The Galveston Bay Foundation is fortunate to have a full staff of talented and dedicated professionals, as well as a board that is committed to helping us grow and do more to protect the Galveston Bay. If you’d like to join us, you can find open positions and career information at the bottom of this page.

Our Staff

Bob Stokes

  • President
  • (832) 536-2253

Bob Stokes, President

Bob Stokes is a 1990 graduate of Yale University and a 1994 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. After practicing law for 10 years, Bob joined the Galveston Bay Foundation as President in June 2004. Bob had served on the board of the Foundation for five years prior to taking over as President and had served as the board’s chair for the previous two years. Bob has also served on the Houston Wilderness Board of Directors since 2004 and on the Governing Board of Earth Share of Texas beginning in 2007.

Courtney Smith

  • Vice President of Operations
  • (832) 536-2254

Courtney Smith, Vice President of Operations

Courtney Smith has been with the Galveston Bay Foundation since March 2002. She has served in a number of roles with the Foundation, including Environmental Specialist, Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Grants Administrator, and currently, Vice President of Operations. Courtney has overseen projects such as Omega Bay Marsh Restoration, Dickinson Bay Island Restoration, Galveston Bay Marine Debris Removal, Community-based Habitat Monitoring, and the publication of the Drive & Discover Guide. She currently writes proposals for grants used to fund some of the Foundation’s restoration work, outreach events, and operating expenses; oversees the management of these grants; and handles some of the administrative tasks associated with non-profit management. Courtney graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Houston–Clear Lake, where she researched issues related to the state of Galveston Bay and participated in a low-water expedition on the Amazon River.

Nikki Annan

  • Development Coordinator
  • 832-536-2264

Nikki Annan, Development Coordinator

Nikki joined Galveston Bay Foundation in January 2021 as the Development Coordinator. After obtaining her B.A. in Public Relations from Howard University and a M.S. in Hospitality Business Management from the University of Delaware, she left the East Coast for Texas and where she is enjoying the warmer climate. Nikki joins the Development team to maintain the donor database as well as assist with partnership events and peer-to-peer fundraising. Nikki enjoys being outside, spending time with friends, family, and her two daughters.

Dawn Wahl Asbury

  • Controller
  • (832) 536-2278

Dawn Wahl Asbury, Controller

Dawn joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in October 2018 as the Controller. She graduated from Texas State University in 1997 with a BBA in Accounting. Prior to joining Galveston Bay Foundation, Dawn worked as an auditor specializing in governmental and nonprofit audits, a grants supervisor, an accounting supervisor, and senior revenue accounting supervisor. She lives in Pearland with her husband Robert and their four dogs and cat. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing, being near the water, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and volunteer work. Dawn enjoys using her passion for accounting to ensure that the Galveston Bay Foundation has healthy financials to continue funding their work in the Galveston Bay for many years to come.

Shannon Batte

  • Habitat Restoration Technician
  • (832) 536-2265

Shannon Batte, Habitat Restoration Technician

Shannon joined Galveston Bay Foundation full-time in August 2020 after working part-time for the Oyster Shell Recycling Program since April 2017. She graduated in 2010 from Texas A&M University in Galveston with a BS in Marine Biology. Before joining Galveston Bay Foundation, she was a marine mammal observer in the Gulf of Mexico for NOAA’s Offshore Platform Removal Program and for RPS while on board seismic vessels. Shannon is a native of the Bay Area and has always had a passion for anything involving water. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking, paddle boating, and spending time outdoors in general. Shannon is thrilled to be a part of the team and helping to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay one oyster shell at a time!

Charlotte Cisneros

  • Community Programs Manager
  • (832) 536-2279

Charlotte Cisneros, Community Programs Manager

Charlotte Cisneros joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in January 2020.  She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2009 and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering in 2010.  Prior to joining the Galveston Bay Foundation team, Charlotte worked for eight years in consulting as a Project Manager and Environmental Engineer specializing in environmental site assessment and remediation projects.  She has also worked at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as an Environmental Investigator for the stack testing and hazardous waste compliance and enforce­ment teams and served in the Peace Corps in Ghana as an Education Volunteer.  Charlotte is on the board of the Citizens Environmental Coalition where she also serves as co-chair of the Programs Committee, is part of the Volunteer Alliance Field Crew with the Parks Project, and has held volunteer positions with a variety of other organizations, including the Houston Arboretum and the California Academy of Sciences.  She enjoys finding new places to explore the outdoors and experimenting with new hobbies – most recently comedy wrestling, filmmaking, and designing swimwear.

