About The Colorado River Alliance

Our mission & history

At the Colorado River Alliance, we believe that a healthy, flowing river is imperative to the long-term well-being of our communities and our state. Our mission is to champion the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement.

We dedicate resources, time, and energy to educating Texans about how the Texas Colorado River supports us and how, in turn, we can ensure its long-term vitality. Founded in 1994 and based in Austin, Texas, the Alliance has been promoting responsible stewardship of the Texas Colorado River for over 20 years, and we continue that stewardship by increasing citizen knowledge of the river’s economic and environmental importance. Along with serving as a champion for the river and for the communities and businesses that depend on it, it is the Alliance’s goal to educate today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders, ensuring a lasting legacy of a healthy river, sustainable use of water resources, and communities dedicated to protection and conservation.

The Alliance was initially created with support from LCRA, and it separated from LCRA in 1999. We continue to partner with LCRA on education programs to maximize river stewardship education. The Colorado River Alliance is an independent nonprofit that fosters and brings together active voices for a healthy, flowing river. With programs that reach 14,000 community members and schoolchildren annually, the Colorado River Alliance strives to be a champion for the people, ecosystems, communities, and businesses that depend on this precious natural resource.

Our team:

Melissa Miller

Executive Director

Melissa oversees the day-to-day operations, manages the staff and works with the Board of Directors to execute the overall mission of CRA. Bringing over 12 years of nonprofit, fundraising, and management experience in Austin, including working for Colorado River Foundation a decade ago, Melissa’s background includes managing multi-level, integrated fundraising campaigns for non-profits in higher education, K-12 and conservation. She enjoys volunteering, spending time outdoors, reading, cooking, and spending time with family. Melissa holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Southwestern University and a M.A. in Mass Communication from Texas State University and CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).

Keri Pearson

Director of Development

Fundraising is vital to every nonprofit organization and Keri believes the key is exceptional donor cultivation and stewardship. Keri strives to develop long-lasting relationships with donors and ensures that each one feel special. She is passionate about creatively executing fundraising events (especially galas!) Keri comes to Colorado River Alliance with over 9 years of nonprofit development experience and an education in Geological and Environmental Studies. Keri loves laughing with her daughter, paddling Lady Bird Lake, and being social with friends. Fun fact: Keri was born during the Memorial Day Flood of 1981.

Scott Sticker

Director of Outreach & Operations

Scott projects the mission of the Colorado River Alliance by strategically planning and executing communications and outreach efforts through various outlets. He engages the public through social media and amplifies the Alliance’s accomplishments through traditional media. In past lives, Scott was a cops and courts reporter for the New Braunfels Harold Zeitung, Sanctuary Manager at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and Communications, Development, and PR Manager at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation. His favorite part of the Texas Colorado River are the birds and wildlife who call it home and utilize its resources.

Katie Bedrich

Redbud Program Manager

Katie works with a wide range of schools, educators, and service groups to inspire our future river stewards, with the goal of engaging students from underrepresented and underserved populations. She manages a passionate team of volunteers and interns to teach elementary school students the importance of conserving and protecting the Texas Colorado River through the Redbud Field Trip Program. Katie also plans and facilitates environmental action and community outreach events, including creek cleanups and restorations in the Austin area. Katie holds a B.A. in journalism and Spanish from The University of Alabama.

Lauren Bos

Mobile River Program Manager

Lauren oversees all aspects of the Mobile River traveling educational program.  From teaching thousands of seventh graders and community members a year about Austin’s precious water resource to managing the behind the scenes maintenance on our gooseneck trailer turned exhibit-on-wheels, she is the public face for the Colorado River Alliance and always on the go.  Prior to joining the team Lauren traveled to all corners of the country, working with youth to improve public green spaces and to educate people of all backgrounds about the natural world.  Lauren holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Northern Michigan University, located on the shores of Lake Superior.

