Directors and Advisors
Board of Directors
J. David Bamberger has been joined by the following individuals to serve on the board of directors for the Bamberger Ranch Preserve. Having invested the better part of his life towards the restoration of this 5,500 acre ranch in the Hill Country of Texas, J. David took very seriously (and personally) the decision of who would operate this foundation after he is no longer able to do so.
Each board member has demonstrated, either through their volunteer and work experience or through their personal lifestyle choices, a sustainable and green philosophy towards the environment. It is that underlying philosophy, as well as their diverse set of strengths, that make the board of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve a well-functioning and cooperative organization.
From left to right: Joanna Rees, Executive Director Colleen Gardner, Dodge Bamberger, Administrative Assistant Lois Sturm, Pam Reese, David K. Bamberger, J. David Bamberger, Phil Ferguson, Susan Downey, Pat Durbin, Rusty Yates, Chap Hutcheson, Bob Cocke, Doug Anderson. Not present: Nourah Caskey, Kerby Confer, Anne Donovan, Jeff Francell, Alex Robinette, Lydia Saldana, Mary Wallace and Ira Yates.
J. David Bamberger is the founder of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve. Not wanting to see over 50 years of land restoration be dissolved and turned into a subdivision after his death, he created the Preserve in 2002 in an effort to keep the land and its educational contributions to society continuing on into perpetuity.
J. David, along with his late wife, Margaret, have received numerous awards over the years, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Garden Clubs of America. Their work and influence on the ranch continually receives awards from state and national entities such as...more
Rusty Yates brings to the board extensive financial and ranch management experience. Rusty and his wife, Ellen, live at a neighboring conservation development, The Preserve at Walnut Springs. Both are exceptional naturalists and Rusty is also a talented landscape photographer whose work has been featured not only in publications like the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, but also in art galleries around the state.more
David K. Bamberger brings to the board the life-long experience of the work at the ranch and the philosophy that accompanies it. His role is to make sure that the work that J. David and Margaret have envisioned for the preserve will materialize. He is currently a free-lance editor and writer for local magazines, and owns land in Blanco County.more
Joanna has been an active part of our Selah family since 2009, but we made her role official by asking her to serve as a director on our board in the summer of 2013. Native to England, but North Americanized since she was 18, Joanna has had a life long passion for gardening and plants.
When she and her husband settled in the Texas Hill Country, Joanna fine-tuned her knowledge by joining Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist organizations, focusing on natives and water conservation. She brings to the ranch fresh perspectives and a flare for entertaining and educating guests of all...more
Born in San Antonio and growing up in New Braunfels Doug developed an early love for the Texas Hill Country. As a teen, he learned to shoe horses and subsequently used this skill to put himself through college, earning a Bachelor of Science in Bioenvironmental Sciences from Texas A&M University.
He currently lives with his wife and daughter on his 350-acre ranch in Blanco County, enjoying hunting, fishing and nurturing the resources under his care.
Doug owns and operates Gruene Environmental Companies, which is comprised of multiple entities involved in waste management...more
Dodge Bamberger brings to the board of directors a lifetime of experience around Selah, and is committed to maintaining the ranch’s mission and purpose. Dodge is a mechanical engineering graduate from Texas A&M and is a project engineer for Lancer Corporation in San Antonio, Texas. He has been married to his sweetheart, Kate, since 1998 and they have beautiful twins, Dodge Jr. and Annabelle.more
Between her undergraduate degree in psychology, her master’s in biology and her doctorate in philosophy, Nourah brings credentials and experiences that greatly enhance her passion for outdoor education. Nourah splits her work between property management and being biology adjunct faculty at Austin Community College. She and her husband have 3 nature-loving children, spending as much time outside as they can, hiking, horseback riding and playing with their dogs.more
A long-time friend of Selah and the Bamberger family, Bobby joins our board with a passionate enthusiasm for natural resource conservation in the Texas Hill Country. Bobby and his wife, Mary, are active philanthropists and own property on the renowned portion of the Blanco River known as the Narrows.more
Splitting his time between Baltimore, MD and his ranch in Blanco County, Kerby joined our board of directors in November 2009. He and his wife, Judy, have been big supporters of the ranch’s educational programs, making contributions that enable classes to visit the ranch and most recently gave the ranch his astronomical observatory. Kerby brings to our board a vast and diverse business knowledge but most importantly, he brings a passion for the long term vision for Selah.more
Anne Donovan’s academic experience has focused on zoology, having attended Wellesly College and then graduating from the University of Texas, as well as graduate course work at Stanford University. She was awarded teacher of the year in 1999 from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas.
Her volunteer experience has been diverse, yet environmentally-minded: Travis Audubon Society, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, Texas Memorial Museum, Capital Area Master Naturalists, and the Junior League of Austin.
Anne’s passion is truly environmental education. She has not only been...more
Susan is a native Texan who developed an early love for the outdoors roaming her grandparents’ farm in Fayette County. A family move took her to East Tennessee and then a degree from the University of Tennessee in Metallurgical Engineering.
She began her professional career at IBM, where she met her husband, Harold. Together they both worked at Motorola and Freescale Semiconductor on teams that developed advanced technology for computer systems, mobile phones and consumer products. Susan holds 12 patents and is now retired with her husband on a serene 10 acres in Blanco/Burnet...more
Pat got his professional start in the computer software industry and is the founder of Planview, Inc., headquartered in Austin, Texas.
