Center News

Welcome New Board President Aliah Berman

Aliah Berman Schlitz Audubon

The Center is delighted to announce that Aliah Berman has been elected the next Schlitz Audubon Board President. Berman has served on the Schlitz Audubon Board since May 2016.

Aliah Berman earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Xavier University, then moved to Milwaukee to attend Marquette University Law School. In Milwaukee, she met husband Eric Berman, and Schlitz Audubon was one of the first places the couple spent time together. For the Berman family, nature is synonymous with family time. Aliah credits her husband, who participated in the Master Naturalist program at the Center, for helping develop her connection with nature.

“We spend as much time outdoors as possible so our children develop a sense of curiosity and reverence for nature. For our family, the Center is a really important and special place,” said Berman.

Diversity and Nature

While Aliah enjoys spending time in nature as an adult, she’s working to help other people experience nature at a younger age. “One of the Center’s goals is to expand to serve the wider community and a range of audiences,” said Aliah. She began her professional career as a litigation attorney, but shortly after going into private practice realized diversity and inclusion work was a great fit for her skills and talents. “As Director of Diversity and Inclusion with Aurora Health Care, I have an understanding of how to connect with diverse communities and groups. I look forward to using my experience to reach out to people who, in the past, may not have had a connection with nature, or an understanding of how nature can fit into their lives,” said Berman.

Berman is inspired by her own enriching nature experiences to welcome new people to learn about Schlitz Audubon. “One of my objectives as Board President is to demonstrate how interacting with nature through Schlitz Audubon can improve the community. The Center works to meet people where they’re at, and to let them know we have a great option for them at Schlitz Audubon. Being in nature reduces stress and depression, and improves brain activity, and I want children to learn to experience those natural benefits,” said Berman.

Emphasis on Collaboration and Partnership

As the new Board President, Berman will work closely alongside Executive Director Helen Boomsma, leadership, and staff in implementing the Center’s five-year strategic plan, Trails to Innovation. Key plan priorities include: Accessibility to Nature for All, Conserving the Land through the Lens of a Century, and Creating Meaningful Visitor Experiences. “Aliah brings creativity and thoughtfulness to her new role. Her bold thinking, dedication, and drive will be critical as we implement the key initiatives of the 2018 – 2022 strategic plan,” said Boomsma.

To acquaint new populations, Center board and staff members are embarking on new partnerships and collaborations to reach out into the Greater Milwaukee community. Outreach programs at gatherings, libraries, and community centers are a great way to invite children to learn about the Center. Berman will create or strengthen relationships to accomplish these goals. “By creating access, we can inspire diverse communities to participate in what Schlitz Audubon has to offer,” said Berman.