VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT – VICKIE OPENSHAW
By Megan Maynard
Vickie currently resides in Florida but was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her father was a petroleum engineer and their family moved often; from Oklahoma, to Texas and New Mexico. Her husband served in the U.S. Marine Corps and she worked for the Department of Defense, beginning her career in California as an accounts maintenance clerk. Paralleling her childhood, she and her husband moved often for their careers including overseas in Okinawa where their son was born. After moving up the ladder (several times) in her career her husband retired and they moved to Virginia in 1992 with a new agency, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), where she was a budget analyst and then budget officer. During this time she graduated with her degree in liberal arts from Virginia Wesleyan College. In 2006 she moved to Fort Lee, VA for her new role in Resource Management as Chief of Travel. In May of 2012 she retired and has resided at her current Brevard location since.
Her love for the area evolved many years prior to her retirement. Starting in the summer of 2003, she would visit her brother and his family in Satellite Beach. This would be the first summer in which she witnessed a loggerhead nest, and as she states, “she was hooked.” Soon this was a tradition and she knew then she wanted to move here upon retirement.
As soon as she was able, Vickie enrolled for Turtle 101 training so that she could begin volunteering for the loggerhead walks she had fallen in love with. She quickly volunteered for other events, absorbing as much as she could about the turtles. It was easy to make fast friends with others who shared their passion and vast knowledge. Fast forward to today and Vickie currently holds the secretary position on the STPS board as well Chairman of the Board. She is also the Turtle Krawl race director. She notes this race has grown to become Brevard’s largest 5K!
Vickie loves what the organization stands for and states volunteers can do as much or as little as they’re able; each volunteer determines their participation. She raves that the group is very warm, diverse, and welcoming with the commonality of saving sea turtles, education, and preservation. Anyone visiting Brevard County would be encouraged to visit the Sea Turtle House and learn more about the organization. Having been in existence for 30 years, Vickie is excited to see what the next 30 years holds for STPS.
|Vickie in 2013 during nesting survey; clearing a makeshift buoy from the beach. Photo by Margaret Weiss-Buell.|