Our Board and Advisors
Diane Tomecek, President & Secretary
Diane began her non-profit career with The Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO. Diane’s skill at problem-solving and attention to fine detail combined with her big-picture outlook make her an asset to nonprofit organizations.
Diane has spent the last fourteen years working and volunteering for many nonprofits including The Butterfly Pavilion, Family Tree, Inc., The Colorado Mountain Club, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Downtown Aquarium, The Community Resource Center, The River Otter Alliance and, most recently, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Via these nonprofit organizations, Diane has gained valuable experience regarding the nonprofit industry giving her the skills to succeed in a leadership position with the Sea Otter Foundation & Trust.
In her free time, Diane enjoys maintaining social media pages dedicated to otter education, long-distance running, animal and landscape photography and traveling to new locales.
Lillian Tomecek, Treasurer
Lillian has been involved with nonprofit organizations most of her life. Growing up in Baltimore, MD, she was part of the band and orchestra, where she met her husband. She began her many leadership roles at Hawthorne Elementary, where her three children attended. She loves to be involved with outreach that enhances people’s understanding and support of our world especially its ocean environments.
Lillian has been part of the financial support system of a number of organizations including various community organizations and the finance committee of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA. For many years, she has served as Treasurer for her church congregation in Baltimore and is excited to be involved with the Sea Otter Foundation & Trust.
David Tomecek, Grant Chair & Board Member
David has a history of supporting nonprofits and helping them move forward with his organizational, logistical and analytical skills. In 1990, he began a long association with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), assisting the Chapter at the University of Maryland and then the Rocky Mountain Chapter, serving on its Board of Directors as a Committee Chair, Member at Large, Vice President, President, and Past-President. He is also active with the technical committee program for the National Fire Protection Association, sitting on two committees responsible for three separate technical standards.
Additionally, he volunteers with Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum (Denver, CO), participating as a leader in the Restorations Department, coordinating and executing the ongoing projects assigned to the group. As well, he contributed to other museum projects, such as exhibit construction, events support and safety management. For that work, he earned multiple Volunteer of the Year nominations. At various times, he has lent his skills to the River Otter Alliance (Denver, CO), St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church (Baltimore, MD) and the Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster, CO).
Andrea Kiere, Board Member
Andrea resides in Monterey, CA and presently works at an acupuncture office. Her reasoning for moving to Monterey from Dallas was to be an intern with the SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation) program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which she did back in 2015 and loved it!
Prior to moving to central California, Andrea worked as a veterinary assistant for a private practice veterinarian in the Dallas, TX area, and volunteered weekly at the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Fort Worth Wildlife Coalition. Additionally, she served as a zookeeper for the exotic animals of Monterey Zoo when she first moved to the area. She is a current member of the American Association of Zookeepers.
Andrea knew from an early age that her life’s passion would be to work with animals. In 2010, she visited Seattle Aquarium where she fell in love with both the river otter and the sea otter. The sea otter, in particular, called to her heart just a bit more. Through much personal research, Andrea found new reasons to help save these beautiful creatures.
In addition to Andrea’s passion for working with animals, she cares greatly about a more green and sustainable planet, and she loves educating and helping others.
Kathy Sullivan, Board Member
Kathy attended Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA. While attending school she managed the Campus Store at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Living in Morro Bay for many years she became quite enamored at the antics of the otters in the Bay.
Kathy moved to Boulder in 1997 but did not leave her interest in otters behind. After doing some research about these protected mammals, she decided she wanted to volunteer in some capacity to aid research into this threatened species.
James Bodkin, Science Advisor
Jim was a research biologist and the leader for Department of Interior sea otter and coastal marine ecosystems research in Alaska until his retirement in 2013 and remains a scientist emeritus with the US Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center. He received degrees in biological science from Long Beach State University and California Polytechnic University (San Luis Obispo, CA). Jim has been studying sea otters and coastal marine ecosystems since 1977 and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Jim served on the federal recovery team for the Threatened Southwest Alaska sea otter population, served on the graduate committees of students at the MSc and PhD levels and served on boards and committees of regional and national science and conservation organizations. Jim currently operates a biological consulting firm and conducts long term monitoring of coastal marine food webs in the Gulf of Alaska and serves as an advisor to the Sea Otter Foundation and Trust.
Past board member, Andrew Johnson
SOFT extends its sincere appreciation to Andrew for his past service on our board. He assisted in the launch of SOFT and was an invaluable asset to us from 2012 through mid-2014. We could not have launched this organization without his insights, knowledge of the sea otter community and his expertise in the sea otter world.
Since 1997, Andrew has managed the Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Through the years, he has served on the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Implementation Team, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of The Otter Project, and the Board of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (San Diego Chapter), and he has edited feature and research articles as a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association’s Editorial Advisory Board. Additionally, Andrew belongs to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Society for Marine Mammalogy, and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association.
We extend appreciation to our other past Board members; especially Treasurer Cathy McGuire (2014-2017).