Wood River Women's Foundation Sun Valley Ketchum Idaho
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September 2023 News Brief


Grants Spotlight 

Wood River Wolf Project

A black wolf from the Wood River Wolf Project area this season

In 2023, the Wood River Women’s Foundation awarded a partial grant of $2,200 to the Wood River Wolf Project. In prior grant cycles, WRWF has awarded a total of $38,018 to this organization when they functioned under the name Lava Lake Institute. Below Suzanne Asha Stone, Director of the International Wildlife Coexistence Network and Co-Founder of the Wood River Wolf Project, shares an update for our members. Check out this video for a taste of the wildlife they are working to protect.

Briefly describe what the Wood River Wolf Project does.

The Wood River Wolf Project, (WRWP), is a collaborative of community members, livestock producers, wildlife NGOs, and county, state, and federal agencies working together to use proactive, nonlethal deterrents to minimize conflicts between livestock and wolves.

The efforts to mitigate sheep and wolf conflicts started in 2007 with the first pack to return to Blaine County since the eradication of wolves nearly a century ago. In 2008, Suzanne Asha Stone who has long standing ties to Blaine County and has led efforts to restore and protect wolves in Idaho since the 1990s, along with Michael Stevens, the former manager of the Lava Lake Lamb and research institute, created the Wood River Wolf project. Blaine County Commissioners have supported these efforts since the project’s inception. The Project has since aided sheep herders in Blaine County to implement nonlethal strategies to successfully reduce livestock losses and protect native wildlife. The Project has effectively maintained the lowest loss of sheep and wolves where a high density of sheep and wolves overlap in the western USA.

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What are the current goals or initiatives for the Wood River Wolf Project?


Biodiversity around the world is rapidly dwindling largely because of competition with people over land-use that negatively impacts wildlife populations. The WRWP provides critical aid to local ranchers and long-term evidence needed for government land-use programs to adapt from killing native predators to sustainable, humane, and ecologically sound systems for maintaining healthy and diverse wildlife populations. The WRWP serves as a sound model demonstrating how people and wildlife can thrive in shared landscapes using proactive coexistence strategies that are sustainable over the long term. By working with Nature instead of against her, we are promoting nature-based solutions to effectively graze livestock in a wildlife-rich landscape. The Project will continue working to keep sheep losses to wolves at less than 0.01%, which is 90% lower than losses reported in similar areas where they do not consistently use proactive nonlethal methods.


We have found that using nonlethal methods reduces management costs and social conflict while maintaining the wolf’s important ecological contributions. The Project uses a wide range of deterrents such as increasing human presence, flexible grazing routes, livestock guardian dogs, Foxlights, noisemakers, and turbofladry, to prevent predator – livestock interaction which also benefits a wider range of local wildlife including bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and more by minimizing overall conflict between people and carnivores.


In addition, the Project seeks to bring people with different opinions and interests together to pursue common goals by engaging in stakeholder empowerment and trust-building.


How will this grant from the WRWF help you reach your goals/further your mission?


Every year that this project continues to demonstrate success builds the case for coexistence-based wildlife management over the archaic wildlife control methods of the past. This grant will help increase our local community outreach and sustain the Project’s mentoring of communities and wildlife and agricultural leaders both regionally and internationally. Our goal is to help change the paradigm of wildlife management to working with Nature, instead of against her.


What role does the Wood River Wolf Project play in our larger community?


No news is good news. Many residents are unaware of the Project because we’ve been so successful at minimizing wolf and sheep conflicts that there’s not much local news about them. That’s a good thing, but sharing the Project’s methodology and success stories helps protect wildlife and prevent livestock depredation elsewhere, too. The foundational research from the Project has helped establish landscape-level nonlethal methods as an effective alternative to the killing of predators across the US and in Canada, Israel, Germany, Greece, France, and beyond. Our methods have now been used to protect other species including snow leopards, dingo, puma, coyotes, and more. Downloaded over 2,000 times, our Project’s research study has been cited 77 times in 13 different languages in peer reviewed wildlife management publications worldwide. Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf–sheep conflict in Idaho | Journal of Mammalogy | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

Grantees in the News


Below is an excerpt from The Advocates email newsletter sent in July. Learn more about this Grantee at their website.

Today, The Advocates have 18 adults, 6 kids and 2 dogs living in the Crisis Shelter and 22 adults, 26 kids and 7 pets in Transitional Housing apartments. Shelter stays are up by 86%, which is helping more people get, and stay safe from abuse. This is only possible because of friends in the community who support the great work of this nonprofit.

