2019 Board Members

Top LtoR:
Tricia Matthews, President
Chris Matthews, Board
 Rex Hanson, Secretary
 Cathy Eells, Board
Bottom Lto R:
Becky Hanson, Treasurer
Jolene Edwards, Board
Mary Jo Shumacher, Board
Kathleen McCarter, Vice President
Bob Christensen, Board

The Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge support the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
and its programs in cooperation with the USFWS, advocating for the lands under Refuge
management and for educational and restoration programs. The Friends envision the Refuge
as a destination for visitors from around the Treasure Valley as well as from across the
country and the world.
The Friends Board is dedicated to upholding the Friends Mission which is:

To promote, protect and provide resources to preserve and enhance Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Vice President

Kathleen attended the University of Idaho and graduated with a BA in literature from the University of Oregon. She also has an MA in secondary education and taught in the Meridian School District. She has been a member of Friends for several years and is passionate about protecting wildlife.


Tricia moved to Idaho from southern California in 1976, raised a family, and graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in Geography in 1986. She worked for the Idaho Transportation Department & the Las Vegas Water District. As a Master Gardener, she designed the Refuge's pollinator garden.

Board Member

Mary Jo is a native of the State of Washington. She served 3 years in the US Navy and received her BSN from BSU. She retired from the VA hospital, but still works as a contract nurse. She enjoys volunteering at the refuge, and has completed the educational phase of the Master Naturalist program.

Board Member

Bob has a BS & MS degree in Zoology. He is a retired biologist but continues to enjoy his interests by volunteering at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. He has been a member of the Friends of Deer Flat group since its beginning and was the treasurer for 7 years and is currently the president.

Board Member

Chris is originally from Detroit. He worked as a lab technician in the automotive paint industry and then in the retail paint industry. He also worked for Homeland Security at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Chris volunteers at Deer Flat NWR and with Idaho Fish & Game teaching kids to fish.


Becky is a 3rd generation Idahoan and graduated from the College of Idaho with a BA in Music (Piano). She was an oil industry "trailing spouse" and music teacher in Sudan, the UK, Nigeria, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Pittsburgh. Becky is also a Master Naturalist.


Rex grew up in Ohio. He graduated from Stanford University (BS - Physics / MS - Geophysics) and worked for Chevron as a geophysicist. He and his family lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Rex is a Master Naturalist and volunteers at Deer Flat NWR & the Orma J. Smith Museum (College of Idaho).

Cathy Eells
Board Member

Cathy is a native of Caldwell, Idaho. She and her husband Rick own the Hamburger Connection in Caldwell. Cathy is a charter member of the Friends of Deer Flat and has continued to be a committed member. She was the initial chairperson of the Grebe’s Nest nature store. She enjoys volunteering.

Jolene Edwards
Board Member

Jolene grew up in California and moved to the beautiful state of Idaho in 2007. Her favorite pastimes are hiking and painting. Jolene works as a purchasing analyst for D&B Supply. She enjoys volunteering at the refuge and has recently completed the Mater Naturalist Program.