2018 River Rally Mentoring

Because We All Need Somebody to Lean On

Youa passionate, dedicated river-saving individual with “unique” challenges who seeks someone to provide personalized consultation.
Mentorsindividuals available at River Rally to provide passionate, dedicated river-saving individuals with some personalized attention.

Coincidence? We think not! Starting now, you can sign up for your very own River Rally Mentoring Session. We have recruited top-notch, nonprofit experts who bring years of experience with many of the issues you and your organization face.

Mentors will be available for 45 minute time slots over the course of Rally, but… you must sign up prior to arriving at Rally!  The sessions fill up fast, so sign up as soon as you’re certain you can meet the mentor of your choice at the designated time.  A word of caution… by signing up for a mentoring slot, you are committing to showing up! Please check the workshop schedule in our 2018 River Rally Program before committing to a time to make sure you won’t be missing a key workshop during your mentoring session.

Note that all times are listed in local California (Pacific) time.

david allen
  • Bio: Development for Conservation assists conservation organizations raising money from individual donors by improving renewal, cultivation, and major gift systems. David Allen brings 30 years’ experience to the practice, including thirteen with TNC. He has devoted his professional career to helping conservation organizations pursue excellence in all aspects of their conservation endeavors. David is a skilled seminar and workshop presenter, particularly in major gift fundraising, and is a regular presenter at River Rally. Specialties include Fundraising Planning, Board Training, and Campaigns.
  • Mentoring topics: All things fundraising (i.e. planning, writing fundraising letters, major gifts, hiring fundraising staff, board fundraising, annual campaigns for unrestricted money, capital campaigns); Board development; Succession planning; Strategic Planning
  • Available: Monday 8:30 – 9:15 AM, 11:00 – 11:45 AM, 4:45 – 5:30 PM; Tuesday  8:30 – 9:15 AM, 11:00 – 11:45 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with David!
ronda chapman 2017
  • Bio:  When Ronda Chapman was a young girl, she had several wise sages and influencers: her parents, Woodsy Owl, Smokey the Bear, and Iron Eyes Cody from the Keep America Beautiful ad campaign. The latter three shaped her life in ways nobody had predicted including herself. Her first environmental job out of high school was as a canvasser for Greenpeace USA and throughout the 30 years that followed Ronda found herself living in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah as an active outdoor recreation enthusiast, obtaining an environmental history degree from Portland State University, managing sustainability programs for various local government institutions, training green organizations on diversifying the environmental movement, and advising environmental agencies on racial equity and community engagement. In January 2017, Ronda became the Executive Director for Groundwork DC where she is building on the great work of her predecessor and incorporating other elements of community well-being including issues such as restorative justice, nutrition, and mindfulness.
  • Mentoring topics: Integrating an equity lens into project design, engagement, and evaluation
  • Available: Monday 11:00 – 11:45 AM; Wednesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Ronda!
dennis chestnut 2017
  • Bio: Dennis Chestnut is the recently retired founding Executive Director of Groundwork Anacostia River DC (GWARDC), a non-profit organization committed to improving the community’s physical landscape through tangible projects and developing the next generation of environmental leaders. Born in Washington, DC and raised in the Hillbrook neighborhood of Ward 7 where he still lives. Dennis is a vocational and environmental educator, master carpenter, lead citizen forester, community organizer, nonprofit board member, Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, Master Watershed Steward and a member of the Mayor’s Leadership Council for a Cleaner Anacostia River. Dennis is a civic ecologist and works to connect people to the outdoors and to the Anacostia Watershed.
  • Mentoring topics: Preparing for leadership succession; planning and delivering successful youth engagement programs; the importance of building and managing relationships among federal and local government, community organizations, and residents to accomplish clean water goals.
  • Available: Monday 8:30 – 9:15 AM, 4:30 – 5:15 PM; Wednesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Dennis!
Sarah Head Shot
  • Bio: Sarah Clark, Senior Associate with the Institute for Conservation Leadership, has over 20 years of experience developing and leading collaborative efforts, local and national programs, and leadership development initiatives with membership, advocacy, volunteer and community-based organizations.  She is adept at working with leaders to assess needs, clarify outcomes and develop strategies to create change and meet goals and is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels of an organization or initiative.  Sarah currently leads ICL’s efforts with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, facilitating collaboration throughout this initiative with over 40 organizations with nine sub-initiative groups. Sarah earned her MSOD in Organization Development from American University/NTL in 2010 and her BA in Sociology from Miami University (Ohio).  
  • Mentoring topics: Leading a coalition/collaborative effort, Difficult conversations/improving relationships (e.g., with board members, staff), Engaging new constituencies
