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
  • bstokes@galvbay.org

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
  • nannan@galvbay.org

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
  • dasbury@galvbay.org

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
  • sbatte@galvbay.org

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
  • ebillin@galvbay.org

Emily Billin, Environmental Educator

Emily Demmeck

  • Special Events Manager
  • (832) 536-2262
  • edemmeck@galvbay.org

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.

Emily Ford

  • Volunteer Engagement Manager
  • (832) 536-2256
  • eford@galvbay.org

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
  • ifouty@galvbay.org

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
  • sfrancis@galvbay.org

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
  • ggenest@galvbay.org

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.

Yolanda Hernandez

  • Administrative Assistant
  • (832)536-2275
  • yhernandez@galvbay.org

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.

Haille Leija

  • Habitat Restoration Manager
  • (832) 536-2270
  • hleija@galvbay.org

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
  • gloushine@galvbay.org

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.

 

Caleb Milbourn

  • Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant
  • cmilbourn@galvbay.org

Caleb Milbourn, Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

Dhara Mistry

  • Senior Accountant
  • (832) 536-2261
  • dmistry@galvbay.org

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.

Lauren Newcomer

  • Environmental Educator
  • lnewcomer@galvbay.org

Lauren Newcomer, Environmental Educator

Kirsten Nichols

  • Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant
  • knichols@galvbay.org

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 Nichols

  • Volunteer Events Assistant
  • 832-536-2279
  • mnichols@galvbay.org

Megan Nichols, Volunteer Events Assistant

Anthony Oppermann

  • Communications and Marketing Manager
  • (832) 536-2259
  • aoppermann@galvbay.org

Anthony Oppermann, Communications and Marketing Manager

Anthony joined the Galveston Bay Foundation in January 2022. He spent parts of the past 13 years working in various marketing and communications roles with minor league baseball teams across the country including each of the previous five years as Executive Director, Marketing and Promotions with the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Richmond, Va.  Anthony also worked as a sports copy editor for the Galveston County Daily News where he wrote a weekly column, covered live sporting events and was a member of the editorial board. A native of La Grange, Texas, he graduated from Texas Christian University in 2004 with a B.A. in Radio-Television-Film. Anthony is an avid sheller and can often be found combing area beaches.

Megan Sambilay

  • Education Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2268
  • msambilay@galvbay.org

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
  • nscanlin@galvbay.org

Nicole Scanlin, Director of Development

Ana-Marie Schaefer

  • Operations Manager
  • (832) 536-2254
  • amschaefer@galvbay.org

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.

Ricci Simmons

  • Conservation Stewardship Manager
  • (832) 536-2276
  • rsimmons@galvbay.org

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
  • ssimpson@galvbay.org

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
  • msinger@galvbay.org

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
  • csmith@galvbay.org

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
  • psmith@galvbay.org

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

  • Education Coordinator
  • (832) 536-2273
  • mwaters@galvbay.org

Mariah Waters, Education Coordinator

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
  • cwilems@galvbay.org

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
  • nzarnstorff@galvbay.org

Natasha Zarnstorff, Water Quality Programs Coordinator

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
  • Alexander Forrest
  • 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
  • Peter (Peto) Meyer
  • 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

Careers

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.

Creative Services Coordinator

Seasonal Field Technician

Oyster Shell Recycling Assistant

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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