Exciting Additions to WISDOM Good Works Board

We are at a time of transition for our Board of Directors of WISDOM Good Works, as we say farewell to two people who helped us launch this nonprofit and welcome two others to our ranks.

Bob Ramsey of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation is retiring this year. He was one of our earliest and staunchest supporters in our efforts to employ fertility-control technology to control animal overpopulation and WISDOM Good Works would not have come into existence without his generous leadership.

“I am grateful for the many years and the dedication of many others working in this field, especially you and Cheryl and the wonderful staff of the Ramsey Social Justice Foundation serving along this precious journey,” he recently wrote to me. He added that his commitment to our cause was driven by wanting to find “the best possible outcome to free our Mother Earth from these human-made poison practices that are jeopardizing all species on our planet.”

We also want to thank another board member leaving us, David Dilley. This talented filmmaker based in Southern California was not only a leader on our board, he also served as a project manager for some of our California-based field studies. With the resolution of the writer and actor guild strikes, David’s time will be taken up with film projects and we wish him well.

While we are sad to say goodbye to Bob and David, we are immensely pleased to announce that Dr. Joan K. Vrtis and Tom Buchenau, have joined the Board of Directors of WISDOM Good Works.

Dr. Vrtis, whose extensive career has led to many innovations in the electronics and manufacturing sectors, is not only bringing her business but also her scientific expertise to WISDOM.

“As an avid outdoor person and global traveler, I have seen the changes in our world that are disheartening,” she said. “I felt I needed to get involved and contribute with my technical and business background. WISDOM Good Works has opened that opportunity.”

Dr. Vrtis made her mark in the 1990s by developing technology solutions for Intel Corp.’s Pentium product line. After leaving Intel, she and a business partner acquired FlipChip International, a small microelectronics company. Their efforts resulted in a remarkable doubling of sales within the first 18 months.

She also served as the Chief Technology Officer of Multek Corp, a subsidiary of Flex Ltd., a $4 billion global electronics design and manufacturing giant. Her leadership led the company to broaden its intellectual property portfolio in diverse sectors such as automotive, consumer products, medical and health devices, and industrial applications. She ultimately joined the parent company, becoming Flex’s Senior Vice President of Innovation and Technology Integration prior to her retirement in mid-2019.

“I’ve had a fun career developing so many technologies that are in products today,” she said. “It just makes me smile!”

Her extensive education and experience is an incredible asset to WISDOM Good Works, as we perfect our fertility-control technology. In addition to Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master’s in Metallurgy & Materials from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Dr. Vrtis also has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and an MBA from DePaul University. She also holds several patents in materials, circuit structures, and processes.

In addition to her work on the WISDOM Good Works board, Dr. Vrtis has advised on several other boards, and is currently participating on the Advisory Board of electronics manufacturer Insulectro.

Tom Buchenau is a third generation San Diegan who earned his B.A. in Economics form Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and returned to San Diego to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1977. During his more than 40 years as an attorney in solo practice, Tom has dedicated himself to improving the community in which he lives and works.

In addition to practicing law, Tom has taught Paralegal Studies as an Adjunct Instructor at both Cuyamaca Community College and San Diego State University College of Extended Studies. Prior to his teaching at Cuyamaca College, he was publicly elected as a Trustee on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Governing Board and served as its Vice President.

Tom has served as a leader of many professional associations, including the Foothills Bar Association, where he was Association President, and the San Diego County Bar Association, where he served on its Board of Directors.

Tom’s many community-based volunteer experiences include L.E.A.D. San Diego – an intense program of leadership skill building and community volunteerism which has been described as getting a “Master’s Degree” on San Diego. He has been interim President of the El Cajon Community Development Corporation during its formation as a Property Business Improvement District, and also served as Chair of its Board of Directors.

In addition, for nearly 20 years Tom served as a member of the Sharp Healthcare System Institutional Review Board, as a non-medically trained community member on a multi-hospital, system-wide board which approved hospital use of experimental devices, drugs, and treatments. His primary emphasis was reviewing Informed Consents agreements to make them more readable for patients and to clarify the rights and obligations of the parties involved.

Tom has been a member of Kiwanis International throughout his professional career, serving as club president for Kiwanis clubs in both Spring Valley and Rancho San Diego, as well as Lieutenant Governor for his Division.

As we look to scale up our efforts to address rodent overpopulation and restore ecological balance without resorting to poisons, we know the expertise of our new board members will be invaluable.