Development Committee

The Development Committee develops awareness and resources for OBFS in the realm of fundraising and event planning as well as assists OBFS members to improve FS operations by increasing their donor base and learning how to bring in philanthropic contributions. The DC meets monthly via zoom. Currently about 8 members attend regularly. Meetings topics include: annual meeting coordinated event planning, development of resources for concurrent sessions held at the annual meeting, best prices for FS fundraising, Q&A on specific grant and funding needs and advice.


  • Philippe Cohen and Cindy Stead Endowment launched September 2023. Their generous gift ensures the longtime financial stability of OBFS and allows the Board and members to plan for long term success. They encourage other donors to OBFS to contribute to the Endowment which currently (12/23) stands at approximately $64,000 with infusions of money from the OBFS board and Lifetime Members. See their video presentation here.





  • Lifetime Membership Category Created in Fall of 2023: Eric Nagy, University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station's Associate Director, is the first official member of the Lifetime Membership Category in which individual members can contribute $1000.00 for a Lifetime membership bestowing all the benefits of individual membership in perpetuity with proceeds going to the Cohen/Stead Endowment. Additional Lifetime Members include: Philippe Cohen, Sylvia Torti, and Shane Waddell.



  • Monthly Meetings - we meet the first Wednesday of every month to network, share ideas, plan programming. Send an email to to be added to the invitation list.
  • OBFS event planning coordinated with the host of the meeting. See our pictures from the Beaver Island Event
  • Annual Meeting Concurrent Session. We offer a open session to discuss best practices and tips and tricks for increasing your philanthropic giving. Here is an copy of the 2023 handout
  • Special Awards - Offered to recognize exemplary individuals around the world and those in service to their local field station or marine lab at our annual meeting.
  • OBFS event and donor stewardship. The Development committee send out quarterly newsletters to prior donors at OBFS events


  • Brian Kloeppel, Co-Chair 
  • Sarah Oktay, Co-Chair 


Friend of OBFS and Distinguished Service Awards

  • These awards are given to those who have served OBFS as a whole and who have served individual FSMLs