|Board of Directors|
Todd H. Votteler – Chair
Todd Votteler is currently the Executive Manager of Intergovernmental Relations and Policy at the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. His duties at GBRA range from legislative and congressional contacts, to Edwards Aquifer issues, to managing major research studies. He was the Federal Court Monitor's assistant during ESA litigation over the Edwards Aquifer, Sierra Club v. Babbitt from 1994-1996. In 1996, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lucius Bunton appointed him the Federal Special Master for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation, Sierra Club v. San Antonio. Previously, he was a research Scientist at the Battelle - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington, D.C. and Executive Director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, a 501(c)3 land and water trust. Todd has a B.S. in Natural Resources from The University of the South, a M.S. in Natural Resources from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Geography from Texas State University. He also serves as Editor in Chief of the Texas Water Journal.
Jeff Weigel - Chair Elect
Jeff Weigel is Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy of Texas where he works on project and partner development, government affairs, and fundraising. A native of Minnesota, Jeff has devoted his career to the conservation of wildlife and natural ecosystems across the United States and Latin America, including grasslands, forests, deserts, freshwater and marine environments. He began his conservation career as a field biologist in Minnesota, and has evolved into program and project management, spending over 15 years working in Texas and over a decade focused on Mexico and Central America. Jeff holds a B.A. degree in Biology from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, as well as a M.S. in Range Management from Texas Tech University.
Clayton Ripley – Treasurer
Clayton A. Ripley, CPA is a managing director of Town Lake Capital Management. His firm is an Austin-based registered investment advisor serving foundations and endowment funds that seek to implement the endowment model. The firm’s expertise lies in executing a low-cost, all-liquid endowment portfolio using the knowledge gleaned from more than a decade of experience working with some of the largest foundations and endowments in the nation. Mr. Ripley is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as a member of the board of the Austin Chapter's Financial Literacy Task Force. Clayton is a native of West Texas and currently resides in Austin.
Laura Wood - Secretary
Laura is a native Texas, residing in Fort Worth. After spending several years serving The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Laura is now a consultant to non-profit and public conservation based entities seeking to strengthen their fundraising, marketing and branding. She is also Executive Director of her family's private foundation, the Dorothy Marcille Wood Foundation. In addition to her role with TLTC, she is on the Board of Directors for the Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth. Laura has over 15 years of fundraising and sales experience and holds a B.S. in Management from the University of Phoenix.
Jim Bradbury is an attorney in private practice with offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas who advises landowner clients on environmental, water and regulatory matters, including the imminent water policy issues facing rural Texas. Mr. Bradbury is involved in permitting and enforcement matters before state authorities, EPA and the Department of Justice and handles civil litigation that arises out of environmental issues. Mr. Bradbury also has experience in the environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing production, eminent domain and non-point source regulation; including TMDLs and associated best management practices. The firm's work also includes monitoring and participation in regulatory and legislative changes at the state and federal level. Mr. Bradbury received his B.S. degree from Texas A&M University and his J.D. degree from the University of Idaho.
Frank is the Director of Land Stewardship for Hill Country Conservancy. With over five years experience in land conservation, he has assisted in or supervised the acquisition or transfer of conservation easements totaling over 6,400 acres, working with a variety of public and private partners. Frank also manages the drafting of baseline documentation reports and works closely with landowners to monitor each of Hill Country Conservancy’s conservation easement properties. Frank holds a B.S. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Texas State University – San Marcos.
Allison Elder is the Vice-President and General Counsel of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT). Allison has extensive experience in conservation real estate matters, developed over the past fourteen years, through work in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Allison has also served as a senior attorney at the law firm of Braun & Gresham, where her practice focused on conservation transactions serving Texas landowners. Before joining Braun & Gresham, Allison was the founding executive director of the Bexar Land Trust. She has negotiated, drafted, and secured conservation easement sales and donations throughout the state of Texas, protecting wildlife habitat, water quality, scenic views, and working lands. Allison holds a law degree as well as a finance degree earned through the honors business program at the University of Texas at Austin. Allison and her husband Steve have been married 24 years and have four children.
David Hartman, Partner, Smith/Robertson, LLP, concentrates his practice in the areas of land use and real estate development law, including experience in a broad range of land development permitting, entitlement, and natural resource issues. His practice encompasses environmental and regulatory compliance issues arising under the Endangered Species Act, and other natural resource regulatory matters. He has extensive expertise in all aspects of conservation transactions including conservation easements and fee title acquisitions, conservation banking, and related funding mechanisms and programs for conservation acquisitions. He is a frequent speaker on conservation acquisitions, and Co-Chairs CLE International’s Conservation Easement Conference. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Austin Bar Association Real Estate Law Section and the Cathedral School of St. Mary, and has been selected as a participant in Leadership Austin and as a McBee Fellow of the Austin Area Research Organization
Ross Melinchuk is the Deputy Executive Director for Natural Resources for
Mark Steinbach is the Executive Director of the Texas Land Conservancy (formerly NAPA). He is a native of Texas and worked formerly with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a private lands wildlife biologist, providing technical assistance to landowners throughout the Texas Hill Country. Mark's land management experience also stems from his time working on his family's farm in Washington County. Mark holds a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and a M.S. in Rangeland Ecology & Management from Texas A&M University, as well as a Ph.D. in Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana in Missoula.