Please help them meet their growing needs by dropping off any of the below items at The Advocates.

Wish List:

  • Cups, bowls, and plates
  • Silverware
  • Full-sized shampoo/conditioner/body wash
  • Amazon gift cards for needed shelter items
  • Coloring books
  • Art paper for painting
  • Chalk
  • Paint, preferably the washable kind
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stickers
  • Glitter
  • Play-Doh
  • Puzzles 
  • Books for different reading levels (English & Spanish)


Men’s Second Chance Living Director Sonya Wilander with husband Mats

2022/2023 Grantee, Men’s Second Chance Living, raised over $43,000 with its 2023 MSCL Pickleball Bash held this month at the Valley Club, the organization’s second edition of the tournament. “Thank you to all for supporting Men’s Second Chance Living,” MSCL Executive Director Sonya Wilander said. “Together, we can build a strong and healthy community for all.”

MCSL defines its mission as providing “an all-male, supportive, sober living environment for individuals who want to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle and advance on their path to a new and better life.” Funds raised from this event will go in support of the group’s programs and operations.

Retrieved from: Idaho Mountain Express here

Committee corner

Membership Committee Co-Chair Joy Prudek

WRWF’s Membership Committee is actively growing and engaging our membership! We are delighted to welcome more than 33 new members so far in 2023 while also rolling out the new renewal system with NEON One, the Foundation’s new membership management software.

We are extremely grateful for our members who volunteer, attend events and BRING GUESTS! This summer, we enjoyed the Member Appreciation ’Tini Party, the Annual Meeting & Grantee Celebration, and the Nine & Wine/Meet & Mingle. Attending events is a gratifying way to connect with each other and learn about our Grantees. They are key to engaging current members and recruiting new members both of which are critical to allowing us to amplify our impact throughout the community – it’s true that there’s strength in numbers!
The Committee’s newly created follow-up process with event guests is proving successful and is ensuring that everyone feels welcome. Additionally, our team will soon be piloting a mentor program for new members – stay tuned for details!
A number of enthusiastic new members signed up for the Sept. 11 New Member Orientation – our first in-person orientation since the pandemic! We will also continue to offer a Zoom version, with the next one in October.
Our next Meet & Mingle is Oct. 3 at Zenergy – we hope to see you there! Our fabulous team is busy planning future events and working to create outreach tools that make it easy for members to inform their friends about the benefits of WRWF membership while making the process of joining simpler.
We are excited to be growing as an organization and we invite any member, new or seasoned, to join in our mission-driven fun by attending a Membership Committee meeting or connecting with Co-Chairs LeeAnne Linderman and Joy Prudek directly. Our team motto is, “The more the merrier and the greater the impact!”

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There are so many ways to volunteer with the Communications Committee including recurring activities such as:

  • Producing the monthly News Brief
  • Managing our social media accounts
  • Media and influencer relations
  • Grantee co-marketing
  • Supporting events
  • Liaising with the Board
  • Collaborate with Committee Chairs
  • Event reporting-at-large & Photography
  • Photo compiling and organization

And our special projects:

  • Producing the yearly Community Report
  • Working with the Annual Meeting Committee
  • Redesigning of our website
  • Implementing a new client relationship management (CRM) system
  • Fielding an All Member Survey

Does making an impact through communications appeal to you? If so, we’d love to have you join our committee and contribute what you can, when you can and for as long as it works in your life! Take photos at events, interview grantees or new members, it’s all valuable and contributes to the News Brief our members love to read! We meet 1x a month and you are welcome to come in person or Zoom in! For more information, please send me an email at KPriceRico@gmail.com

new leadership

Welcome to three members who are stepping up to help our organization thrive: The WRWF Board is pleased to share that the following accomplished women are taking on leadership roles with our organization.

Tracy Kanowsky will be serving as non-Board member Grants Co-Chair with Sarah Lurie. Tracy has been a member since 2021 and has volunteered on both the Membership and Grants Committees previous to taking on this role. Tracy moved to the Valley from Santa Barbara where she served as a prosecutor in the Santa Barbara DA’s office and founded the Domestic Violence Unit as well as the Elder Abuse Unit. Tracy brings deep experience in non-profit work having served as a Board member for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Sea Center as well as volunteer work for Storyteller Children’s Center and the Crane Country Day School.

