Joanna Wolaver, Executive Director
Joanna has worked in both the public and nonprofit sectors throughout her career, specializing in natural resources protection, funding for parks and wildlife, urban planning, and Texas water policy. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she held positions at National Wildlife Federation, New Jersey Audubon Society and the San Antonio Mayor’s Office. Joanna managed three successful open space and transportation bond campaigns in Texas and New Jersey. She received a Master’s degree in Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas and an undergraduate degree in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College. Joanna grew up in Austin and enjoys hiking with her husband, son and sweet chocolate lab.
Nina Rinaldi, Development & Operations Manager
Prior to her work at the Conservancy, Nina held the position of Development Coordinator at the Asian Family Support Services of Austin. Her past experiences also include work as an Administrative Professional at the Center for K-12 Assessment and Performance Management at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Grant Writer and Arabic-English Translator at The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies in Cairo, Egypt. Nina received her B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Oregon. Nina enjoys taking walks around Austin and reading about urban planning and history.
Alexa Loken, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager
Alexa has always had a passion for promoting wonderful people and causes. She got her undergrad degree at American University in D.C., where she discovered her love of environmental nonprofits, including teaching students how to garden and working at the Environmental Working Group. She then went on to attend NYU to receive her Master’s in Communications. Alexa’s love of positive promotion inspired her to start two companies: a cause-based marketing firm and then later a career consulting business. Prior to Shoal Creek Conservancy, she also worked at Indeed.com as a career coach. She currently serves on the Board of TreeFolks as their marketing chair and teaches a course on Business Communications at St. Edward’s University. She grew up in the Bay Area, has lived and worked in DC, NYC, Hawaii, Denver, and currently work and plays in Austin, where she’s called home since 2012. She has two rambunctious dogs and two curious cats, and she absolutely adores tea and public libraries.
Hannah Simon, Social Media & Communications Intern
Hannah is a third-year Environmental Science major with a focus in Biological Sciences from Dallas, TX. She is also earning a minor in Visual Media to fulfill her passion for photography and hopes to pursue a career in environmental photojournalism after college. She is looking forward to promoting Shoal Creek Conservancy and getting the community involved with the creek.
Ashley Nichols, Event Planning & Partnerships Intern
Ashley is a fourth-year Biology major at the University of Texas at Austin. And with her BSA she is also getting certificates in Environmental Sustainability and Marine Science. After graduating, Ashley plans to pursue a career in environmental conservation. She is excited to bring awareness to the Shoal Creek expansion project and make green spaces in the city beautiful and enjoyable for everyone.
Board of Directors:
Amy Wanamaker, University of Texas
Amy Wanamaker is the Director of The University of Texas at Austin’s Campus Real Estate Office. She manages the acquisition, disposition, redevelopment, management, and leasing of a diverse portfolio of real estate assets throughout the globe for the university. In addition to acquisitions, project management and leasing, Amy has broad experience in commercial real estate brokerage, strategic planning, liquidating foreclosed commercial properties, and large scale auctions.
Shannon is a native Austinite and taco lover who has been involved as a volunteer with Shoal Creek Conservancy since 2015. As Vice President for Member Relations for United Ways of Texas, she brings expertise in nonprofit administration, capacity-building, program management, fundraising, and communication to the Conservancy’s Board. Shannon is also an active member of the Junior League of Austin.
Clinton is a commercial land broker with Sayers Real Estate Advisors, Inc, a local real estate advisory firm founded in Austin in 1977. As an Austin native, Clinton has passion for facilitating the highest and best use of urban land in Downtown Austin and the surrounding Central Austin neighborhoods. He is driven by the fundamentals of urbanism including sustainability, connectivity, community and a multi-modal city. Clinton and his wife, Meghan, live in Old Enfield with their son, Parker, and dog, Sadie.
Susan served as Executive Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center from 2004 to 2015. She also served as Policy Director for Land Stewardship for the National Wildlife Federation and was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of the Interior. Susan’s other government experience includes serving as Director of Environmental Policy in the Texas Governor’s office as well as appointment as Assistant Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture and as the first Director of Resource Protection for Texas Parks and Wildlife. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and a B.S. degree in environmental sciences from Texas Christian University.
Felicia Pena graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a certificate degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofits. After graduation, Felicia worked as a Campaign Associate for United Way for Greater Austin assisting with the State Employee Charitable Campaign. She is currently the Community Engagement Director at the Central Texas Food Bank, working in events fundraising and volunteer programming. Felicia currently serves as a Board Co-Chair for the YWCA Greater Austin. She has also held leadership roles within the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Austin, the Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin and the Young Women’s Alliance, where she remains involved with the Austin Under 40 Awards Gala. Felicia was also a participant in the 2013 class of Leadership Austin Emerge and recently completed the City of Austin CityWorks Academy.
Sara has been with Balcones Resources since January 1995 and has held a number of positions including sales, marketing and operations. She currently serves as Vice President – Corporate Services where she is responsible for a variety of functions within the company. Sara has a BFA from Southern Methodist University and an MS in Environmental Planning from the University of Texas. She is a 5th generation Texan and native Austinite, and lives downtown along Shoal Creek. She is actively involved with her favorite non-profits, Austin Pets Alive! and Shoal Creek Conservancy.
Kristin Chiles, Secretary
Kristin is a Real Estate Executive at Google, where she handles real estate strategy for over 1M SF over 10 cities in the Americas. Prior to working at Google, She held the role of Senior Project Manager at CB Richard Ellis. Kristin got her start as a Designer and Project Manager at Susman Tisdale Gayle, in Austin, Texas. She has over 19 years of experience and holds a BA in Interior Design from Michigan State University. In addition to her position on the Conservancy’s Board, Kristin sits on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance.
Jonanna Mikulenka, Treasurer
Jonanna works as Corporate Controller for Cirrus Logic, Inc. Prior to joining Cirrus in April 2000, she worked in the corporate accounting group for various oil and gas and manufacturing companies. Jonanna holds a CPA certification and has two Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting and Political Science.
Perry Lorenz, Vice-President
Perry, principal of Austin-based real estate development company Constructive Ventures, has been actively involved in the ownership, management and development of downtown Austin real estate for more than 35 years. Notable projects include Saltillo Lofts, Spring, BartonPlace and The Independent. He is past Chair of the City of Austin Downtown Commission on which he served for 12 years and past Chair of the City of Austin Design Commission on which he served for 15 years.
Ted Siff, President of the Board
Ted, president of Park Place Publications, LP, has been a senior manager and part owner of several Austin publishing companies including Third Coast Magazine, The Quorum Report, and Texas Monthly. He has also been a leader in conservation and park advocacy as the Texas Director of the Trust for Public Land, a board member and then executive director of the Austin Parks Foundation and volunteer treasurer of numerous Austin and Travis County bond campaigns. He is a board member of other public interest and conservation nonprofits as well as board president of the Old Austin Neighborhood Association.