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Virginia Ospreys

Meet the Board

Joanie Millward

Joanie Millward, Executive Director

I have had a lifelong passion for wildlife and animals.   Even as a child, I would try to help injured birds, really not having any success but I tried.  I had plans of becoming a fully permitted wildlife rehabilitator after retiring from my career as Clerk of the Juvenile Court in Fredericksburg, Virginia.   We lived in a very rural area and I thought it would be perfect.  Little did I know then that my husband, Barry, and I would retire to Colonial Beach, Virginia and live right in the middle of town.  I knew being the rehabilitator I had planned on was not going to happen.

After moving to Colonial Beach in 2017 and having the opportunity to sit in my backyard and watch an Osprey pair build their nest, raise and fledge their young, I was totally in love with this raptor.  I read everything I could get my hands on, but Dr. Poole’s two books were my go to authorities.   When the opportunity came to be a part of the Osprey festival committee for the 2022 festival, I was all in.  In 2023 I chaired the committee and rebranded it to the Virginia Osprey Festival in Colonial Beach. 

Though I no longer hold my Category IV rehabber permit, Barry and I were privileged to capture and transport eagles, owls, vultures, a Red Tailed Hawk chick, a Coopers Hawk, a raccoon and Osprey chicks.  We were even able to do a release of a Great Horned Owl!  

I am a board member of the International Osprey Foundation chairing Outreach and Education.   My life is full and busy with everything I love.  Barry and I continue to learn about the wildlife that surrounds us and in particular, the Osprey.   I am retired and enjoy living in the best place in the world, Colonial Beach. 

Donna F. Ryan

Donna F. Ryan, Treasurer

Donna worked for over 20 years in the banking industry in Treasury Management Sales.  Her clientele consisted of Not for Profit, Government and Government Contractor organizations in the Greater Washington, DC area.  She retired from PNC Bank in 2016.

Donna currently lives in Colonial Beach, VA and is co-owner of the Colonial Buzz Espresso and Wine Bar.

Additionally, Donna is the volunteer Treasurer of Virginia Osprey Foundation, Colonial Beach Greenspace and Colonial Beach Rivah Dogs.

Jenny Grimes

Jenny Grimes, Secretary

Painter and fiber artist Jenny Grimes has been a part-time Colonial Beacher for 10 years. She, husband, and corgi are hoping to make CB their permanent home soon (once they figure out the whole downsizing thing).


Jenny is currently Treasurer of George Mason Friends, Inc., a friends of the library non-profit in Annandale, Virginia and is serving on the Board of Colonial Beach Greenspace as Membership Director.  Now retired, in her past life Jenny was a systems consultant and project manager in the energy industry.

Cindy Ligon

Cindy Ligon, Board Member

Relatively new to Colonial Beach, Cindy retired to Virginia from Nashville, TN in 2021.  She instantly fell in love with the river and, of course, the wildlife.  Smitten with the Osprey, she volunteered at the 2022 Festival and was hooked.  


A child development specialist by trade, one of Cindy's roles with the Foundation is to make learning about and advocating for Virginia's wildlife attainable to children of all ages. Connecting children to nature has positive benefits for child development but also creates good stewards for the natural world. 

Pam Narney

Pam Narney, Board Member

Pam Narney is an educator, naturalist, and Osprey lover. Pam’s love of Ospreys was one of the inspirations for the Colonial Beach Osprey Festival.  Through her presentations at festivals and blogs on The Colonial Beach Osprey Festival website, she has shared and spread that interest and love with many others.


Although not a trained scientist or ornithologist, she is an academic with a Ph.D., a teacher, and a certified Virginia Master Naturalist with a curious mind.  She has been observing Osprey for over 20 years.


It was love at first sight when she and her husband John bought a weekend house in Colonial Beach from which they could observe all kinds of Osprey activity.  Later when they settled permanently in nearby Placid Bay, they built an Osprey nesting platform right off their pier and have hosted an Osprey family ever since.

The two main sources Pam uses for her blogs and presentations are Alan F. Poole’s 1989 scientific study “Ospreys: A Natural and Unnatural History” and David Gessner’s lyrical and inspiring “Return of the Osprey.”

Michael Academia

Michael Academia, Science Advisor

Michael Academia, M.Sc. Biology - William & Mary, won the 2022 William Andersen Award at the International Raptor Research Conference for his research involving ospreys and the localized depletion of Atlantic menhaden in the Lower Chesapeake Bay. He is very passionate and dedicated to ospreys and citizen science. He has produced scientific articles regarding osprey diet composition, ecology, demographics, predator-prey relationships, and citizen science. 


Below are a few of his articles of osprey research: 

Food Supplementation Increases Reproductive Performance of Ospreys in the Lower Chesapeake Bay

Use of Nest Web Cameras and Citizen Science to Quantify Osprey Prey Delivery Rate and Nest Success


Deborah Newman, Web Designer/Marketing
She is the owner of Petite Taway Inc, a web design and social media marketing company specializing in working with small businesses and nonprofits. Deborah designs websites for a host of non profit organizations and businesses throughout the United States and abroad.  She provides social media and web management training, designs marketing materials, and creates fundraising plans. 

Deborah also provides direction, guidance, and training to aspiring entrepreneurs as well as our startup nonprofits. Her passion is helping people who have faced obstacles succeed in business and in life. She is a Buddhist and nature lover. 

Contact Info:

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