They say a team is only as strong as its leader, which explains a lot here at Bird Watcher’s Digest. Our team has faced an unusual amount of adversity in the past couple of years, none more so than our president and publisher, but we—and she—are stronger than ever. Thriving actually!
In March 2019, Wendy Clark took the reins of BWD, and she has been ably guiding us forward through loss and change since. In Wendy’s words,
I’m glad that the Universe doesn’t allow us to see too far into the future. The past three years have included the loss of the two people I loved most in this world (other than my children), plus two other dear family members. These huge losses, along with the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our business and our planet, have been the most traumatic events of my life. But fortunately, that’s not where the story ends! I’m a fighter and a realistic optimist. I’m always looking onward and upward, not gazing in the rear-view mirror fretting about the “what-ifs” and “what-might-have-beens” of life. The past is the past, and life is happening now, in this very moment.
I’ve experienced so many joys and blessings in 2019 and 2020! I’ve gained a new granddaughter, another daughter-in-law, moved to a new house in Marietta, entered a new relationship, and have made a new, unexpected career move as the president and publisher of BWD. Through birding, I have made countless friendships with folks all over the world who are truly my global birding family. I work with the best staff in the world at Bird Watcher’s Digest, and we’ve stuck together through thick and thin, with the full support of one another both personally and professionally.
Life is hard, but life is good. I’m learning to live in the moment, and I’m grateful for family, friends, birds, and nature, and for life itself.
My life motto is “All You Need Is Love,” and that will always be the most important thing to me.
Wendy was introduced to birding in 2009, while working for Lakeside Chautauqua in northern Ohio, managing BWD’s Midwest Birding Symposium. Her spark bird was the scarlet tanager, though it’s difficult for her to pick one favorite bird. “Honestly, my favorite birds are the most common birds I see year-round in Ohio,” she says. “That may sound silly, but these all-season birds are amazing to me. Robins, chickadees, cardinals, blue-jays—these are truly my favorites. I love that they are survivors, made to endure all seasons, they are steady and ever-present, and they are familiar to me. These are my favorite birds.”
Wendy’s career in the birding industry has taken her around the world, and again, it’s difficult to pick a favorite destination: “Every time I travel for birding, I’m blown away by the experience. I’d have to put three tours at the top of my list of favorites: Extremadura, Spain in February 2015, Arctic Norway in June 2018, and the Santa Marta region of Colombia in December 2019.”
And she still has lots of places she’d love to see: “My bucket list is as big as the planet, but a few destinations I’m keen to visit are Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Eastern Europe, Japan, and Scotland. To name a few!”
As Wendy mentioned, her growing family is her world, and she’s introduced them to the birding world as well. Wen is “Mimi” to grandson Emerson (almost 4) and granddaughter Cora (18 months), who much to her delight are already young birders, and her daughter Hope and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law Alex are new birders, too. Wendy also has two sons, Spencer, who is married to daughter-in-law Casie, and Cooper. Life as Mom and Mimi certainly keeps Wendy’s heart full!