Meet the Staff


Douglas Austen
Executive Director
ext. 208, [email protected]

Doug Austen has been Executive Director since 2013, but has been involved with AFS since the early 1980s as an undergraduate student at South Dakota State University. He served as president of the Illinois Chapter and North Central Division, wrote articles for several AFS journals and books, and also served as an associate editor for the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.  Prior to AFS, Doug was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national coordinator for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and worked for 10 years each with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey. He has a Ph.D. from Iowa State University and an M.S. from Virginia Tech. When not at AFS, Doug provides taxi service for his two teenagers and fishes, hunts, runs, bikes, and kayaks in Pennsylvania or wherever travels take him.

Mary Webb Banning
Educational Program Coordinator
ext. 204, [email protected]

Mary Webb joined AFS in 2018. She grew up in Virginia, spending much of her time by the water and fishing on the James River, Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Mary Webb graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 2016 with a BS in Natural Resources and the Environment. During her years at Sewanee and since her graduation, she has worked for multiple non-profits as well as a wrangler on a ranch in Wyoming. She is excited to grow the Hutton Program as it reaches its 20th year in 2020. When Mary Webb is not in the office, she enjoys spending time outside exploring and visiting new places.

Areas of Responsibility: The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program and Professional Certification Program

Staff Liaison for: Hutton Committee and Board of Professional Certification

Beth Beard
Senior Communications Manager
[email protected]

Beth has been working for AFS since 1999. Before becoming Senior Communications Manager, she was the managing editor of Parks & Recreation magazine. Prior to that, she spent 11 years at AFS as the managing editor of Fisheries. Beth has also worked in public relations and publications in the wood products industry and the zoo and aquarium fields. She has a BA in public communication from The American University. As a lifelong world traveler, her hobbies include travel photography. She is married to longtime AFS member Doug Beard.

Areas of responsibility: Social media management, website maintenance, marketing, graphic design, writing and editing, and photography.

Staff Liaison for: Communications Committee

Rachel Bruce
Meetings Coorinator
[email protected]

Rachel Bruce joined AFS in 2021! Additional details to come…


Daniel Cassidy
Deputy Executive Director
ext. 214, [email protected]

Daniel Cassidy joined AFS in 2015 and oversees administration, fundraising/development, professional education and meetings. He has spent the majority of his career in association management and has worked for scientific and education associations.  He has a MBA in Finance and is certified as a public accountant. While not working, you will find him outside on the baseball field, gardening, or chasing his two Chihuahuas around the yard.

Areas of responsibility:   Administration/HR, Fundraising/Development, Education/Professional Development, Finance, Meetings, Membership, Technology

Staff Liaison for: Audit committee, Investment committee

Caroline Davis
Journals Production Coordinator
ext. 215

Caroline Davis (they/them) joined AFS in 2021 and genuinely loves publishing. Caroline graduated from UMBC with a BA in Linguistics. They’ve previously worked in language-nerd capacities, in both the AI start up space and in corporate marketing. Caroline is an accomplished copyeditor and has lent their expertise to a wide variety of projects, including diversity consulting and book editing. Outside of work, Caroline loves to spend time with their cat and their houseplant jungle. Caroline lives in Baltimore and loves exploring architecture and local green spaces.

Areas of responsibility: Production for all AFS journals, promotion of journals content,

Staff Liaison for: AFS editorial boards, authors, copy editors, and the AFS publishing partner

Katrina Dunn
Director of Development
ext. 213, [email protected]

Katrina joined AFS in 2016. Before coming to AFS she spent 10 years working in various capacities for associations. Her work included fundraising, meetings and events, and marketing. As Director of Development, Katrina finds the funding that allows AFS to continue the important work of advancing and strengthening fisheries. She also participates in several working groups in the areas of meetings, marketing, and membership. When not working, Katrina enjoys reading, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends.

Areas of responsibility: Development/Fundraising, and Partnership

Staff Liaison for: Development Committee

Laura Hendee
Interim Publications Director
ext. 227, [email protected]

Laura joined AFS in 2006. In 2011, she assumed day-to-day management of the journals program and helps to produce multiple journals. Laura graduated with a BA in English from the College of Wooster in 2005. She grew up fishing on family vacations in Wyoming and Colorado, but spent most of that time falling into various lakes and streams and usually ended up happily reading instead. Outside of the office Laura enjoys concerts, beer gardens, vineyards, road trips, and reading fiction. 

Areas of responsibility: Production of Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, the North American Journal of Aquaculture, the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, and Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science.

Staff Liaison for: AFS editorial boards, authors, copy editors, and the AFS publishing partner


Shawn Johnston
Meetings Manager
ext. 230, [email protected]

Shawn Johnston joined AFS as the Administrative Coordinator in 2007 and is currently the AFS Meetings Manager, the lead contact for managing AFS meetings and coordinating meeting contracts with Chapters and Divisions.  Shawn graduated from UMDNJ with a Bachelor’s of Science in Emergency Management, obtained his national registry flight paramedic license in 1997, and attended Rutgers University for business management. He also managed safety conferences for a large manufacturer in New Jersey for seven years. Shawn enjoys travel, biking, and jet skiing.

