Last Stand is a membership-based organization with a very active all-volunteer Board of Directors.
Directors collect information, attend meetings, and maintain relationships throughout the community in order to identify issues of concern to the membership of Last Stand and residents of the Keys.
Directors are nominated by committee and elected to varying terms at the Last Stand annual meeting by the general membership.
Members interested in learning more about becoming a Director of Last Stand are welcome to attend our bi-weekly board meetings. See the Events calendar for dates, times, and places of board meetings.
If you are not a member, but interested in attending a meeting to learn more about Last Stand and our Board of Directors, please Contact Us.
President: Mark Songer
Inspired by moving to Key West in 2004, Mark E. Songer is a born again environmentalist who has trouble saying no to an impossible task. He is graduate of Leadership Monroe County and currently serves as LMC Board Treasurer. Mark also has a keen interest in restoring the Everglades and is Last Stand’s designated representative to the Everglades Coalition, a group of 56 diverse not-for-profits who constantly cajole anyone who will listen to provide funding for projects. Mark is Precinct 7 Committeeman for a national political party characterized by the color of the sky over Key West. In his spare time, he walks his dog and prepares favorite recipes from Indian Home Cooking.
Vice-President: Deb Curlee
Deb Curlee and her husband started visiting the Florida Keys in 1998. They became residents in 2001 when they moved to Cudjoe Key to enjoy the Keys’ unique island lifestyle full-time. As avid boaters, they love being on the water and frequently take their boat out to go fishing, an activity that was previously confined to the summer months when living in St. Louis, Missouri.
In addition to fishing, Deb is enthusiastic about gardening and spends her free time working in her yard and obtaining Master Gardener volunteer hours. This passion for the local wildlife led Deb to join the Last Stand board in 2010. She has worked tirelessly on county issues ever since. She is also the president of the Big Pine Key Botanical Society, a position she has held for the past four years.
Treasurer: Naja Girard d’Albissin
Originally from New York, Naja Girard left her studies at Manhattan’s Hunter College and moved to Key West where she has lived with her husband Arnaud for the past 27 years. The bulk of those years were spent almost entirely immersed in the world of boating.
The Girards and their two children were part of the colorful local liveaboard community, spending their time commerical fishing and later operating a Water Taxi and a Marine Assistance business stationed in the anchorage area just outside Key West harbor. It was during those years that her love for nature and social advocacy was cultivated.
In 2007, Naja tossed aside her Captain’s hat and the family moved into a house in “The Meadows” neighborhood in Key West. Currently, “landlubber” Naja co-publishes (along with husband Arnaud) the recently launched online newspaper, Key West The Newspaper (The Blue Paper).
When it comes to community advocacy, Naja is best known for her digging-up-the-facts strategy. Whether blowing the whistle on military housing developers who are not paying property taxes or discovering the Navy’s forgotten claim of ownership to block controversial development of Wisteria Island, her approach focuses on results rather than posturing.
Secretary: Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman has called Big Pine Key home since 1975. Now retired, she taught first grade at Sugarloaf and in Marathon, advocated for Keys water quality and Florida Bay issues under the mantle of Clean Water Action, and organized and directed the Keys-wide lecture series, Florida Keys Discovery. Through the years, Joyce has always held the accomplishments of Last Stand in high esteem.
A transplant from San Diego, her role as a community activist began in the late 70’s by participating in a successful grassroots effort opposing a huge condominium project planned for pristine barrier dunes on the southeast coast of Big Pine. That early experience led to a growing interest in how enforcement of zoning and land use laws affects environmental protection.
Joyce believes good governmental decisions are usually the result of close attention and hard work by citizens. She likes to think she brings institutional memory, varied experience and persistence to the Last Stand board.
A California transplant, Alicia and her late husband, Mick Putney, first visited Key West by sailboat in 1978. In 1983 they moved ashore and made Key Largo their permanent home. For the last 24 years, Alicia has lived in a solar home on No Name Key.
Alicia’s grassroots activism began with her move to the Lower Keys, leading a 1995 battle to maintain the residential character of her subdivision. From the start, Alicia embraced land-use issues and became involved in protecting the Key deer and its habitat from development-related threats, promoting improved land acquisition and management processes, and enhancing the implementation of the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan.
Alicia has participated in many major projects, including the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study, the Wastewater Master Plan, and the Big Pine Key Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and the Big Pine Key and No Name Key Master Plan. She served one term as a Monroe County Planning Commissioner. For many years Alicia, along with many like-minded neighbors, fought to keep new infrastructure off the environmentally sensitive island of No Name Key—a lengthy battle that was lost in 2013.
She is both pleased and proud to serve on the Last Stand Board.
After a successful 30 year career with the ‘Bell System’ in the Midwest, Bill retired early and along with his wife Mary sold their house, bought a sailboat, and went cruising. They tied up at a marina on Stock Island in 2001 and soon rejoined the work force becoming ‘liveaboard residents’ of Monroe County. In 2010 they sold the boat, bought their home on Lower Sugarloaf, and became active in the Property Owners Association (SSPOA). Bill became a member of the Monroe County Marine and Ports Advisory Committee (MPAC) and the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC), helping to create the County Pilot Program Anchoring Ordinance and the Monroe County Community Climate Action Plan. By attending most County Commission meetings Bill stays abreast of issues, advises the SSPOA board and public policy committee and keeps the SSPOA membership informed. He plans to do the same for Last Stand. He is currently leading community efforts to understand the funding and construction plans for the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System and its impact on the environment and community.
Bill’s goal is to help assure a sustainable quality of life for all Monroe County residents.
In 2003, Michelle Robinson moved from Ohio to Tavernier and began work as a biologist with Audubon Florida. Her research focuses on the ecology of the Everglades and Florida Bay by monitoring the hydrology, the distribution of sea grasses, prey base fish populations, and nesting efforts of the roseate spoonbill. She spent several years volunteering for Marine Mammal Conservancy learning how to provide rehab and conduct necropsies for several species of dolphins and whales.
Recently, she has started to find her voice for environmental advocacy. She is now a member of the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the board for Last Stand. She is also a graduate of the Sustainable Floridian program for Monroe County.