Joy Prudek has agreed to become our new Membership Committee Co-Chair. Joy has over 25 years in the Wood River Valley, is a new WRWF member and has been the Public Relations Manager for St. Luke’s since 2015. Joy also has extensive non-profit experience including with the Ice Dance International board, the US Bank Advisory Board and the Sun Valley Economic Development Board. Joy has previously served on the Swiftsure, The Advocates and Company of Fools boards and has a deep knowledge of not only our community but also its non-profits. We are excited that Joy is willing to share her commitment to the community with WRWF’s Membership Committee.

And last but certainly not least, Karen de Saint Phalle is joining the board as an At-Large Board Member. Karen has been a member of WRWF since 2018. She moved to the Valley in 2012 from NYC. Karen has served on the Finance Committee for 5 years and was instrumental in creating our new financial dashboard. Karen has an MBA and has worked in Finance and strategic consulting. She currently serves on the Boards of Wood River Land Trust, Wood River YMCA, Our Lady of the Snows Foundation and Finance Committee, plus Karen volunteers at the Hunger Coalition. Members will have the opportunity to approve Karen’s appointment to the Board in the Annual Meeting package that will be emailed soon.

WRWF continues to enjoy the support and engagement of highly qualified and talented volunteers to help advance our mission. The Board is grateful to Tracy, Joy and Karen for their willingness to share their time and expertise as we work together to support our non-profit partners throughout Blaine County. Welcome!


It’s MEET and MINGLE Time!

We are excited to meet and hear from WRWF Future Forward member, Abby Mills, Director of Development & Co-Facilitator of the Compassionate Leaders Program at Flourish Foundation in Hailey.

Come and learn more about Flourish Foundation and hear about Abby’s experience with the Compassionate Leaders Immersion Program in India this past summer.

Invite your friends to this interesting M&M gathering!

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM


No Host Bar & Select Menu Items for Purchase

Parking: Please use the lower parking lot that Zenergy shares with Bigwood Golf Course, which can be accessed off Thunder Trail Road. Zenergy will have its lower pool gate open for easier access to the Peak Poolside Grill, where we are holding the event. In the event of inclement weather, we will gather in the Yoga Studio which is also next to the poolside gate.


Meet & Mingle

Date: October 3
Time: 4:30 - 6:00pm
Location: Zenergy
*No host bar & bites


New Member Orientation

Date: October  12
Time: 4:00 - 5:15 pm
Location: Zoom only (link sent via email)

Follow up FieldTrip

Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: North Blaine County Fire District (more details to come!)

Philanos: PowerUP! Baltimore 2023 National Conference

Date: Nov 5-7
Theme:The Spark Igniting Collaboration


Holiday Gathering

Date: December 19
Time: 4:00 - 6:00pm
Location:Trinka Dyer’s home


Check the calendar on our website for updates

event recap

new member orientation

Over 2023, WRWF has proudly welcomed over 30 new members to our organization! On Monday, September 11, 12 of those new members gathered with 8 of our Board Members to learn more about our organization, how they can get more involved through volunteering, and shared backgrounds with each other.

Thanks to the gracious hospitality of Karen de Saint Phalle, our newest board member, we met in person in her lovely garden and had a chance to welcome our new members in person. It was wonderful to see the diversity in backgrounds, life journeys, and shared passion for our mission to give back and support a community that thrives for all and to do so with like-minded women. We welcomed Heidi Pesky Worcester, daughter of Wendy Pesky – a Founding Member of WRWF, two local nonprofit leaders, as well as new residents, long-time visitors, from all over the country.

Our next new member orientation, for those who could not attend in person this week, will be via Zoom on October 12, 2023. Email invitations should be in your in-box. If not, please contact the office at heidi.marcuswrwf@gmail.com.

A warm welcome to all new members and an invitation for all to bring forth their friends and keep our membership growing – the more members we have the more we can support our community!

Nine & wine

Golf participants gathered on the course for a group photo

On September 6, members and guests enjoyed WRWF’s Second Annual Nine & Wine at Elkhorn Golf Club. This year, the event was followed by a Meet & Mingle in the clubhouse where more than 40 friends and fellow members enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. The scramble format golf event provided low-key fun for any level of golfer. Winners included Jan Wygle, Kimberly Elwanger and Sharon Knight, who broke a three-way tie in the ‘card off’.

