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.

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 Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2265

Shannon Batte, Habitat Restoration Coordinator

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!

Emily Billin

  • Environmental Educator
  • (832) 536-2271

Emily Billin, Environmental Educator

Sally Clark

  • Habitat Restoration Manager
  • 832-536-2280

Sally Clark, Habitat Restoration Manager

Sally joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in July of 2023. She received a BS in Environmental Science from Texas Christian University in 2014. Prior to joining the GBF, she worked as an environmental consultant for 7 years in the transportation and energy sectors. Additionally, she spent two years living in Peru working in the water and sanitation program with the Peace Corps. Sally enjoys ultimate frisbee, quilting, exploring new restaurants, and getting outside with her dog, Poppy. She is excited to be working to restore such an important natural resource of Texas.

Emily Demmeck

  • Special Events Manager
  • (832) 536-2262

Emily Demmeck, Special Events Manager

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.

Desi Farias

  • Creative Services Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2272

Desi Farias, Creative Services Coordinator

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.

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.

Leo Hernandez

  • Field Technician

Leo Hernandez, Field Technician

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.

Megan Judson

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • 832-536-2255

Megan Judson, Volunteer Coordinator

Haille Leija

  • Director of Program Operations
  • (832) 536-2270

Haille Leija, Director of Program Operations

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.


Kimberly Meza

  • Communications and Marketing Manager
  • (832) 536-2259

Kimberly Meza, Communications and Marketing Manager

Kimberly joined Galveston Bay Foundation in April 2023 after gaining five years of marketing agency experience in the areas of Nonprofit, Restaurants, Retail, Medical, and Ecommerce. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Public Relations Marketing with a minor in English Literature. Kimberly is a Galveston Bay native and has grown up in the Bay Area her entire life. She and the Development team strive to bring the story of Galveston Bay to life via their marketing efforts and are looking forward to creating engaging and memorable content. Kimberly enjoys spending her time outdoors swimming, biking, and running and relaxing with her husband Luke and their two dogs!

Vanessa Mintzer, Ph.D.

  • Director of Research

Vanessa Mintzer, Ph.D., Director of Research

Vanessa worked for the Galveston Bay Foundation in 2006-2009 and left to pursue a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida. Then, in 2014, she began working with GBF as a consultant to establish the Galveston Bay Dolphin Research Program (GDRP) in collaboration with the Environmental Institute of Houston. In 2023, she formally returned to GBF as Director of Researcher. While her main focus is to continue GDRP’s long-term research on bottlenose dolphins in Galveston Bay, she also guides the development of GBF’s other research initiatives and projects. In addition to a Ph.D., she has a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Florida.

Dhara Mistry

  • Senior Accountant
  • (832) 536-2261

Dhara Mistry, Senior 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.

Elisa O’Neal

  • Volunteer Manager
  • 832-536-2256

Elisa O’Neal, Volunteer Manager

Elisa Medina O’Neal joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in March of 2023. Prior to joining GBF, Elisa worked for three years as Volunteer Coordinator at the Armand Bayou Nature Center where she had been an active volunteer since 2015. Elisa also spent 8 years as a freelance designer and project manager, and 5 years in corporate IT. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies and Mandarin Chinese. She is also a Chinese Bridge Scholarship recipient which means she lived and studied in China for 2 years, completing her Chinese Language Certification from Renmin University in Beijing. Elisa has always had a fondness for the natural world and enjoys exploring and recreating in the outdoors. In her spare time, she enjoys building community and  ”conservation cultura”  through her volunteer role as a Program Co-Coordinator for Latino Outdoors and practicing Kuk Sool Won, a Korean martial art.

Alayna Robertson

  • Dolphin Research Assistant

Alayna Robertson, Dolphin Research Assistant

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

Ana-Marie Schaefer

  • Operations Manager
  • (832) 536-2254

Ana-Marie Schaefer, Operations Manager

Ana-Marie joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in February 2022. She spent the past 5 years with YMCA in Santa Monica, California as the Chief Operations Officer. Ana-Marie also spent 12 years at the YMCA in La Canada-Flintridge, California as the Director of Healthy Living. A native of Northern California, she graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Advertising. She also received an M.S. in Nonprofit Organizational Management from Springfield College. Ana-Marie has always lived along the coast, enjoying the outdoors and being physically active. She is often running, hiking, kayaking or riding her bike. Fun fact: her favorite author is John Steinbeck who wrote about the area she grew up in.

Lisa Scobel

  • Marine Debris Programs Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2279

Lisa Scobel, Marine Debris Programs Coordinator

Lisa joined Galveston Bay Foundation in August of 2022.  She has a Master of Science in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Lisa is a former Nurdle Patrol intern, where she helped generate new partnerships along the Mississippi River and Great Lakes and supported data collection efforts. A native of the Gulf Coast, Lisa is passionate about reducing marine debris and protecting coastal ecosystems. In her spare time Lisa enjoys yoga, running, and spoiling her dogs.

Ricci Simmons

  • Conservation Stewardship Manager
  • (832) 536-2276

Ricci Simmons, Conservation Stewardship Manager

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.

