning people in AMS have been very friendly and helpful in learning about the world of amateur mycology in Arizona. The forays I’ve gone to were fun and informative and opened my eyes to a whole new world. My background is in Leadership, Finance and Technology. I feel my experience can help AMS grow and increase awareness of this great organization and everything Arizona has to offer in the mushroom world.
Kathy Babcock - I was a member of the original Arizona Mushroom Club. Mushrooming was a social and learning adventure in the forest back then. Dr Leathers was a wonderful mentor. As time has gone on the “Club” now “Society” has taken on new life both in areas of interest and in growth of membership. My husband Ross and I are particularly interested in scouting and providing information for foray destinations. I would appreciate your vote!
Sarah Jean Richetto - I have served in many different volunteer positions with several non-profit organizations and enjoy spending time doing things I am passionate about. I am currently the Youth Camp director for my church and run the planning, budget, activities and teaching for 20+ girls. I also have experience with 2 non-profit ballet studio's and help with PTO activities at the neighborhood elementary school. Though I am new to this group, I have long been enthusiastic about mushrooms, their cultivation and hunting. Hiking, jiu jitsu, and backpacking are my favorite hobbies.
Chad Borseth - I am honored to be considered to serve on the board for the Arizona mushroom society. As a life long resident of Arizona I am well versed in foraging and navigating the diverse Arizona lands. I have worked in the non profit sector for the better part of a decade (previously with Native seeds SEARCH and now with Ben's Bells project). While I don't consider myself an expert in identification, I can identify the top choice mushrooms and their season/habitats in our state. I have also taught an ultra basic oyster mushroom cultivation class at the pima county libraries. Mycology and earth sciences are a passion and a life path of mine. In closing, I am happy and honored to be considered for a role on the board of directors for the Arizona mushroom society.
Michael Colosimo - I found a passion for wild mushroom foraging first in 2016 while visiting a friend in Denmark and was instantly hooked. After the exciting knowledge that was passed on to me there, I brought the passion back to Arizona. I was a guest on an AMS foray in 2017 then joined the AMS in 2018. I am dedicated to expanding safe learning and scientific research through the AMS to the Arizona community. I have been involved in many forays, the AMS Facebook group and have started to volunteer for the AMS when time and opportunities allow.
David Tomich - Mushroom foraging has been a great passion of mine since discovering the hobby (obsession?) six years ago — it combines three of my favorite things: hiking, the forest, and foraging delicious wild foods. I especially love teaching beginners and children about fungi, and my children have all become avid mycophiles. I would be honored to join the Arizona Mushroom Society Board of Directors to help our organization continue furthering the love of our hobby and scientific understanding of AZ fungi.
The "ballot" will be sent out via email electronically on Saturday, December 5, 2020. One person from each AMS membership will be able to choose up to 5 choices for board members by logging in to the website via the link in the email.