Alli Collins, the new Executive Director of Hospice & Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley joined as a guest speaker. In 2023, WRWF awarded the organization a $5,000 grant to help fund a much needed language helpline. In all, our grants to this important community partner total $49,000. Members and guests enjoyed the evening event and left knowing a bit more about an important organization that receives support from our collective group of donors, the WRWF members.

new members

We are delighted to extend a warm WRWF welcome this month to:

Shanon Aja
Heidi Pesky Worcester
Mikel Ward
Christine Brumback
Jovita Pina
Eva Wahl
Sharon Knight
Elizabeth Ellis
Bobbi Navarro
Debbie Tomin
Brandy Horwitz
Laurie Dodic
Laura Grabow

New WRWF members are invited to provide photos and a bit of information about themselves to share in the News Brief. We have so many interesting members and it is fun to read about everyone’s background. Thanks so much and we look forward to meeting you soon. Welcome!

New member spotlight

Sharon Knight

We are happy to welcome new member Sharon Knight. Here she shares a bit about herself:

When I bought a home in Sonoma, CA in 2013, I joined an organization very similar to WRWF called Impact 100 Sonoma, where I served on the Finance Committee for 6 years. I have found it to be a fantastic organization through which to make friends and to learn about and actively support the Valley’s nonprofits. I am hoping for the same outcome from WRWF as my husband John Hornbaker and I transition to living full-time in Sun Valley over the next 2-3 years.

I work as a growth strategist, board member, venture partner and angel investor to advance healthcare innovation and health equity with a focus on increasing wellness and preventing disease to improve health span. I have a BA in Economics from Smith College in Northampton, MA and an MBA in Finance from Kellogg at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. I began my career in commercial banking in Chicago and ended up in corporate finance with KFC in Louisville, KY and then Gap and Electronic Arts (“EA”) in San Francisco before becoming an operating executive through a 3-year stint with EA Europe in London, UK. In 2012, pivoted from gaming to healthcare and into the startup world when I joined One Medical (now owned by Amazon) as President. I am no stranger to relocating or to change. I am an avid tennis player and also love to play golf in the summer. I enjoy Nordic skiing in the winter and hiking at any time of year, weather and trails permitting, with my Italian Water Dog, Luna. My volunteer interests focus on women’s empowerment, health equity, independence for older adults, and community education through guest speakers.

BFF! Membership Initiative
WRWF BFF’s Barbara Thrasher, Joanne Wetherell and Sandra Flattery

Calling all WRWF members! We’re here to remind you about our new membership initiative program “BFF! – Bring Forth Friends!”

If two new members join WRWF under your encouragement, you will be thanked for your recruitment efforts with either a $25 coffee card or a bottle of wine. This is an opportunity to continue growing and strengthening our collective membership through your personal and unique networks. Remember, there is no limit to how many rewards you can receive in a year. Be sure your BFFs give you credit when they join so we can track your success towards a reward!

The starting date for BFF! is retroactively set to January 1, 2023. Keep spreading the word about WRWF and our mission!

This reward is being underwritten by a generous WRWF member.





The following members have already been given bottles of wine:

  • Trinka Dyer
  • Linda Segre
  • Gayle Stevens
  • Joanne Wetherell
  • Joy Prudek
  • Karissa Price-Rico

Welcome new wrwf administrator!

Lindsey Larrivee

We are thrilled to share the news that Lindsey Larrivee will be joining the WRWF team as our new Administrator! Her training schedule with Heidi Marcus, our outgoing Admin, begins immediately and her official schedule starts September 26th.

We are excited about Lindsey for several reasons – she has extensive experience providing high level support in nonprofit operations including technical guidance and accounting services. Lindsey is a delightful person who demonstrated exceptional engagement, curiosity and integrity in the interview process. She cares about making a difference in the community and is eager to jump into her new role saying:

“Assuming the Administrator role and executing the responsibilities of this position will be an exciting step in serving the WRWF. I look forward to building professional and personal relationships with the Board, our members, and this community. We can all learn from each other while stewarding the foundation into the future!”

Lindsey can be found in the office at Zions Bank on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:30am – 3:30pm, and will be available remotely on Thursday’s between 9:30a – 3:30pm. Her email is Lindsey.WRWF@gmail.com

Please join the board in extending a warm WRWF welcome to her!

THANK YOU, Sponsors!

We are grateful for our sponsors and extend a hearty WRWF thank you to Graybird Foundation, Little Caesars and Zions Bank!

THANK YOU TO OUR contributors

Thank you to this month’s News Brief contributors:
Carol Hoffman, Emily Jones, Sandy McCullough, Rebecca Ybarra Palma, Karissa Price-Rico, Joy Prudek, Sarah Shepard