Suzanne Simpson

  • Land Acquisition Manager
  • (832) 536-2269

Suzanne Simpson, Land Acquisition Manager

Suzanne joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in March 2022. She is responsible for accelerating the scope and pace of land conservation in the lower Galveston Bay watershed. Her passion for conservation was ignited by a lifelong fascination with reptiles and amphibians, which is evident in her menagerie of critters. She received a B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida, and she maintains a certification as a professional Ecologist with the Ecological Society of America. Suzanne has spent most of her career in the land trust world, focusing on preserving and maintaining the lands and waters that provide for our communities. When not outdoors for GBF work, Suzanne finds another excuse to step outside, including camping, backpacking, and enjoying extended walks with her dog, Hyla.

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.

Courtney Smith

  • Director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects

Courtney Smith, Director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects

Courtney Smith joined the staff of the Galveston Bay Foundation in March 2002, and has since served in a number of roles, including Environmental Specialist, Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Grants Administrator, and Vice President of Operations.  Courtney graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Houston–Clear Lake and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Interpretation: Management and Practice from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland.

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.

Jacklyn Utley

  • Staff Accountant

Jacklyn Utley, Staff Accountant

Nathaniel Villarreal

  • Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

Nathaniel Villarreal, Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

Mariah Waters

  • Education Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2273

Mariah Waters, Education Coordinator

Mariah joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in September 2018. She graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a minor in Diving Methods and Techniques. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education, as this is moving her toward one of her greatest passions of helping children foster a meaningful relationship with the natural world. Mariah recently became a Texas Master Naturalist with the Galveston Bay Area Chapter, adding to her knowledge of the local environment, which she loves to share with students to cultivate their sense of place. In her free time, Mariah enjoys reading, scuba diving, nature walks, snacking, and marveling at all things miniature.

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.

Natasha Zarnstorff

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

Natasha Zarnstorff, Water Quality Programs Coordinator

Natasha joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in June of 2022. She previously worked with the Environmental Institute of Houston as a team lead on their Clean Rivers Program sampling. She also worked with them on various aquatic projects throughout Galveston Bay and the state of Texas. Natasha also worked as a bat research technician and a seagrass research assistant. A native of Shawnee, Kansas, she graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity and received a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Natasha enjoys gardening, crafting, and playing board games with her friends in her spare time.

Our Board

2023 – 2024 Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and Emeritus Directors

  • Chair
  • Charlie Prioleau
  • 1st Vice Chair
  • Janelle Daniel
  • 2nd Vice Chair
  • Mark Burroughs
  • Treasurer
  • Jeff Miers
  • Secretary
  • Brian Sauer
  • Immediate Past Chair
  • Lori Traweek
  • Directors
  • Monty Briscoe
  • Shelley Britton
  • Mark Burroughs
  • Janelle Daniel
  • Matt Doyle
  • J.P. Fjeld-Hansen
  • Andy Giffhorn
  • Pat Hammond
  • Sarah Hudgins
  • Shawn Jackson
  • Fay Kirby
  • Jay Lendrum
  • Jeff Myerson
  • Laurence Neuhaus
  • Charlie Prioleau
  • Ed Randall
  • Scott Rice
  • Brad Robbins
  • Brian Sauer
  • Tom Tollett
  • Lori Traweek
  • Advisory Council
  • Mike Andries
  • Tom Bacon
  • Bill Baker
  • 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
  • Alexander Forrest
  • Paul Francis
  • Sabra Francis
  • David Haglund
  • Clifford Hillman
  • Lynn Houston
  • Michelle Hundley
  • Marianne Ibrahim
  • Charles Irvine
  • Bill Jackson
  • Melinda Kilpatrick
  • Stephen Lack
  • Helen Lane
  • Jay Levy
  • Grace Martinez
  • Bill Matthews
  • Henry May
  • Lythia Metzmeier
  • Peter (Peto) Meyer
  • Jerry Mohn
  • Mike Parmet
  • Jennifer Pickett
  • Lawrence Rearick
  • Lou Rosenfeld
  • Priscilla Seymour
  • Taylor Short
  • Dana Siglos
  • Margaret Woodruff
  • Matthew Wright
  • Susanne Wright
  • Ellen Yarrell
  • Emeritus Directors
  • Anna Armitage
  • James Doyle
  • Guy Robert Jackson
  • Bill King
  • Timothy Love
  • Cynthia Pickett-Stevenson
  • George Pontikes
  • Fred Pounds
  • 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.

Seasonal Field Technician

Galveston Bay Foundation is committed to celebrating diversity and promoting an inclusive workplace environment. We respect and value the differences of people and actively work to ensure fair and equal treatment of our employees and constituents regardless of differences in race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected characteristic. It is key that our staff, board, volunteers, supporters, and programs are inclusive and reflective of the people of Texas and our Galveston Bay region. These efforts make Galveston Bay Foundation stronger and more resilient and truly able to serve Galveston Bay for generations to come.

Interested in Volunteering with us?
Check out our volunteer opportunities!


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