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Nancy & Dove-2EDIT 2A.jpg

Founder &
Licensed Rehabber

Nancy Eilen

Nancy is a life-long rescuer; bringing home lost and injured animals from an early age while growing up in Florida and Tennessee.  She has been officially rehabbing wildlife since 2009, when she earned her state permit from Georgia Department of Natural Resources.


After a 4-year run volunteering at AWARE, she began rehabbing out of her home.  In 2017, she acquired her federal permit to rehabilitate native songbirds.  She was, and still is, mentored by Melanie Haire, a 30-year veteran songbird rehabilitator.  Between them they would intake around 300 birds a year.  When Covid erupted and everyone was quarantined, the intake numbers jumped dramatically, more than a couple of home-rehabbers could handle. Her choices were either quit, or find more help.  So Wild Nest Bird Rehab was hatched. Though experienced with a wide range of wildlife, birds are her passion.  And since they are so underserved in the rehab community, the Nest is a vital and valuable service.

She attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxille, earning a degree in Broadcast Management and Marketing.  After working in Atlanta advertising and media for a decade, she shifted focus to wildlife rehabilitation. 

She lives in Decatur, GA, with her husband and occasionally, their grown children, 2 hens and a European Collared Dove named Carl.

Joy Carter

Board Chair

Joy grew up in Macon, Georgia, spending a lot of her time outdoors. Nature was always an important part of her life.

After graduating from Mercer University, Joy moved to Atlanta, Ga, where she discovered birding and Atlanta Audubon (now Georgia Audubon.) Through Audubon, Joy became an avid birder and an advocate for native habitat preservation and restoration, focusing on Constitution Lakes, a DeKalb County park, and the abundant wildlife found there. She was recognized for her work by Park Pride, winning the Community Inspiration Award in 2011, and by Cox Conserves as one of three finalists for their Hero award in 2014, which included a donation from Cox to Atlanta Audubon. 

Joy also served on the Atlanta Audubon Board and was Chair of the Board for four years. During that time, Atlanta Audubon transitioned from a mostly volunteer organization with very limited contracted staff, to a respected regional environmental organization with a robust full-time staff and numerous education and conservation-focused projects.

Along with becoming a birder, Joy became interested in wildlife rehabilitation, particularly birds. This led to her involvement in the founding of Wild Nest Bird Rehab, where she is currently the Board Chair and a volunteer feeder during baby season.

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Volunteer Chair

Courtenay Anne Dusenbury

Courtenay Anne Dusenbury is retired from Emory University, where she served as Director of Global and Federal Affairs at The Task Force for Global Health and Founding Director of the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy, a global nonprofit.  From 2006-2017, she was a Founding Director of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, a global nonprofit, where she oversaw operations, partnership, policy and projects in over 55 countries. She served as the Director of Federal Affairs for Emory University and worked in the U.S. Congress as a legislative director and budget negotiator. She was special advisor for federal policy to the director of the Puerto Rico Economic Development Agency in San Juan and later deputy director of the Governor of Puerto Rico’s Washington D.C. Office.


She started her career in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Ms. Dusenbury holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Public Health from Emory University (Delta Omega). 

Committee Chair

Lauren Wilson

Lauren started her professional career in the zoological field as a marine mammal trainer in 2007. She began working with birds in 2011 and has since worked as a Senior Aviculturist at SeaWorld Texas and as the Curator of Birds and Mammals at the Texas State Aquarium. Lauren joined Zoo Atlanta in 2019 as the Curator of Birds.

Lauren has volunteered with Wild Nest Bird Rehab since 2021. She also has an active role as a board member, the chair of the Husbandry Committee, the interim chair of the Volunteer Committee, and is working toward becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator herself.

Lauren has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and a Master’s of Science degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Marketing Committee Chair

Melanie Furr,

Director of Education, Georgia Audubon  

Director of Education at Georgia Audubon since 2014, Melanie develops and delivers programs about birds for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, as well as provides professional development for educators.

A licensed wildlife rehabilitator, her interest in birds was sparked while feeding orphaned baby birds as a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, and in 2018, she became the custodian for Georgia Audubon’s first education ambassadors, two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds injured in window collisions.


Melanie is a former high school English teacher and holds a Masters of Arts for Teachers degree from Agnes Scott College. She is a certified Master Naturalist and has served on the board of the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia and the advisory council for K-12 Education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Passionate about wildlife and nature, she documents her wildlife adventures and musings about nature on her blog and social media page, My Eco-centric Life. She is the mother of two college students and three rescue cats. Her favorite bird is the American Crow.


Amanda Woomer 

Amanda is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning consultant for environmental peace-building, climate change, and international development projects around the world.

She is also a visiting professor at Emory University.

A lifetime Atlanta resident, Amanda attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Kennesaw State University.

She is an avid hiker, kayaker, horseback rider, and birder and has served on the boards of Georgia Audubon and the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Amanda lives in the westside of Atlanta and is passionate about bringing the joys of the outdoors to urban communities.

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Operations Manager

Jennifer Gilmer

Jennifer is a Retired Managing Director from Deloitte.  During her career she led initiatives for Fortune 100 companies with a focus on program management, project governance, and compliance.  She attended the University of Georgia for both her Bachelor and Master degrees in Business Administration.


She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Conservancy where she performs the role of Treasurer.  Jennifer arrived at the nest in 2022 when she found a baby robin on her front sidewalk.  After having researched about how to care for the baby bird, she decided to start volunteering with the organization.  

In January of 2023 she was elected as the Operations Manager.   She’s a Georgia native and resides in the City of Atlanta.  She loves animals and enjoys traveling when not volunteering.

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Property Manager

Dave Butler

Dave has worked in the environmental field for over 35 years serving as the director of environmental services for an engineering firm, working with DeKalb County Parks Bond and Greenspace office acquiring new park space and managing all aspects of natural resources in parks, and more recently serving as Arborist for the cities of Milton and Norcross. 

In semi-retirement, Dave is a consulting Arborist performing tree health assessments for residential and commercial clients. Having served on the boards of several environmental organizations including Georgia Audubon, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, Georgia Arborist Association, and South Fork Conservancy, Dave is pleased to be a founding member of Wild Nest Bird Rehab and serve with other dedicated team members and volunteers.  Through these efforts, he hopes to preserve some of the natural world he enjoys for his children and grandchildren, Aydon, Addison, and Aubrey. 

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Development Chair

Katy Mendenhall

Katy came to the Wild Best board in the summer of 2023 as the Development co-chair. Katy had spent her career working in nonprofit development and fundraising. She lived and worked for five years in Maine at an arboretum and a costal land trust. She now resides in Atlanta working as a fundraising consultant. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and two pups working as a fundraising consultant. Katy enjoys yoga, photography, reading, and of course birdwatching.


Have a question? Contact Us!

Board of Directors Contacts

Founder & Licensed Rehabber                                  Nancy Eilen                           

Board President                                                             Joy Carter                 

Secretary                                                                   Amanda Woomer                 

Chair-elect                                                                  Lauren Wilson         


Marketing Committee                                                 Melanie Furr              

Operations Manager                                                Jennifer Gilmer             

Programs & Events Committee                                   Joy Carter                 

Property Manager/Facilities Committee                   Dave Butler                 

Husbandry Committee                                             Lauren Wilson                   laurenwilson@wildnestbirdrehab,org

Volunteer Chair                                                    Courtenay Dusnebury          development@wildnestbirdrehab,org

Development Chair                                                 Katy Mendenhall 

Department Contacts

Volunteer Coordinators/Scheduling                       Lauren Wilson                        

Volunteer Training Supervisor                                  Lauren Wilson          


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