River Rally Mentoring Sessions – Because We All Need Somebody to Lean On

a 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 45-60 minute time slots over the course of Rally, and you must sign up before arriving.  These sessions have been very popular in the past, so we suggest you sign up as soon as possible (if not earlier). Each mentor has offered up 2 or 3 slots – first come, first served!

A word of caution… by signing up for a mentoring slot, you are committing to showing up! Please check the Rally brochure before committing to a time to make sure you won’t be missing a key workshop during your mentoring session. And please sign up for one slot ONLY, so other Rally attendees can take advantage of these mentoring opportunities.

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

david allen
  • Bio: David Allen and Development for Conservation assist 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 The Nature Conservancy. He has devoted his professional career to helping conservation organizations and land trusts pursue excellence in all aspects of their conservation endeavors. David is a skilled seminar presenter, particularly in major gift fundraising. Specialties include Development Audits, Board training, and campaigns.
  • Mentoring topics: Planning for Strategic Planning, Building Effective Boards, Fundraising Metrics, Building Membership Programs, Effective Marketing, Getting Board Members Engaged in Fundraising, Capital Campaigns/Feasibility Studies
sally bethea
  • Bio: Sally Bethea is the founding director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a 7,000-plus member nonprofit environmental advocacy organization established in 1994 to protect and restore the Chattahoochee River, its tributaries and watershed. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in City Planning from Georgia Tech, and an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College – as well as more than 35 years of experience in environmental issues and nonprofit management. Sally’s accomplishments over two decades include the precedent-setting legal action against the City of Atlanta which stopped untreated sewage from flowing into neighborhood streams and drinking water supplies for nearly four million people, a settlement that resulted in the acquisition and protection of nearly 2,000 acres of greenspace along urban streams. She has served on numerous boards for national and state-based environmental organizations and is the recipient of the James R. Compton River Achievement Award from River Network.
  • Mentoring topics: leadership transitions, coalition building, advocacy campaigns, litigation & media strategies
  • Bio: As River Network’s Science Manager, Adam Griggs is responsible for ensuring River Network’s partner organizations have the scientific and technical capacity they need to be effective advocates, stewards, and managers of flowing freshwater everywhere. Adam had a semi-aquatic childhood, spending most of his time fishing, swimming, and inspecting a section of Little Pipe Creek, an unfortunate but resilient tributary of the Monocacy River. Adam’s love of creeks led to him earning a Biology degree at Coastal Carolina University and an M.S in Environmental Biology at Hood College. At Hood, he coordinated the Monocacy Basin Stream Monitoring Project (MBSMP). He has held various positions with the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), providing state and federal regulatory agencies with a range of scientific and technical services, including monitoring, modeling, program design, and data analysis.
  • Mentoring topics: monitoring programs (design, data analysis, statistics & databases), science resources, discharge permit reviews.
  • 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: Navigating Change, Claiming Power, Fixing Your Nemesis, Upgrading Your Relationship with Money,  Science: Creating Measurable Results from Water Quality Monitoring
meghan kelly
  • Bio: Meghan Kelly is Principal of Green Motivate, a sustainability consulting business that assists environmental organizations in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs with a goal of behavior change. Meghan specializes in research design and strategy, including observational and formative research, interviews, and surveys, as well as providing professional development workshops and presentations on behavior change. Meghan presented at River Rally 2015 with Kacey Wetzel of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and also served as a mentor. Previously, she was an environmental projects specialist for the City of Oakland, 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 bird watching, hiking with her husband and dog, and serving as board member for Young Women Social Entrepreneurs – San Francisco.
  • Mentoring topics: Designing, implementing, and evaluating environmental outreach programs with a focus on behavior change; community-based social marketing
  • Bio: Carrie Novak served as River Network’s Director of Finance, where she oversaw day-to-day financial recording, financial reporting, as well as annual auditing and tax filings for River Network. She has a B.S. in Accounting and has worked in public accounting in tax and audit and worked closely as an auditor of the firm’s large non-profit based clients.
  • Mentoring topics: financial tracking and management, budgeting, cash flow, and all things finance-related
