Board of Directors
Wynsome Ferguson, President
Ms. Ferguson is currently the Director of the Abaco Tourist Office. She is from Abaco and has been a dedicated and enthusiastic employee of the Ministry of Tourism for 15 years. Her service on the Board only serves to strengthen the relationship between FRIENDS and the Ministry of Tourism.
Jim is the Principal of Forest Heights Academy, and has been involved in education in the Bahamas for over 15 years. He has served on the FRIENDS board since January 2005, and during that time has also chaired the Education Committee. Prior to joining the board, he helped to organize the annual Earth Day Events as President of the Abaco Science Association. Some of the accomplishments attained in the area of education during his tenure include the artificial reef ball project, successful annual Earth Day events and the awarding of environmental scholarships to both Abaco’s teachers and students. He lives in Central Abaco.
Charlotte was born in Nassau, Bahamas and has grown up in Hong Kong and the UK. She completed her Master of Science degree in Environmental Biology at the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland in 2005 and recently received her PhD in Biology focusing on vocal communication in Blainville’s beaked whales: implications for social interactions and conservation. Charlotte has been living and working in Sandy Point with the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization since 2004. She has been involved in community service work in London, New York, and Hong Kong and now is an instrumental part of the Board at FRIENDS here in Abaco.
David is originally from Nassau and has lived in Abaco for the past 7 years. David was the first Abaco Park Warden for The Bahamas National Trust in Abaco, and now works as Director of Parks. He previously worked as the Agricultural Officer in charge of Abaco for the Department of Agriculture and has extensive knowledge of the terrestrial environment in The Bahamas. He and his wife and three children live in Marsh Harbour.
David Price, Assistant Secretary
David Price serves as Attorney at Law for Food for the Poor from his home in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He and his wife have a second home in Treasure Cay, Abaco. David worked diligently to help FRIENDS receive our 501c3 status from the US IRS and continues to assist with our annual 990 filing.
Jody is a bone fishing guide, one of the fastest growing ecotourism industries in the Bahamas. Jody’s roots are in Abaco, his family has been here for generations. Jody is a true outdoorsman and enjoys many of the opportunities Abaco has to offer. He lives in Marsh Harbour, Abaco
Joy Chaplin is a retired school teacher, who taught students both in Nassau and Abaco. Joy came to FRIENDS as a volunteer and helped to get the Discovery Club, an environmental education after school program up and running. She ran the Discovery Club for three years, sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with countless students before moving onto a position on the Board. She lives in Leisure Lee.
Diane was born and raised in Nassau. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science in 1988 from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida and completed an Overseas Research degree to fulfill requirements for a Master’s degree in Zoology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 2006. Diane received her PhD in biology focusing on Spatial processes in the population ecology of beaked whales at St. Andrews University in Scotland. In 1991, Diane began the Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization where she currently serves as Project Director and principle investigator.
Justin Higgs currently works as the Principal and Grade 5 & 6 teacher at Hope Town Primary School. He and his wife Amanda live in Hope Town, with their daughter Journey. His class has submitted winning projects at FRIENDS’ Science Fair multiple times. One of the projects was an experiment about how mangroves help fight against global warming. Justin was also the recipient of the 2008 FRIENDS scholarship to the Island School. Justin has a master’s in Education from Florida Atlantic University.
Reg is a long time Abaco resident and is the proprietor of Lucayan Surveying in Marsh Harbour. As a land surveyor, his profession has provided him with extensive knowledge about The Abaco’s. He currently lives in Marsh Harbour with his wife Donna and has two children. He is an avid birder and leads many of FRIENDS’ bird walks; he now offers tours through his company Lucayan Nature & Birding Tours. Reg possesses extensive terrestrial knowledge, as his father, Jack Patterson, was the author of the book Native Trees of The Bahamas, which many consider to be the premier book on native plants in The Bahamas. Reg has also been a dedicated Rotarian for many years and is excited about sharing his knowledge and time with FRIENDS.
Jeremie is from Nassau and he moved to Abaco in 2005. He has been employed as a Public Servant since 1989; working in the Department of Fisheries later renamed the Department of Marine Resources (DMR). He is the senior officer responsible for Abaco and the management of both Marsh Harbour and Cooper’s Town offices of the DMR. He is a Marine Captain by profession and holds Associate degrees in Marine Technology and Marina Management from Florida Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife Carla and their son Jeremy in Central Abaco.