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.
This year the President, Michael Colosimo, appointed a nomination committee to nominate candidates for the board. Those candidates on the ballot today include those that were nomindated by the committee and have accepted the nomination.
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. Since there are 5 board positions, each voting member would have 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 2,000 members.
Those who accepted nominations to be on the Board of Directors for 2022 through 2024 include existing board members Michael Colosimo, Kathy Babcock, and Chad Borseth. In addition, we have the following outstanding AMS members and candidates, including Sarah Douthit, Brent Ewasiuk, Jason Sartor, Jess Starwood, and Spencer Wimmer.
Current Board members David Tomich and Lori Perrone chose not to run for another term on the Board. We are incredibly thankful for their time and efforts with us!!!
Candidates for Board of Elections term to run 2023-2025
Michael Colosimo - Michael currently sits on the board of directors for the Arizona Mushroom Society as President and is running for re-election. Michael 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 him there, he brought the passion back to Arizona. He was a guest on an AMS foray in 2017 then joined the AMS in 2018. Michael is dedicated to expanding safe learning and scientific research through the AMS to the Arizona community.
Michael is dedicated to expanding future educational and foray offerings to current and new members. He currently works for Intel as a Disaster Relief Program manager and a volunteer and donation matching specialist. All of his volunteer time and board service for the AMS is matched by Intel, bringing in thousands of dollars by using his corporate and philanthropy experience to benefit the AMS.
Kathy Babcock - I was a member of the original Arizona Mushroom Club. Mushrooming was a fun social and learning adventure in the forest. Back then this included a small group of about 50 people. Dr Chester Leathers was our founder and a wonderful mentor.
As time has gone by the "Club" now "Society" has taken on a new life both in the growth of membership and in a deeper interest in the science of Micology.
My husband Ross and I are particularly interested in scouting the forest to provide information for foray destinations. We actively lead forays all 3 days of the Annual AMS event in August. Additionally we participate in helping lead "spot" forays as they are scheduled.
I, like you, eagerly anticipate the Monsoon Season and would consider it a privilege to serve on the Board for another term as we plan the events for 2023-25.
Chad Borseth - As a life long resident forager of Arizona I truly love sharing my knowledge and experience of the land with others in my community. I have spent much of my life in the outdoors from the canyons to the sky islands. I became fascinated by fungi several years ago and have led forays taught classes on easy at home cultivation for AMS and others in the community.
I have served on the AMS board as Vice president for two years, seeing substantial growth (of both members and fungi). I would be honored to continue serving on the board in whatever capacity that is helpful to the organization and it’s members
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.
In my professional life, I am the director of a governmental agency and have led numerous projects, events, seminars, webinars, conferences and trainings over the past 24 years. I have also chaired a non-profit organization in the recent past. I enjoy leading groups in educational settings.
Mushrooms 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.
Brent Ewasiuk - I have been an AMS member since 2016. I have volunteered as a foray guide since 2019. I am wanting to play more of a role in the AMS by applying for a board member position for 2023. My focus is on the mycology of AZ and to providing education to our membership.
I have been interested in mushrooms since I was 5 years old, when my family used to pick natural morels every spring on our land in Northeastern Alberta. I immigrated to the USA in 1998 where I furthered my interest in mushrooms in the mycologically rich environment of Flagstaff, AZ. I currently live in Glendale, AZ.
I have 30+ years of business experience in the roll of Vice president and owner of the small business, Medi-Temp, LLC that manufactures and distributes medical devices. I also work seasonally as a microscopic analyst for American Truffle Co. I was a volunteer for the Arizona Archaeological Society where I participated in Archaeological surveys for 4 years.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Mathematics from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. I am a Licensed commercial pilot, a PADI divemaster, and I have a broad range of interests.
Jason Sartor - My name is Jason Sartor and I am a candidate for the Arizona Mushroom Society Board of Directors. I've been wandering the Arizona woods for almost 40 years, but only in the last 7 or so years have I been learning about mushrooms. Mushroom hunting has become the joy of my life. The AMS is a wonderful organization and has been an integral part of my learning. I would like to be more involved. I have great appreciation for how the Society is involved in our Arizona community and I believe I have the enthusiasm and organizational skills to help it continue to be an important resource.
Jess Starwood - I grew up in Arizona, wandering both the deserts and the forests as a child, which fostered my endless love for nature and the outdoors. As an adult, I now equally enjoy sharing that passion with the community and helping to facilitate greater connections and deeper relationships with our environment. I am currently on the Culinary Committee for the North American Mycological Association and Newsletter Editor for the Los Angeles Mycological Society, and hoping to share my efforts now with my home state. I have a Master of Science degree in Herbalism and have been actively working with, researching and writing about wild foods, mushrooms and herbalism for over ten years. I am the author and photographer of Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager's Guide to Finding, Identifying and Using More Than 25 Wild Mushrooms, and lead wild food and foraging programs and events across the west.
Spencer Wimmer - I am a 21 year old mycophile and amateur naturalist based in Tucson. I’ve been growing and foraging for mushrooms for a little under 3 years now. After encountering my first wild mushroom shortly before the beginning of the pandemic, I started cultivating mushrooms and later foraging for them on Mt. Lemmon. I was enamored with the variety of shapes, colors, and functions that each mushroom fulfilled! I spent almost every free hour of every day reading about or cultivating mushrooms. Eventually this love of mushrooms led me to the Arizona Mushroom Society, where I have been lucky to learn from a plethora of kind, knowledgeable, and passionate people sharing their resources and information freely, much like our mycorrhizal mushroom friends.
Aside from mushrooms, I am also passionate about building community, education, and hands-on-learning. During my freshman year in college I helped to found the (modern) MycoCats club at the University of Arizona and have organized over a dozen mountain cleanup/mushroom foray alongside my brother.
Now, I hope to have an opportunity to give back to the community that has taught me so much through participating in the AMS board of directors. Aside from the typical duties, I am particularly interested in helping develop educational resources and fostering collaboration between AMS and other organizations. Although I am no expert in organization, I hope to bring my passion, enthusiasm, and drive to the AMS!
How To Vote
The "ballot" will be sent out via email electronically on Saturday, January 7, 2023. One person from each AMS membership will be able to vote for board members by logging in to the website via the link in the email.
Arizona Mushroom Society