  • Bio: Mary Ellen Olcese serves as the primary staff for River Network in the Mid-Atlantic region. She conducts workshops and training sessions on organizational development issues such as fundraising, Board development and Strategic Planning, and integrates with other River Network staff training on other watershed protection topics. Mary Ellen brings to the position 25+ years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, as an Education Director, Development Director and Executive Director. Before joining River Network she worked for nine years as an independent consultant for community and conservation groups on issues of fundraising and institutional effectiveness. She received her BA and BS from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters from Boston University.
  • Mentoring topics: Strategic Planning, Board development and Fundraising (e.g. fundraising planning, engaging the board in fundraising and individual giving programs)
paco ollervides
  • Bio: Francisco (Paco) Ollervides has enjoyed helping nonprofit organizations think and act strategically by improving their efficiency and efficacy for 14 years. He supports current and potential River Network member organizations with capacity building and organizational development. His main interest has been strengthening the leadership of these organizations to ensure continuity and success in their campaigns and the deliverables of their program. He has assisted in the preparation of strategic plans, fund raising trainings, and board member recruitment and succession planning. He has also served as Senior Field Coordinator to numerous nonprofit advocacy groups throughout Latin America while he worked with Waterkeeper Alliance. He was the Director for the School for Field Studies’ Center for Coastal Studies, in San Carlos, Mexico. He is a Biochemical Engineer who obtained both a Masters in Science and Doctorate degrees from Texas A&M University as a bioacoustician in the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences department.
  • Mentoring topics: Board development (recruitment, retention, engagement, board/staff relations) & managing volunteers.
james saracini
  • Bio: James Saracini is the communications manager at GRACE, where he manages Sustainable Table’s social media accounts and contributes to various communications projects. Having spent years helping manage small and large organizations’ communications efforts, he’s excited to work at the intersection of food and the environment. James also volunteers for community-building organizations, another cause he cares a lot about. He holds a BJ in Journalism and a BA in English from the University of Missouri. James’ family owns a small farm in Missouri and he loves talking about stewardship and sustainability.
  • Mentoring topics: Using Social Media to better advocate, expand reach and engage key audiences; Social Media Advertising, Content Marketing & Non-profit Branding
sarah clark
  • 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
aaron viles
  • Bio: Aaron Viles is a Senior Grassroots Organizer for Care2. He works with citizen authors on Care2 Petitions to create petitions that will win concrete victories for animals, the environment, and other progressive causes. Prior to Care2 he spent two decades working within the non-profit environmental advocacy field. Aaron honed his craft while working for Gulf Restoration Network, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Faithful America. He began his career with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. When not in front of a screen or on a conference call, Aaron can be found doting on his daughters, pedaling furiously to keep up with the peloton, and serving as a volunteer leader for the Gulf Restoration Network and his church.
  • Mentoring topics: Online campaigns, including petitions, email, social media and using online action for offline media and pressure.
  • Bio: Bob Zimmerman is the Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and sits on the River Network board of directors. 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: Science, law and litigation, advocacy, becoming a credible threat, winning, successful (and not successful) fundraising, events, drama, losing, priorities, climate issues, finding the real problem(s), bullshit, alpine ski racing, and golf!
  • Bio: Lisa Hari is a Diversity & Inclusion subject matter educator/expert with strategic experience in People Relations, Health, Safety and Environment, and Change Management. Lisa has worked to promote diversity and inclusion for more than 20 years in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Lisa has been instrumental in building robust, innovative work environments and partnerships through coaching, mentoring and learning opportunities. Demonstrating a hybrid of vision, business acumen, and tactical implementation of programs, Lisa uses her passion for the arts in all that she does. Lisa currently enjoys serving as a board member for the Calgary Folk Festival Society. Lisa brings a wealth of experience building coalitions to strengthen partnerships for more powerful and impactful work and campaigns and a commitment to building an equitable society where all are respected. Lisa holds a B.Sc.–Geophysics, B.Ed.–Secondary Science, and specialization in Human Resources, Environmental Management, Health, Safety & Environment certification.
  • Mentoring topics: Designing, implementing, and evaluating environmental outreach programs with a focus on behavior change; community-based social marketing; building a more inclusive organization.