Emily Demmeck

  • Development Events Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2262

Emily Demmeck, Development Events Coordinator

Emily Demmeck started working at the Galveston Bay Foundation in June of 2009 as the Marketing and Membership Director and held that position for three years. After taking a short maternity leave, she rejoined Galveston Bay Foundation and is now the Development Events Coordinator. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Texas and a native of the area, having been born on Galveston Island and raised in Nassau Bay.

Nick Ellis

  • Water Quality Programs Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2274

Nick Ellis, Water Quality Programs Coordinator

Nick joined the Galveston Bay Foundation team in February 2019 as the Water Quality Programs Coordinator. He graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2009 with a BS in Marine Biology and is currently obtaining his Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Houston–Clear Lake. Prior to joining the Galveston Bay Foundation team, Nick worked as an environmental investigator and an aquatic scientist with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and as a consultant in the private sector on the Deepwater Horizon incident. Nick enjoys kayaking, fishing, standup paddleboarding, hiking, and camping. His passion for the Bay and experience in water quality has led him to a position that will allow him to make an impact and engage the community in improving the quality of Galveston Bay and preserving it for future generations.

Emily Ford

  • Volunteer Engagement Manager
  • (832) 536-2256

Emily Ford, Volunteer Engagement Manager

Emily Ford joined the Galveston Bay Foundation team in April of 2013 after graduating from Texas A&M University at Galveston in May of 2009 with a BS in Marine Biology. Her deep-seated passion for marine and coastal conservation led her on a path of education, outreach, and recruitment to support causes such as wetlands preservation, watershed awareness, and marine mammal protection. Emily’s goal is to share her knowledge and resources with others to increase awareness and inspire action toward preserving and protecting the vital Galveston Bay system.

Isaac Fouty

  • Property Manager
  • (832) 536-2280

Isaac Fouty, Property Manager

Isaac joined Galveston Bay Foundation as part-time Property Manager in August 2021. He graduated with a BS in Environmental Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in 2018. Prior his position as Property Manager, he worked as a Seasonal Field Technician for Galveston Bay Foundation in 2018. He has worked as a property manager since 2015 for a large Homeowners Association in Clear Lake where he has managed large infrastructure improvement projects, maintained parks, nature preserve, office facilities and clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, and has acted as point of contact for maintenance tasks. Isaac spends his time away from property management doing work as a rental property manager and owns a small handyman services company. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, staying active, home improvement, and classic car restoration. He is enthusiastic to work at Galveston Bay Foundation where he can combine his love for the environment with his skills and experience in property management to help maintain the infrastructure needed to help preserve and enhance Galveston Bay.

Sasha Francis

  • Community Engagement Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2255

Sasha Francis, Community Engagement Coordinator

Sasha Francis joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in November 2019. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Animal Science & Technology with a concentration in Wildlife Conservation. Sasha was very passionate about wildlife from a young age and, after finally getting into the very competitive field, was a zookeeper and marine mammal trainer for about 12 years. She worked with beluga whales, sea lions, penguins, sloths, and tigers to name a few favorites. One of the most important parts of the job was connecting with the public and sharing her passion for conserving the habitats of animals in the wild. She was Vice President, and then President of the Galveston Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, leading conservation awareness and fundraising events to benefit wildlife. Sasha soon realized she wanted to move into an environmental education outreach position and began helping with Galveston Bay Foundation events whenever possible. Her goal is to connect with all of the communities that are connected to the bay in some way and inspire them to be just as passionate about caring for it as the staff here at Galveston Bay Foundation!

