Alice Mary Herden and I have worked on various projects together to bring an awareness of Natural Florida to the community. I am the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator for Hernando County Utilities.
I participated in a Wildlife Day that Alice Mary coordinated at Chinsegut Conservation Center. Having coordinated events myself, I understood the major undertaking that Alice took on. The day went off very smoothly and Alice brought it all together very professionally.
Alice Mary and I undertook a series of articles, eight in all, entitled, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” All through April and May of 2020, we highlighted the wildflowers one could find along the roadsides in Central Florida. Alice kept the project going by doing the footwork and providing very professional photos of wildflowers. Each article included four different wildflowers. Alice chose the wildflowers based on when they bloom or other themes.
We also worked together on a short film about early summer wildflowers. It was a new format for Alice, but she delivered a high-quality product. I use that film for educational purposes.
Knowing Alice professionally, she is a passionate, driven, and committed worker. She will always go the extra mile to get the best shot or provide the best information. She is very much a team player. From what I’ve seen of her top-notch sports photography, she understands the concept of teams so well, that she knows exactly when to catch a moment in action, and tell the story in photography.
Knowing her personally, she has a hunger to learn new things and to always increase her skills and her knowledge. She not only provides mentoring for my fledgling photography hobby, but she readily passes on what she has learned about the natural world. My training has been mostly in urban landscapes, so her expertise in birds, wildflowers, and forestry is always appreciated.
Alice Mary will be an excellent attribute to any organization.
I have worked over one year in the field with Alice Mary Herden and have witnessed first hand her dedication to her work and to her art.
She has approached every assignment with respect for the subject and is a professional when it comes to dealing with emergencies in the field, courtside and with every individual that she meets.
Her ability to approach every subject and capture on film is always done to completely tell the story with photographs of first-rate quality.
She has the ability to read the venue and is always ready to get that unique picture that is full of style, color, and complete.
Ms. Herden is ready with new ideas and listens to suggestions to make an event easy to work.
Like her smile, her enthusiasm for her work is infectious and she just makes working an event a pleasant experience for everybody.
Education and Training Specialist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
I am providing this letter of reference on behalf of Alice Mary Herden to express her diverse talents and abilities in the hope you will consider her for the position for which you are hiring.
Alice and I initially met while she was doing freelance work for the Hernando Sun in September 2015. I was the Director of the Chinsegut Conservation Center at the time. Alice immediately developed an interest in the Center and the education and environmental work being done at Chinsegut. Alice began volunteering at the Center the following year providing crucial help and services in support of programs.
During the time Alice worked with me she provided quarterly, professional quality, information posters for a kiosk at the entrance to the Center, and a beautifully designed newsletter called the ‘Chinsegut Observer’. She also provided her stunning photography of plants/animals and our managed areas to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at no charge to support other work being done in the Agency. Alice took it upon herself to attend training through the UF/IFAS Extension office and through the Master Naturalist program to familiarize herself in greater detail with Florida’s flora and fauna. She became a remarkable resource for plant and animal information and an inspiration to dozens of other photographers, including youth, whom she would meet with to go on photo hikes.
Alice did so much to expand and promote the programs at the Chinsegut Conservation Center. She grew so much over the nearly five years I worked with her to the point that she was able to plan, schedule, recruit exhibitors, produce advertisements for, recruit volunteers and run a public event for the Center in 2020. The event drew nearly 200 attendees, a great sustainable number for the facility, just on the cusp of the COVID-19 shutdown. Alice was also incredibly instrumental in the development, support, and promotion of other activities for the Center such as the Annual Butterfly Count held each August. She additionally supported large events for the FWC during our 75th anniversary of Wildlife Management Areas by traveling to the events and acting as both an educator and photographer to capture the agency staff in action. Among all the work she was doing she also found time to lead a first-ever professional development photography workshop for FWC staff, which had every spot filled.
It is difficult to summarize the skills and talents possessed by Alice because they are diverse and many. It was a great pleasure in my life to spend so much time with Alice due to her positive nature and tireless work ethic. I hope that you will consider allowing her to put these talents and abilities to work for your organization.