Bird Rescue Center Leadership

BRC Executive Director, Ashton Kluttz RVT

Ashton Kluttz RVT

Executive Director

Current Executive Director at the Bird Rescue Center, Ashton Kluttz completed her BA in Environmental Studies at Washington College (Chestertown, MD), and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in January of 2018. She began her career as a wildlife rehabber at the Marine Mammal Center, where she served as a Stranding Intern (i.e., rescue and triage response). 

From 2009-2013 she worked at the Bird Rescue Center as a Shift Supervisor then took a position as Veterinary Assistant during 2012-2013 where she completed the hours required to attain certification as a Vet Technician. In the fall of 2013, she returned to BRC as Manager of the Rehabilitation Hospital and Director of Avian Care.  In 2019, Ashton advanced to the role of Executive Director.


Through consultation with other facilities and under her direction, BRC dramatically improved their release rates for difficult species such as California Towhees and House Finches. She co-wrote a chapter on towhee care that will be included in a wildlife care book due out in late 2019. Ashton has come to appreciate each individual species’ behaviors but also wonders how any of them survive in the wild given that they all misbehave in their own ways. In her spare time, she visits her family on the East Coast and enjoys taking photos of food on her dog’s nose.


Board of Directors

BRC Board Chair, Jeremy Nichols

Jeremy Nichols

Board Chairman

Jeremy Dwight Nichols graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving a B.A. degree with a major concentration in physics. His working career was spent in Silicon Valley as an engineer at several major electronics firms. At one of these firms, he met Laura Cline, who became his wife in 1976. He retired in 1997 and moved to Sonoma County, where he lives in a rural setting with his wife and two cats.


Mr. Nichols has been a volunteer at The Bird Rescue Center for ten years. He joined the board in 2013 and became chairman and president in 2014. He also volunteers for both Sonoma County Regional Parks and California State Parks and sits on the boards of the Sonoma County Historical Society, the Sonoma County Genealogical Society, and the Museum of Sonoma County.


BRC Board Co-Chair, Sam (Stephanie) Marsh

Stephanie (Sam) Marsh

Board Vice Chairman

Retired from a long career in international marketing and communications, Sam joined BRC’s Board of Directors in 2018. Having been a Bird Rescue Center ‘spouse’ for over 15 years (her husband, Brad Marsh is a long-time volunteer and the Raptor Release Coordinator) — it seemed time to make her involvement official. For many years she has put together presentations used in BRC’s outreach activities.


She has worked in a variety of industries with companies like Ketel One Vodka, CCH/Knowledgepoint (human resources software), Lowepro (camera cases) and Elements On The Plaza (day spa). Sam now uses her experience in business development and the skills she developed in marketing and communications to head up BRC’s Relocation project.


BRC Board Treasurer, Crystal Norris

Crystal Norris


Crystal Norris became involved with Bird Rescue in 1980 after a friend signed her up for a class and after meeting Martha Bentley (Bird Rescue Center co-founder) at an Audubon meeting. She was privileged to be part of that fledging wildlife center which has since been transformed into a well-run hospital and education center that takes in birds from several North Bay counties.


In the mid ’90s due to changes in regulations that California Fish & Wildlife was proposing, wildlife rehabilitators joined together to form the California Code for Wildlife Rehabilitators (CCWR), of which she is still an Honorary Board Member. Since 1998 she has also served on the Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission. The Commission receives funds from Department of Fish & Wildlife fines and dispenses funds in the form of grants in Sonoma County. Crystal returned to Bird Rescue in 2014 after attending some Heron and Egret releases, and in 2016 was asked join the Board of Directors.


BRC Board Secretary, Laura Smith

Laura Cline


Originally from Utah, Laura came to California in 1970. She worked for Hewlett-Packard for just under 25 years in marketing, manual revisions, and post-sales support for customers around the world.

Her love and respect for nature was instilled at an early age by her father, to the extent that and even now she would rather sit by a stream and watch the water striders magically walk on water than go to an amusement park.

After retiring from Silicon Valley and moving here to Sonoma County, she saw a piece in the newspaper asking for volunteers for Bird Rescue Center. She answered the call in February of 2005 and has been with the organization ever since.


In the ensuing years, and in addition to volunteering in the hospital and serving on the Board, she is the primary buyer for the Center — everything from food to office supplies — and applies her much-needed organization skills to keep inventory and order. She has taken on the logistics for the upcoming relocation and will be orchestrating the actual move when the time comes.

In addition to her work with BRC, from January through May Laura also volunteers out at Bodega Head with Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods watching for Gray Whales, helping others see them, and answering questions.


BRC Board, Janet Bosshard

Janet Bosshard

Board member

Janet Bosshard came to live in Sonoma County in 1974 to work for the Sonoma County Office of Education. After working as a vocational teacher assistant, she moved on to work for Marin County Parks and Open Space. Janet started in the Landscape Division and was promoted to Supervising Ranger, at McInnis Park, in 1981. After 28 years with Marin County, she retired and her passion for plants and wildlife led her to be a member of several environmental groups in Sonoma County. In the ensuing years, she has been an active member of Madrone Audubon, Sonoma Land Trust, Pepperwood Preserve, and a Bouverie Preserve docent.


She is the chairperson of the Lincoln School Bird Day event, involving Audubon Canyon Ranch, Madrone Audubon and the teachers from Lincoln School. At Bird Rescue Center, Janet has been a front desk phone team member volunteer. After several years absent, she is back and now serves on the Board and is acting Outreach Coordinator.


BRC Board, Dave Laurice (plus Great-Horned Owl)

Dave Laurice

Board member

More than six years ago, Dave Laurice joined the Bird Rescue Center as a Raptor Handler because he wanted to hold an owl like the people he had seen at the Sonoma County Fair. He soon realized this place would mean a lot more to him than that as he learned about more about these animals, their ecology, and our place in helping them. As a biologist and teacher of 21 years, Dave’s relationship with birds has furthered his dedication to the environment, his knowledge of our local wildlife, and his ability to teach stewardship to the young people and the community that he serves.


At this point, Dave is an avid birder, the Raptor Handling Program’s equipment maker, a new handler trainer, a Rehabilitation volunteer, a BRC Board Member, and a strong advocate of what we do at the Bird Rescue Center. He also still occasionally handles a bird or two.


BRC Board Member, Kathleen Stewart with resident Turkey Vulture Arnold

Kathleen Stewart

Board member

Kathleen was raised in Pasadena, California and attended college in Northern California. In the early ‘70s, she began working at fabled Chez Panisse in Berkeley, changing the course of her life. In 1980 she relocated to the Healdsburg area, and in 1987 opened the internationally-known Zagat-rated Downtown Bakery & Creamery.


Kathleen joined Bird Rescue Center in 2007 as a volunteer. After stints in rehab, admissions and wherever she was needed, she trained to become a raptor handler. She was invited to join the Board of Directors in 2008. Kathleen also serves on the Resident Raptor Committee, continues to handle and care for our resident raptor ambassadors and regularly presents these amazing birds to the public as part of BRC’s Education Program.


BRC Board, Larry Mathis

Larry Mathis

Board member

Larry is a Santa Rosa native, with lots of family in Sonoma County. A registered Mechanical Engineer in the State of Alaska, his background is in manufacturing, heavy construction and the power industry. He is also a licensed attorney at law here in the State of California.

A long-time outdoorsman, birder, and supporter of environmental causes; he joined the Board of Directors at BRC because of the “great work and service the organization provides to the area and the birds in their care.” He finds it fulfilling to work with the staff and volunteers at BRC and contribute to their success.

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