Genevieve Genest

  • Donor Relations Manager
  • (832) 536-2252

Genevieve Genest, Donor Relations Manager

Genevieve joined Galveston Bay Foundation in August 2016. She works with the development team to manage donor and membership programs and assist with fundraising and events. She is currently a graduate student in the Public Administration program at University of Houston, and received a BS in Environmental Science with a Geography minor from Texas A&M University in 2012, where she published an undergraduate thesis on water properties and climate change in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Genevieve grew up in Seabrook, TX, and was previously a volunteer water monitor with Galveston Bay Foundation. Genevieve enjoys being outdoors, reading, visiting museums, and playing the piano.

Danielle Goshen

  • Water Policy and Outreach Specialist
  • (832) 536-2269

Danielle Goshen, Water Policy and Outreach Specialist

Danielle joined Galveston Bay Foundation in August 2019. She graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2019 and received her bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Geography and Environmental Studies with a minor in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Toronto in 2014. During her time at Georgia Law, Danielle interned at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 4 office and served as a Georgia Sea Grant Legal Fellow working on coastal resiliency projects. Her work on how historic preservation laws can increase flood resiliency in Beaufort, South Carolina will be published in the Sea Grant Law & Policy Journal this Fall. Danielle enjoys running, hiking and exploring her surroundings with her dog. She looks forward to protecting the Galveston Bay and serving the community.

Yolanda Hernandez

  • Administrative Assistant
  • (832)536-2275

Yolanda Hernandez, Administrative Assistant

Yolanda joined Galveston Bay Foundation in August 2021. She graduated from the University of Houston in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. Prior to GBF, Yolanda worked in the animal care field for five years. Three of those years she worked at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists assisting in Diagnostic Imaging. Yolanda has also been a dedicated volunteer for the Houston Zoo, where her passion for environmental conservation grew. She was drawn to Galveston Bay Foundation’s great efforts to protect the Bay and is excited to continue learning all about their ongoing projects. Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family which includes her spoiled Shih Tzu named Luna, trying new foods, and adding new plants to her small garden.

Scott Jones

  • Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager
  • (832) 536-2267

Scott Jones, Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager

Scott has been with Galveston Bay Foundation since September 2008. As Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Scott provides education and outreach on the importance of freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay, ensuring that diverse stakeholder groups and citizens at large have a voice in state water planning. Scott also facilitates our Wetland Permit Review Committee, a group of volunteers that examine Corps of Engineers permit applications to ensure that impacts to our wetlands are avoided, minimized, and/or mitigated. Previously, Scott worked for eight years at the Galveston Bay Estuary Program and on water quality issues for four years at TCEQ-Austin and the Galveston County Health District. Scott received a BS in Aquatic Biology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993.

Haille Leija

  • Habitat Restoration Manager
  • (832) 536-2270

Haille Leija, Habitat Restoration Manager

Haille joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in March 2015. She received a BS in Ocean and Coastal Resources from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2009 and an MS degree in Coastal Zone Management from Nova SE University in 2011. Prior to joining Galveston Bay Foundation, she worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District and in the private industry as an environmental consultant. Haille enjoys kayaking and SCUBA diving in her free time as well as dancing. With a passion for coastal conservation, Haille is excited to restore and preserve the wetlands and oyster reefs in and around Galveston Bay.

Greg Loushine

  • Director of Strategic Partnerships
  • (832) 536-2266

Greg Loushine, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Greg rejoined the Galveston Bay Foundation in February 2020. He works with the development team to manage Bike Around the Bay, the Legacy Society, and to help cultivate and steward corporate and foundation partners. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Family Social Science and a minor in Social Psychology. Before the Galveston Bay Foundation, he served as an AmeriCorps NCCC member and then went on to work at United Way of Southeast Louisiana and with the Trust for Public Land. He grew up in Minnesota but met a girl from Texas and is glad he did. He enjoys the outdoors, cycling, wrestling with his dog Brutus and Saint Arnold beer.