Areas of responsibility: Managing AFS meetings and coordinating meeting contracts with Chapters and Divisions

Staff Liaison for: Meetings


Steven Kambouris
Meetings and Program Coordinator
ext. 206, [email protected]

Steve Kambouris joined AFS in 2018 as the Meetings and Program Coordinator and the deputy contact for managing AFS annual meetings and coordinating meeting contracts with Chapters and Divisions. Steve is a 12-year U.S. Army veteran who specialized in the repair of military intelligence electronic systems, and who has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated summa cum laude from Augusta University with a B.A. in both political science and sociology. Steve is now pursuing his M.A. degree in public management from Johns Hopkins University. He enjoys kayak fishing, being in the outdoors, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Areas of Responsibility: Helping manage AFS meetings and facilitating contracts with Chapters and Divisions

Staff Liaison for: Headquarters staff and annual meetings staff

Kelly Kotche
Membership Database Manager
[email protected]

Areas of Responsibility:  Membership



Debby Lehman
Book Production Editor
ext. 223, [email protected]

Debby graduated from Occidental College with a degree in English and comparative literature and received a master’s degree in English literature from Boston University. She has been working in the books department of the American Fisheries Society for more than 15 years. Debby enjoys reading, drawing, travel, and taking care of her young son.

Areas of responsibility: Copy edit, lay out, preparing books for publication, assisting with Fisheries magazine, and working on additional projects such as the Climate Science Center reports and the AFS policy report.

Jackie Machado
Accounting Assistant
ext. 200, [email protected]

Jackie joined AFS, as she would say: “a long time ago.” She has spent the majority of her career working in accounting. If you need to pay an invoice or inquire about an outstanding balance concerning the Trade Show, plaques, or certificates, Jackie is the person to call. When she isn’t working, Jackie enjoys spending time with family.

Areas of responsibility: Accounting

Staff Liaison for:  Accounting

Lauren Maza
Director, Member Programs
ext. 225, [email protected]

Lauren started working for AFS in 2017. She has over 15 years of experience in the association sector, mostly in education/meetings, project management, and operations. Past organizations include the Council for Resource Development and The Obesity Society. She holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, as well as the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation. As a fan of dry feet, Lauren spends most of her time outside on land, while climbing and hiking.

Areas of responsibility: Management of continuing education. General oversight of Hutton program, certification, awards, and units.

Staff Liaison for: All AFS Units, Chapters, Sections, and Divisions; Awards Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Hutton Committee


Peter Turcik
Managing Editor, Fisheries
ext. 201, [email protected] 

Before joining AFS as Managing Editor of Fisheries Magazine, Peter worked as a media specialist, grant writer, and staff photographer for the Chesapeake Conservancy and as a freelance writer and photographer. He grew up in western Pennsylvania, went to boarding school in New York, and returned to Pennsylvania for college, where he stayed until moving to Annapolis in 2014. Peter has a B.A. in English from Allegheny College. He is an avid kayak angler, as well as a fly fisherman who ties his own flies. He also enjoys outdoor and sports photography, and is big fan of rugby and hockey.

Areas of responsibility: Generating magazine content for Fisheries, copy-editing, supervising design and artistic direction, managing special projects

Liaison for: authors, magazine science editors, publisher


Kurt West
Book Production Editor
ext. 229, [email protected]

Kurt joined AFS staff as Books Production Coordinator in July 2007 after having completed his MFA in writing at American University, where he had also interned as an editor for the university’s journal of arts.  Prior to his graduate studies, he received his BA in English with a specialization in communication and technology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Kurt is a published author of a couple short stories and currently is working on a novel. When he’s not reading or writing, Kurt can be found in a theater or on a road trip.

Areas of responsibility: Kurt manages the publication process for AFS book projects and assists in everything from copy editing, to layout and design, to quality control of the final, printed product. He also assists with the organization of AFS Annual Meetings, coordinating the AFS abstract and scheduling software. In addition he provides oversight and design for Annual Meeting materials such as the mobile meeting app, printed program guides, and annual Governing Board briefing books and reporting tools.

Staff Liaison for: Various authors and editors – both AFS members and non-members – to ensure that the vision of their research is communicated through their book projects.  The Conference Exchange, our mobile app designer, Core-apps, as well as various members of the AFS local meeting planning teams and Governing Board.

Drue Winters
Policy Director
ext. 202, [email protected]

Drue was hired as the AFS Policy Director in Spring 2017. She leads the organization’s policy advocacy efforts through thoughtful engagement with decision makers on issues that impact aquatic resources. The policy team capitalizes on the expertise of AFS members to influence policy outcomes to benefit aquatic resources by sharing management knowledge and the best available science with decision makers. Drue is a seasoned policy and strategic communications advisor. She served in a key leadership role for the State of Louisiana on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and served as a federal policy advisor on the long-term recovery on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina with a focus on flood protection and ecosystem restoration. Most recently, Drue served as legal and policy counsel for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries where she worked on a range of fisheries management issues. She graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University in 1997 with a B.A. in political science and later from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law School. When not at work, Drue enjoys spending time with her son.

Areas of responsibility: Director for Policy, working with AFS units nationwide to identify key opportunities to apply fisheries knowledge to resource management, identify policy-related implications, and improve their overall effectiveness. Work is conducted by AFS units alone and in partnership with other groups.

Staff Liaison for:  Resource Policy Committee