Travis Phillips (President)
Mr. Phillips joined the TLC board in 2010. A University of Texas at Austin graduate, he went on to earn a Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs before earning a J.D. from the UT School of Law. Mr. Phillips is a partner in the Austin law firm of Graves Dougherty Hearon Moody with a primary focus in commercial real estate. He also has legislative experience, having interned for the chair of the Texas House Natural Resources Committee. Travis currently serves on the board of Texas Land Trust Council which is the statewide trade association for land trusts as well as the TLC board. Travis serves on these boards because he is deeply interested in the use of conservation easements as a tool for protecting important habitat and ecosystems from development and degradation.
Earl Matthew (Vice President)
Dr. Matthew grew up on his family's ranch in Yoakum, Texas, and received his bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from University of Texas-Austin, then attended Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He began his internal medicine residency at the University of Florida, followed by a two-year infectious disease fellowship at NIH (Bethesda, Md.); he finished his residency at San Antonio Health Science Center. Dr. Matthew worked for 22 years at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital, retiring as director of medical services and education. Dr. Matthew became involved with Texas Land Conservancy in 1987 as executor of the estate of Ms. Ivy Payne, who donated a 400-acre refuge to Texas Land Conservancy; he has since overseen the management of the property and its endowment. Pursuing his interest in wildlife conservation, Dr. Matthew joined the board of directors of the National Wildlife Federation, representing the south-central U.S., as well as the federation's state affiliate, Texas Committee on Natural Resources. He has recently become president of Aransas First, a land trust on the Texas Gulf coast.
Pat Spillman, Jr. (Secretary)
Mr. Spillman received his B.A. in Economics from Trinity University and his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law. He is currently a Senior Attorney for Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. in Houston where he specializes in health, safety, and environmental regulation and enforcement matters, site remediation, and management of tort litigation for the company. He previously served on both the Dallas and Houston Advisory Boards of the Nature Conservancy of Texas.
Wayne Graham (Treasurer)
Mr. Graham spent 20 years in public accounting last serving as a senior audit manager. He has experience in tax, audit and non-profits with expertise in construction contractor and oil & gas accounting. He is currently a partner and chief financial officer for a private investment group and operates his own accounting and tax consulting business. Wayne was born in Midland, TX and obtained his accounting and information technology degree from the University of Texas, Permian Basin. As a landowner in east and southwest Texas, Wayne is very interested in helping preserve the natural habitats, waterways and lands of Texas.
Janell Morgan (Assistant-Treasurer)
Ms. Morgan has been a partner in the CPA firm of Sheriff and Morgan, P.C., since 1984. Ms. Morgan grew up in the Texas Panhandle and obtained her accounting education at the University of North Texas. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has served on several Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants committees at the local and state level. Her practice is in tax, accounting and auditing for small business owners and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Morgan is a financial partner for Someday Day Isle Investment Club and is active in her church.
P. Michael Jung (Past-President)
Mr. Jung as a partner in the Dallas law firm of Strasburger & Price, LLP, he received his J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School (1979) and degrees in mathematics and earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975). Before beginning law school, Mr. Jung worked on computer simulation of reentry guidance for the NASA Space Shuttle. Mr. Jung specializes in civil appellate litigation and governmental law; he has been named one of the 100 best lawyers in Texas by Texas Monthly. He has worked on behalf of clients to save open space in Dallas; as a volunteer, he chaired the city's Tree Preservation Ordinance Subcommittee and has served on other committees and task forces, and as an officer of the White Rock Neighborhood Association.
Robert J. O'Kennon
Mr. O'Kennon received his bachelor's degree in business from Duke University and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a fighter pilot, flying over 300 combat missions in Vietnam. Captain O'Kennon was an intelligence officer with the CIA after leaving the military. He became a commercial pilot in 1972, and recently retired after thirty years with American Airlines. He has been associated with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth since its inception in 1986, and has served as a trustee and research associate, currently serving as vice chair. An expert on North American flora, he has discovered and described more than 20 new plant species. Mr. O'Kennon has authored or co-authored four books on botany including The Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas and The Illustrated Flora of East Texas and has published dozens of scientific articles in international journals.
Mr. Jochelson brings both depth and breath of knowledge to the Board, informed by his professional, educational, and extracurricular experiences. He is currently the senior environmental engineer for the City of Dallas Sanitation Services Department. Having to think daily about the planning, development, operations and design of a landfill means that Adam is keenly aware of land use issues and pressures affecting the environmental landscape of an urban area. Adam received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University in 1995 and became a licensed professional environmental engineer in Texas 10 years later after working in the education field teaching math and science. Adam has also donated his time to a variety of good causes in Dallas, including helping found the Green Dallas Initiatives. Through his work on the TLC board, Adam is fulfilling a lifelong desire to have a long-term positive impact on the environment in Texas. On a greater scale, he hopes that TLC’s work will help avoid the unknowable potential consequences for globally interconnected biological systems that arise from species extinctions and damaged ecology.
Ms. McKee has a degree in communications and public relations from Southern Methodist University and works as a fundraising and development consultant for arts and education organizations in Dallas. Currently with Voices of Change, a new music ensemble, she is responsible for public relations, marketing, and development. As a teenager, Eileen received a prestigious Ford Foundation Scholarship to the School of American Ballet; she has performed with numerous national and regional dance companies. She currently teaches at Contemporary Ballet Dallas and serves on the Board of Dallas Dance Council. The daughter of Ned and Genie Fritz, Ms. McKee brings her nonprofit management skills and her desire to preserve natural areas to Texas Land Conservancy.
Mr. Grimes is the Founding Partner of Imperium Public Affairs, a Texas-based and non-partisan public affairs consulting firm providing strategic public affairs communications and business development efforts on behalf of the firm’s select clientele. Before founding IPA, Michael spent over 5 years as a Partner and President of Capitol Alliance Public Affairs, a full service public affairs and political consulting firm representing clients at all levels of government. Michael is a native of Fort Worth, Texas who grew up roaming the land and waterways of Texas, and attended and graduated from TCU and UT Austin.
Mr. Autrey is the Managing Partner of Whitley Penn. He has more than 25 years of tax, advisory and business valuation experience focused on public and private clients. His areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, manufacturing, distribution, profit enhancement, professional services, business valuations and estate planning. He holds degrees in finance and accounting both from Texas Tech university. Larry serves on numerous boards in the North Texas area including the Community Foundation of North Texas, Tarrant County United Way, and All Church Home for Children Foundation.
Mr. Moorhead is the chief operating officer of the Ben Barnes Group of Austin, Texas. A native of Houston and an honors graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Plan II Program, he is passionate about energy and water-resource issues, infrastructure, and land-use planning, and also holds a Master's in Energy and Earth Resources from the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT-Austin. He enjoys kayaking, working outdoors, and anything to do with Texas waterways.
Neel G. Baumgardner
After a career in consulting and financial services at Accenture and American Express, Dr. Baumgardner received a Ph.D. in environmental history from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches in the Department of History at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and his research focuses on public and private conservation efforts, including the state and national parks of Texas. Neel is finishing his first manuscript for publication that explores the creation of international parks along our nation’s shared borders with Canada and Mexico. He contributed to “The National Parks of Texas: In Contact With Beauty,” a Texas Public Broadcasting Association documentary highlighting the 16 national parks in Texas for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
Throwback to some of our founding members at Catahoula Forest Preserve - our first protected property - in 1982.