Norma Flannery
Oxbow, Incorporated
Cincinnati, Ohio

In a successful organization such as Oxbow, Incorporated, a group of dedicated, hard-working people generally form its core. Within that strong core, one pivotal person often comprises the organization’s heart and defines its success. For Oxbow, Inc., this heart is Norma Flannery. While many members throughout the organization’s 15-year history have worked hard and have given of their time and talents in unique ways, Ms. Flannery, goes the extra mile. With tenacity and resolution, she sees projects through to completion, and she wins the respect of those who work alongside her.

Oxbow, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer organization formed for the protection of the 2,700-acre wetland at the confluence of the Great Miami, Whitewater, and Ohio Rivers. Since the organization of this Ohio and Indiana citizen’s group in 1985, Norma Flannery has served the cause of wetland protection and education as a founding member, president, newsletter editor, land negotiator, and voice on the telephone. Oxbow, Inc., through the work of many citizen volunteers and the unfailing direction of Ms. Flannery, has protected 2,100 acres of the Oxbow wetlands and benefitted the waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, and plant communities of these wetlands, as well as surrounding family farms. Ms. Flannery is respected and listened to by farmers, landowners, local planning boards, and state agencies. She is a role model as a negotiator for wetland protection-patient but persistent, friendly but firm. She is also a role model for citizen stewardship of natural resources and a voice for wildlife. Ms. Flannery has given of her retirement years freely to provide a lasting legacy of wildlife habitat.

— Bonnie Fancher, Switzerland County High School, Vevay, Indiana