Dhara Mistry

  • Staff Accountant
  • (832) 536-2261

Dhara Mistry, Staff Accountant

Dhara joined Galveston Bay Foundation in October 2019 as a Staff Accountant. She graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. degree in Finance, Marketing, and MIS. Prior to joining GBF, Dhara worked as an Accountant in governmental and nonprofits like the Houston Public Library with the City of Houston and the Gulf Bend Center in Victoria, TX. She lives in League City with her husband Mike and their two dogs. Dhara enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, volunteering, and being in the water.

Kirsten Nichols

  • Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

Kirsten Nichols, Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

Kirsten joined Galveston Bay Foundation as part-time Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant in March 2021. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from Texas A&M at Galveston in 2003, she has held positions in both the public and private sectors related to conservation.  Her professional experiences include offshore Platform Observer, Environmental Investigator with the City of Houston’s Bureau of Pollution Control, Environmental Sampling Technician at Marathon’s Texas City refinery, and Environmental Compliance Specialist at Johnson Space Center. Most recently, she was part of the crew at the Environmental Institute of Houston contracted by the EPA to conduct the National Coastal Condition Assessment for the Texas and Louisiana coasts.  Early on in her career, Kirsten adopted the motto “think globally, act locally”, and she looks forward to continuing Galveston Bay Foundation’s mission to preserve and enhance the Bay for generations to come.  Kirsten enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as being outdoors with her dog Raven.

Megan Sambilay

  • Education Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2268

Megan Sambilay, Education Coordinator

Megan joined the Galveston Bay Foundation full-time in July 2018 after working part time as an Environmental Educator since September 2017. She graduated from Texas A&M University at College Station in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. She has a background in formal and informal education and loves working with students of all ages. Her passion for environmental conservation began at a young age when she joined Girl Scouts in elementary school. Since then, her passion has continued to grow. Throughout her degree, she was involved in organizations such as Big Event, Replant, and Society of Ecological Restoration that helped restore areas in Bryan, Texas. In her free time, she loves to play tennis, kayak, fish, camp, volunteer, or do anything that gets her outside. Megan is eager to conserve and experience Galveston Bay with students and educate them about its importance!

Nicole Scanlin

  • Director of Development
  • (832) 536-2263

Nicole Scanlin, Director of Development

Ricci Simmons

  • Conservation Stewardship Technician
  • (832) 536-2276

Ricci Simmons, Conservation Stewardship Technician

Ricci joined Galveston Bay Foundation in June 2019. Prior to joining, she lived in Colorado and worked for the Bureau of Land Management as a Rangeland Management Specialist. In 2017, she moved back to Texas to her native home of Galveston County and began to work for The Nature Conservancy as a Conservation Technician. Ricci has a B.S. in Wildlife Fisheries Sciences and in Rangeland Ecology Management from Texas A&M University, in addition to an M.S. in Hydrology from Boise State University. Her bread-and-butter is vegetation inventory and monitoring and her goals are to manage for native vegetation to promote high species diversity, improve hydrologic function, and increase wildlife habitat. Ricci spends most of her free time enjoying the outdoors with her family and especially loves gardening.

Matt Singer

  • Director of Land Conservation
  • (832) 536-2277

Matt Singer, Director of Land Conservation

Matt Singer signed on with Galveston Bay Foundation in March 2010. Prior to joining GBF, Matt earned his BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2005 and spent 4 1/2 years as a wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Matt is serving as the land manager for the Foundation’s conservation properties. He is working to restore, enhance, and maintain natural habitats around Galveston Bay.

Philip Smith

  • Director of Habitat Restoration
  • (832) 536-2258

Philip Smith, Director of Habitat Restoration

Philip Smith joined Galveston Bay Foundation in May 2006. Prior to joining GBF, Philip worked as a contract employee for NOAA Fisheries (Galveston, TX, and Panama City, FL) for six years focusing on commercial fishing data collection, data management, quality control, and at-sea safety. Philip is a 1997 graduate of the University of Alabama and received a BS in Biology and Marine Science.

