The CFZ-USA Office has yet another new Texas-based rep - in addition to me and Ken Gerhard. Her name is Naomi West.
I am now going to turn you over to Corinna Downes (Jon's wife) to tell you more about Naomi:
"The CFZ has always been a more male orientated affair. Yes, there have been a few females involved within its confines from area reps to raffle ticket sellers at the Weird Weekend, but when I found myself involved by default when I met Jon, there were only a handful of the fairer sex.
"Since then, things have been changing and in the last couple of weeks we have welcomed four new area reps on board, and – I am pleased to report - they are all females (this, of course, purely from a ‘hey another female to keep me company’ point of view before accusations of sexism arise).
"Our new area rep in Texas is Naomi West. It seems that she shares my love of pet rats, and is also of the same opinion that the genders should not be pigeonholed into certain roles just because they are male or female."
And with that said from Corinna, here's Naomi herself to tell you even more:
"'I was born and raised in West Virginia, daughter of a minister. I was always looking for adventures and unexplained mysteries as a kid, and my first area of paranormal interest was the topic of the Biblical Nephilim.
"I have always loved animals -- everything from whales to bugs -- with pet rats being the dearest to my heart. I am a performing soloist, but writing is my true passion.I live in Central Texas and currently teach high school English, but I hope to be a full time writer someday.
"My husband tests weapons systems for the military here at Ft. Hood, and he is also a musician and fellow UFO enthusiast. We are both MUFON field investigators.I had never heard of Fortean Zoology until I read Redfern's Three Men Seeking Monsters.
"Since my involvement with CFZ, I have discovered that Central Texas has contributed most recently with the blue dog sightings, where my interest currently lies. I will always be most fascinated with the Loch Ness monster. Fortean Zoology combines my love of mystery with love for animals.
"Being a woman in a masculine oriented world has never been an issue for me; rather, I resent being a woman in a world where both genders, at social functions, continually try to separate into "gender oriented" activities: I don't cook, I hate shopping, I dislike "chick flicks", I have never had kids, I love theology and science fiction...oh yes, and did I mention pet rats?
"More difficult than being a woman is being a student of the paranormal in Christian circles as well as an Orthodox Christian in paranormal circles, or, for that matter, an animal lover amid hunters, or a meat-eater amid Vegans.
"I love people from most all schools of thought, but find myself often a member of opposing groups and always worried one group will throw me out when they learn I am not necessarily on their bandwagon. But I have received grace from all groups around me -- from pagans to atheists to Christians to people who think our government leaders are all Reptilians, and in the end, I just love people...almost as much as animals.
"PS. After reflecting on those bio details I sent, I wanted to clarify, for accuracy's sake, that I am not a hunter or a Vegan. That may have been confusing. I had had a long day and it resulted in unnecessary rambling. :)"
Check out Naomi's blog right here.