  • Available: Monday 2:30 – 3:15 PM, 4:30 – 5:15 PM; Tuesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM; Wednesday 4:30 – 5:15 PM
  • Sign up for a slot with Sarah!
adam griggs 2017
  • Bio: Adam Griggs is River Network’s Science Manager. Adam’s role is to stay up-to-date with the latest citizen science resources and to share best practices with watershed organizations on the ground. He has a background in applied aquatic ecology and citizen science. Adam has years of experience collecting and analyzing aquatic data for various  state and federal agencies, and has tools and tips for every part of the aquatic science process, from study design, to data management and analysis, through science communication.
  • Mentoring topics: Monitoring program design & evaluation; Databases; Tools for data analysis & visualization; R for analysis (examples & troubleshooting), Questions about ecology, indicators, & stressors
  • Available: Monday 3:30 – 4:15 PM; Wednesday 10:00 – 10:45 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Adam!
  • Bio: Jeff Harn recently retired after 35 years with Arlington County, VA, where he created and led the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Mgt. in the County’s Department of Environmental Svs. Jeff led an interdisciplinary team of 30 professionals with expertise in environmental science, watershed management, stormwater engineering, energy management, civic engagement, and sustainability.  He has a Master of Science degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Minnesota. Jeff lives in Bethesda, Maryland. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities with his family, including hiking, canoeing, rafting, fly fishing, and nature photography.
  • Mentoring topics: Building partnerships between local government and NGOs; Urban stormwater management challenges and opportunities; Dealing with local elected officials; Framing the sustainability issue; Managing to encourage innovation
  • Bio: Joan Harn is the National Park Service river programs manager for the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Division, with primary responsibility for Wild and Scenic Rivers and Hydropower Assistance, as well as oversight of Rivers and Watershed work of the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance programs.  She represents NPS on the Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council and co-leads the NPS Wild and Scenic Rivers Steering Committee.  Prior to joining NPS in 2000, she was an independent consultant primarily working on policy related to hydropower, anadromous fish passage, and dam removal.  She previously worked for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment on a wide variety of environmental issues including wetland management, groundwater contamination, hazardous waste clean up, fish passage, dismantling nuclear weapons, and drug smuggling.  She began her career as a water resources planner in WI, NC and SC.  She has a BA in Geology from Carleton College, MN and an MS in Water Resources Management from UW-Madison.
  • Mentoring topics: Wild & Scenic Rivers; FERC Hydropower; Life-Work balance
  • Available: Wednesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM, 9:30 – 10:15 AM, 10:15 – 11:00 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Joan!
  • Bio: Barb Horn has worked on water quality issues Colorado Rivers since 1986 as a Water Quality Specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She founded the Rivers of Colorado Water Watch Network, a volunteer monitoring program, which annually monitors over 400 stations on 500 plus rivers in Colorado for chemical, physical and biological parameters. She has worked in diverse roles with national, state and local non profit entities.  She believes that the condition of our rivers is a direct reflection of the condition of our hearts and so we must pay attention to heart work along with river work. She has a BA Environmental Economics, BS Environmental Conservation, MBA in Aquatic Ecology and is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, SoulCollage Facilitator©inspirational speaker and instructor.
  • Mentoring topics: Leadership Areas That Trip Us Up (including Navigating Change, Claiming Power, Fixing Your Nemesis, Upgrading Your Relationship with Money);  Science (i.e. Creating Measurable Results from Water Quality Monitoring and Data Management)
  • Available: Monday 2:30 – 3:15 PM, 4:30 – 5:15 PM; Tuesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM; Wednesday 2:30 – 3:15 PM, 4:30 – 5:15 PM
  • Sign up for a slot with Barb!
meghan kelly
  • Bio: Meghan Kelly is Principal of Green Motivate, where she consults environmental organizations on designing, implementing, and evaluating programs with a goal of behavior change and effective communication. Meghan specializes in research design and strategy, effective communication and messaging, and providing professional development workshops and presentations on behavior change. She also serves on the board of directors for the Social Marketing Association of North America (SMANA). Meghan presented and served as a mentor at River Rally 2015 and 2016. Previously, she was an environmental projects specialist for the City of Oakland, California where she served as project manager for Oakland Earth Day and lead the Adopt a Spot program for parks. Meghan has an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan. Meghan lives in San Francisco and spends her free time birding and hiking with her husband, dog, and newborn son.
  • Mentoring topics: Designing and implementing outreach programs with a focus on behavior change; Research design and strategy; Effective communication and messaging; Community-based social marketing
  • Available: Monday 11:00 – 11:45 AM; Wednesday 11:00 – 11:45
  • Sign up for a slot with Meghan!