Mariah Waters

  • Environmental Educator
  • (832) 536-2273

Mariah Waters, Environmental Educator

Mariah joined Galveston Bay Foundation in September 2018 as Environmental Educator. She graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston with a BS in Marine Biology and a minor in diving methods and techniques. During her senior year of college, she started an organization called Save Our Seas, which raises awareness about plastic pollution and empowers students to help create change through beach cleanups, switching to sustainable products, and other environmentally conscious actions. Mariah enjoys scuba diving, reading, and cooking new recipes. She is super passionate about the environment and protecting our beautiful oceans!

Cindy Wilems

  • Director of Education
  • (832) 536-2260

Cindy Wilems, Director of Education

Cindy joined Galveston Bay Foundation in June 2017. She graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston with a degree in Marine Biology in 2002. Prior to joining the Galveston Bay Foundation, she taught biology and aquatic science at J. Frank Dobie High School in Pasadena ISD, where she won teacher of the year at Dobie in 2013 and was named a 2015 Leader in Education for PISD.

Cindy has always instilled a love for the environment in her students. Her classes participated in Galveston Bay Foundation’s Get Hip to Habitat program, Trash Bash, and Bay Day for six years. In 2015, Cindy received the Galveston Bay Foundation Guardian of the Bay award for her work to encourage students to protect Galveston Bay. In 2016, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Missisquoi Valley Union High School in Vermont, her alma mater, for her work in environmental education. Cindy’s goal is to encourage more students to go outside and to inspire them to love the environment.

Our Board

2021 – 2022 Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and Emeritus Directors

  • Chair
  • Lori Traweek
  • 1st Vice Chair
  • Charlie Prioleau
  • 2nd Vice Chair
  • Janelle Daniel
  • Treasurer
  • Jeff Miers
  • Secretary
  • Brian Sauer
  • Immediate Past Chair
  • Fred Pounds
  • Directors
  • Monty Briscoe
  • Shelley Britton
  • Mark Burroughs
  • Trae Camble
  • Matthew Doyle
  • J.P. Fjeld-Hansen
  • Andy Giffhorn
  • Pat Hammond
  • Sarah Hudgins
  • Fay Kirby
  • Helen Lane
  • Jay Lendrum
  • Kathleen Lucas
  • Madeleine Montes
  • Jeff Myerson
  • Larry Neuhaus
  • Ed Randall
  • Scott Rice
  • Tom Tollett
  • Advisory Council
  • Mike Andries
  • Tom Bacon
  • Bill Baker
  • Bonner Barnes
  • John Bartos
  • Garrick M. Behelfer
  • Ryan Bergeron
  • Jim Blackburn
  • Christina Pickett Blackwell
  • Chuck Buckner
  • Glenda Callaway
  • Ben Carmine
  • Barbara Carroll
  • Jim Dobberstine
  • Tom Douglas
  • Denise Dubard
  • Paul Dunphey
  • Gene Fisseler
  • Paul Francis
  • Sabra Francis
  • David Haglund
  • Clifford Hillman
  • Lynn Houston
  • Michelle Hundley
  • Marianne Ibrahim
  • Charles Irvine
  • Bill Jackson
  • Shawn Jackson
  • Melinda Kilpatrick
  • Jay Levy
  • Grace Martinez
  • Bill Matthews
  • Henry May
  • Lythia Metzmeier
  • Jerry Mohn
  • Mike Parmet
  • Jennifer Pickett
  • Mike Poland
  • Lawrence Rearick
  • Lou Rosenfeld
  • Priscilla Seymour
  • Taylor Short
  • Frank C. Smith, Jr.
  • Margaret Woodruff
  • Matthew Wright
  • Suzanne Wright
  • Ellen Yarrell
  • Emeritus Directors
  • Anna Armitage
  • James Doyle
  • Guy Robert Jackson
  • Bill King
  • Timothy Love
  • Cynthia Pickett-Stevenson
  • George Pontikes
  • Sharron Stewart
  • Matt Woodruff


Are you interested in preserving and protecting our coastal environment? Do you enjoy working alongside passionate, like-minded individuals? We might be just the place for you. Take a look at our open positions to see how you can join our staff of scientists, project managers, educators, policy experts, fundraisers, and administrators to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay.

The Galveston Bay Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected characteristic.

Communications and Marketing Manager – closes October 29, 2021 

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