On his ranch southeast of Austin, he runs cattle and exotic animals, managing it with the perspective that “no resource is more precious than land.” His ranch is also the home of the HillView Foundation, a nonprofit he founded. Pat and his wife Jane believe that individuals with resources should use them for the common good and as such they were honored as philanthropists of the year by the Austin Nonprofit Association. He joined our board in the...more
A lifelong Texan, Phil has had more than 45 years in the financial industry with executive positions in firms including Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and AIM Capital Management. He has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to charitable and philanthropic works, having served on boards for many nonprofit foundations like the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Ballet and the St. John the Divine Endowment Fund. Phil’s knowledge of investment will be vital to managing our growing endowment fund. Phil owns Hill Country land.more
Although young in years, his work experience in the conservation arena is impressive. Jeff currently is director of real estate for the Texas Nature Conservancy. He has worked extensively both for and with the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
His formal education includes a bachelor of arts in government from the University of Texas at Austin and a master of public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs of UT. Jeff actively serves on the city of Austin parks board as well as being a director of the Hill Country Conservancy....more
Edward (Chap) Hutcheson joined the board of directors in 2008. He is a managing director of Platte River Ventures, a private equity firm. In 1995, he cofounded Crown Castle International Corporation, the owner and operator of over 22,000 wireless communication towers in the U.S. and Australia. He served as the company’s chief operating officer and CEO and continues as a director.
Chap has a bachelors of science from Northwestern University, and served three years as an officer in the U.S. army. He has also served on boards of the Houston Chapter of the National...more
A Texas native and the second oldest of seven children, Pam found nature moments in her hometown of Houston but developed an early love of the Texas Hill Country spending summers on a ranch in Hunt. Pam married her high school sweetheart, Mike, and together they started a successful business that has afforded them travels around the world.
Anyone who knows Pam knows she’s most passionate about her daughter and grandchildren, wanting them to know and appreciate the beauty and importance of the Hill Country, particularly on their own little gem, a ranch located on the Pedernales...more
Alex is an Austin native and longtime environmental advocate. She graduated from the University of Texas architecture program, and as a registered architect is inspired by the natural world as it shapes the built environment.
Alex and her husband Robbie, along with their two young children, are avid supporters of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve and its education program in particular. Their passion for mountain biking and travel throughout the country strengthened their commitment to share and protect our natural resources.more
Mary Wallace has served on the Bamberger Ranch Preserve’s board since 2002. She is an environmental and civic leader in her community and in the state of Texas.
She is a board member and past-chairman of the Environmental Defense/Texas and currently serves on the board of San Antonio Trees, the San Antonio Parks Foundation and the League of Conservation Voters. She was the first director of Citizens for Hike and Bike in Houston, an organization founded in the early 1970s, to develop green spaces and bike trails in a dense urban area. She has also had international experience — while...more
A solid land ethic was instilled in Ira when he was born and raised on the Circle C Ranch, just 12 miles from our state’s capitol in Austin. It’s difficult to imagine Ira’s childhood playing, roaming and ranching on a piece of land with pristine waters flowing in Slaughter Creek, that is now heavily paved, developed and landscaped. But it’s easy to imagine the passion he has for land conservation, land use planning, and watershed protection and the careers and activism that has dominated his adult life.
He and his wife, Roxanne, split their time between the Austin Yates Cattle and...more
Dr. Jacobs serves in an advisory role to the board of directors. Dr. Jacobs is an internationally renowned paleontologist and is the president of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. The Bamberger Ranch is rich with Cretaceous period fossils and dinosaur tracks, and thus geology is a major component to educational activities. Dr. Jacobs is a frequent educator and interpreter at the ranch.more
Dr. McCracken is a nationally recognized bat biologist from the University of Tennessee. Dr. McCracken assisted with the construction of the Bamberger Ranch’s man-made bat cave, the “Chiroptorium,” which was completed in 1998. Dr. McCracken now leads scientific research on the Chiroptorium every summer, and he assists with educational programs and interpretation on bats and their ecological significance.more
Dr. Fred Smeins is the department chair of the Rangeland Ecology Department at Texas A&M University. He advises both the board and the staff on rangeland management issues. He is well published and recognized in his field, and is considered by many to be one of the state’s experts in regards to rangeland ecology and biodiversity.more
An accomplished botanist, Deborah Mann holds a M.S. in Botany from the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. She also received a PhD in Science and Math Education at the University of Texas at Austin.
She has been working at the Austin Waldorf High School since 1997; teaching both math and biology. Her main educational interest lies in Environmental Education.
To deepen her understanding of the natural world and how people learn, Deborah has taken art lessons in landscape drawing and garden design.
Deborah brings her senior class out to the BRP in early...more
Susan Sander has been invaluable to the educational activities on the Bamberger Ranch for more than 10 years. She brings to the board knowledge of starting and managing a nature preserve, as she founded and operated a community-based nature preserve in Kerrville, Texas, the Riverside Nature Center.
She is currently the director of the Headwaters Groundwater Conservation District in Kerrville, and she brings intimate knowledge of the natural world of the Texas Hill Country to the staff and board. Her academic background includes a master’s in environmental land use planning and an...more