Friends of Myakka River
The Board of Directors of Friends of Myakka River is pleased to announce that we recently appointed Miri Hardy, PhD, as our first Executive Director.
With over 25 years of academic and global business experience, Miri brings an extensive background in strategic planning, marketing and education to our organization.
Driven by her passion for protecting Wild Florida, she recently worked with Save Our Seabirds, where she conceptualized an educational bird-themed playscape. On their behalf, she also wrote a weekly feature for The Longboat Key Observer about birds, threats they face in our environment, and how we can protect them.
This past year, Miri worked with Friends of Myakka River to increase our social media impact. Thanks to her engaging environmental education posts, videos and photography, she grew the Friends' Social Media following by 22%, and reached over 90,000 individuals; an increase of over 2122%. She also spearheaded new programming to build meaningful, and lasting connections with Myakka.
“We have grown from the beginning vision of our founder Dr. Mary Jelks, (Dr. Mary, as she was affectionately called), to where we are today; a well funded organization, supporting Myakka River State Park, one of Florida’s largest state parks, and the Wild and Scenic Myakka River.” noted Miles Millwee, President of the Friends of Myakka River. “And moving forward, with the creativity and strategies that Dr. Miri brings to our team, we'll be able to achieve an exciting new level of impact, especially in the areas of outreach, community engagement and education”.
In her new role, Miri is working with the board to develop and implement a strategic plan for the organization, which includes building awareness about Friends of Myakka River, further increasing the non-profit's impact through environmental education, and continuing to ensure the organization's long-term financial viability.
A Sarasota resident since 2014, Miri holds a PhD in Social Psychology from Washington University in Saint Louis. She is happiest exploring Wild Florida, oftentimes on her bike, and capturing its beauty through the lens of her camera.
Photo by John Jones
Thanks to volunteers and Friends members Earl Cross and Tom Adler for installing the bicycle work station in the south parking area and bicycle parking docks at the visitor center.