Lydia Sides

Education Programs Assistant

Lydia amplifies the vision of CRA with the passion of teaching kids the importance of preserving our natural areas and resources- especially those found in the Colorado River! In working with both the Mobile River and Redbud program, her position allows her to teach students and assist with the overall coordination of day-to-day program activities. Lydia holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Texas A&M, with minors in both Wildlife/Fisheries Science, and Parks and Natural Resource Conservation.

Board of Directors:

Executive Committee

President: John Erskine, Studio Director, VP of Publishing, Cloud Imperium Games, Inc
Secretary: Jennifer Walker, Senior Water Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation
Treasurer: Chip Bray, Central Texas Area President, Prosperity Bank
Past President: Jim DeCosmo, Community volunteer
Development Committee Chair: John Pitts, Jr., Principal, Texas Star Alliance
At-Large Officer
: John Burke, Owner, John E. Burke & Associates, and Chair, Region K Regional Water Planning Group (Lower Colorado)
At-Large Officer
: Emily R. Warren Armitano, Water Program Officer, Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation

Board Members

Steve Balas, Pharmacist and Owner, Eagle Lake Drugstore, and Rice Farmer
Susan Butler, Global Technology Lead – Integrated Water Resources Management, Jacobs
Greg Cox, Chief of Staff – Lower Colorado River Authority
Breck Harrison, Litigation Partner, Jackson Walker, LLP
Tom Hegemier, Senior Project Manager, Doucet and Associates, Inc.
Melissa Hurst, Vice President, Rifeline
Keith Jackson, Senior Vice-President, HNTB
Stephanie J. Moore, Principal Hydrologist, Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.
Susan Turrieta, President, Smith Turrieta Engineering
Augusto Villalon, Account Director, Freese and Nichols
Wade Webster, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pinnergy, Ltd.
David Yeates, CEO, Texas Wildlife Association


Breck Harrison, Litigation Partner, Jackson Walker, LLP
Tom Hegemier, Senior Project Manager, Doucet and Associates, Inc.
Melissa Hurst, Vice President, Rifeline
Keith Jackson, Senior Vice-President, HNTB
Stephanie J. Moore, Principal Hydrologist, Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.
Susan Turrieta, President, Smith Turrieta Engineering
Augusto Villalon, Account Director, Freese and Nichols
Wade Webster, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pinnergy, Ltd.
David Yeates, CEO, Texas Wildlife Association

Our Advisory Council:

Under the direction of Founding Member Ray Wilkerson, the Advisory Council members serve as critical community champions for the Colorado River Alliance. With key stakeholders and decision-makers from throughout the Colorado River basin, members share their gifts in service to our mission by providing professional expertise; their diverse knowledge of constituent perspectives; their connections to local and regional resources, colleagues, and peers; and their philanthropic support. The Advisory Council has no governing function within the organization.

Pam Akins, Community volunteer
Carole Baker, Texas Water Foundation
Joseph Beal, Beal Consulting
Paul Bury, Community Volunteer
Kyndel Bennett, Cayetano Development
John Dickerson, III, Edward Jones
Gary Farmer, Heritage Title & Heritage Exchange Corporation of Texas
Dan Herd, Herd Partners
Laura Huffman, Nature Conservancy, Texas
Arthur J. Milberger, Turf Grass America
Robert Neblett, Jackson Walker
Peter Pincoffs, Wortham Insurance & Risk Management
Pat Robertson, UBS Financial Services
Marc Rodriguez, The Offices of Marc A. Rodriguez
Andy Sansom, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University
Ray Wilkerson, Ray Wilkerson Companies
Peggy Winkler, Winkler Family Foundation

Our Endowment Board:

The Friends of the Colorado River Endowment is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation that manages a small fund to support the Colorado River Alliance’s programs.
President: Jim DeCosmo, Community volunteer
Vice President: Mike McHenry, Wedding Oak Winery
Treasurer: Robert Neblett, Jackson Walker
Secretary: Ray Wilkerson, Ray Wilkerson Companies
Trustee: Steve Cooper, Emerald Ag Investments

Contact us

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 50029
Austin, TX 78763

Physical Address:

3625 Lake Austin Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703

Parking: Click Here to View A Map

Phone: 512-498-1587

E-mail: contact@coloradoriver.org