  • Bio: Amy Kober is the National Communications Director for American Rivers, overseeing campaign strategy, media relations, publications and digital efforts. She has led successful communications campaigns around high-profile issues including dam removal, flooding, clean water, and wild river protection. Amy leads the organization’s annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers campaign and built the organization’s creative storytelling initiative, which has resulted in a series of award-winning films.
  • Mentoring topics: Communications, Media
  • Available: Tuesday 3:30 – 4:15 PM, 4:15 – 5:00 PM; Wednesday 9:30 – 10:15 AM, 10:15 – 11:00 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Amy!
  • Bio: Catlow Shipek is a founding member of Watershed Management Group (WMG), a Tucson-based non-profit organization. He received a MSc in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona. Catlow has over ten years of experience in applied watershed management, planning and policy specializing in urban applications like water harvesting, green infrastructure, stream restoration, and eco-sanitation. Catlow has worked on several successful local policy initiatives including Tucson’s residential greywater ordinance revision process, Tucson’s Green Streets Active Practice Guidelines, and Tucson Water’s residential rainwater rebate program. Catlow also serves on the Citizens’ Water Advisory Committee for Tucson Water including Chair of the Conservation & Education subcommittee and the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment advisory board. Catlow’s passion is to link people to their local environment for improved stewardship and prosperity.
  • Mentoring topics: Watershed management, green infrastructure for arid environments, municipal/county codes/regulations/policy related to water harvesting and green infrastructure, citizen science program development, dryland restoration practices, community engagement from grassroots to elected officials, and related topics
  • Available: Monday 11:00 – 11:45 AM; Wednesday 11:00 – 11:45 AM
  • Sign up for a slot with Catlow!
Baird Straughan 2017
  • Bio: After a previous life designing databases for nonprofits, Baird Straughan has worked for the last twenty years consulting, training and research for environmental and conservation groups.  He spent 9 years as Associate Director at the Institute for Conservation Leadership, training groups in campaign planning and volunteer management, and the last 9 as the developer of the WaterGrass database for river organizations.
  • Mentoring topics: Managing volunteer programs, Planning  campaigns, Tracking member and volunteer data
  • Available: Wednesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM
  • Sign up for a spot with Baird!
  • Bio: Jumana Vasi is currently working as an independent consultant, helping nonprofits with fundraising, policy and advocacy strategy, program development and evaluation, and advancing equitable outcomes by strategically applying approaches related to diversity and inclusion. She previously worked for eight years as a program officer in the C. S. Mott Foundation’s Environment Program. Jumana’s professional experience also includes working at two community-based organizations in Chicago and assisting on environmental justice projects at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Mentoring topics: How and when to approach foundations for grants; How to effectively apply DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategies
  • Available: Tuesday 8:00 – 8:45 AM; Wednesday 4:30 – 5:15 PM, 5:15 – 6:00 PM
  • Sign up for a slot with Jumana!
color headshot
  • Bio: Carla Walker has a 20-year career of developing and managing complex projects for large-scale civic engagement and public policy initiatives on the local, state, national and international levels. As a strategist, she has managed or consulted on 100+ advocacy or political campaigns and served on the staff of numerous elected officials and with cause-related celebrities. She serves on the Boards of the Cincinnati Environmental Advisory Council, Ohio Citizen’s Action, and the Congress for New Urbanism-Midwest. She launched her strategic planning and communications consultancy, think BIG strategies, in 2010. She serves as the Director for the Americas Region for the global communications network IPREX, and the strategic advisor for the Healing Our Waters Coalition Equity Advisory and Action Committee, the 2018-2023 City of Cincinnati Green Cincinnati Plan, the Environmental Community Organization Water Affordability Initiative, and the Cincinnati NAACP Environment & Climate Justice Committee.
  • Mentoring topics: Strategic planning – what is it, what it is not and how it can enhance everything you do; Strategic communications – what is it and how to think differently about communications to deliver on your goals
  • Available: Monday 8:30 – 9:15 AM, 11:00 – 11:45 AM; Tuesday 8:30 – 9:15 AM
  • Sign up for a spot with Carla!
  • Bio: Bob Zimmerman is the Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA). During Bob’s tenure, CRWA has become a leading authority on the science of water in urban watersheds and has developed programs that address stormwater pollution, water quality, low instream flow, nutrient loading, habitat protection and restoration, community zoning, suburban sprawl, sustainable development, the economics of water infrastructure transformation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Mentoring topics: Managing a river group; Fundraising; Understanding and resolving environmental issues, regulation, politics, personnel, boards, pretty much the whole spectrum of work surrounding the operations of an environmental NGO
  • Available: Monday 9:00 – 9:45 AM, 10:00 – 10:45 AM, 11:00 – 11:45 AM; Wednesday 1:00 – 1:45 PM, 2:00 – 2:45 PM
  • Sign up for a spot with Bob!