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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 took in approximately 300 birds a year.  When Covid erupted and people were quarantined, the intakes 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 there are few licensed bird rehabilitator in Georgia, the Nest provides vital and valuable services.

Nancy 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, a rescued dog named RIpley, and a European Collared Dove named Carl.

Board Chair and Husbandry
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. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Lauren has volunteered with Wild Nest Bird Rehab since 2021. 

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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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.


Preston Davis

Preston is an experienced entrepreneur, educator, and investor with a diverse background that includes everything from startups to one of the largest professional service firms in the world. His academic research is focused on burnout in organizations (specifically leaders). He has degrees from Auburn University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta and looks forward to weekly movie nights with his wife and two kids.



Amanda Woomer 

Amanda is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning consultant for environmental, climate, conflict, and peacebuilding projects worldwide as well as a visiting professor at Emory University. She has degrees from Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and Kennesaw State.


Amanda found Wild Nest after finding a white pigeon in the road. After receiving guidance from the Nest on how to take care of Roberto the pigeon, Amanda joined the Board as the Governance Chair and Secretary. She has also served on the board of Birds Georgia and the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Amanda currently lives on her farm in Madison and is an avid hiker, horseback rider, kayaker, and birder. 


Committee Chair

Melanie Furr,

Director of Education, Georgia Audubon  

Director of Education at Birds Georgia 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. She is the mother of two college students and three rescue cats. Her favorite bird is the American Crow.

Joy Carter

Committee 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, which led to her involvement in the founding of Wild Nest Bird Rehab.

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Volunteer Committee Chair

Carolyn Auger Joiner

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Carolyn has lived in Atlanta since 1972. She earned a BFA degree in Interior Design from Georgia State University and immediately fell into what she loved most: exploring new places and collaborating with
other creative design professionals. In 2004 she started her own firm specializing in high end hotel construction and renovation for brands such as Westin, often drawing upon nature for inspiration. She
has managed an internal team of fourteen and collaborated with Architects and Engineers nationwide with projects completed in numerous cities within the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.


In 2021, Carolyn decided to pursue a long-time desire and enrolled in the Master Birder Program offered by Birds Georgia (then Georgia Audubon). Through that program, she heard that the Wild Nest was looking for volunteers. She signed up and was fortunate to be mentored directly under Nancy Eilen, Wild Nest's founder. Fast forward to 2024; Carolyn leads baby bird care workshops, organizes “Woodland Walks” and is working to obtain her wildlife rehabilitation license. She
and her husband reside in Ansley Park and travel extensively in their Airstream; in 2023, they visited nearly every state within the continental United States (birding, of course!). Visiting National and State Parks is a
favorite activity as well as spending time with friends, family, and their two dogs.

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Board Member

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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Have a question? Contact Us!

Board of Directors Contacts

Founder & Licensed Rehabber                                  Nancy Eilen                         Board President                                                         Lauren Wilson            

Secretary                                                                   Amanda Woomer                 

Treasurer                                                                     Preston Davis                      


Operations Manager                                            Jennifer Gilmer             

Communications Committee                               Melanie Furr                 

Development Committee                                      (vacant)

Husbandry Committee                                      Lauren Wilson                         laurenwilson@wildnestbirdrehab,org

Programs & Events Committee                           Joy Carter                                joy@wildnestbirdrehab.or   

Volunteer Committee                                     Carolyn Auger Joiner        

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