Welcoming Ivey Kaiser, Shoal Creek Conservancy’s New Executive Director

May 8, 2019  | By Shoal Creek Conservancy


Ivey Kaiser, foreground, is taking the reins at the Shoal Creek Conservancy from its founding Executive Director Joanna Wolaver. (Photo by Jana Birchum, Austin Chronicle)


After more than five years at the helm of the organization, Joanna Wolaver is now passing torch to Ivey Kaiser, the next Executive Director of Shoal Creek Conservancy

(AUSTIN, TX – May 9, 2019) – Announced during programming of the Shoal Creek Conservancy’s annual fundraising party, the Shoal Creek Social, which took place Tuesday evening at the Austin Central Library, the organization will be led by a new Executive Director beginning May 23.

After successfully leading Shoal Creek Conservancy for more than five years, Joanna Wolaver, the Conservancy’s current Executive Director, is now passing the torch as well as her legacy to Ivey Kaiser, who will lead the organization as it enters its next chapter.

“Over these past five years, we have transformed Shoal Creek Conservancy from a dream into a thriving reality, and our accomplishments are many,” said Wolaver. “We’ve created a voice and champion for Shoal Creek watershed and trail; we’ve built strong partnerships and grown our donor base; we’ve laid the groundwork for major improvements on the creek while making on-the-ground changes through our partnership with the City and our work with volunteers; we’ve built a skilled and strategic Board of Directors. This strong foundation will enable Shoal Creek Conservancy to meet its mission, not just today but for years to come. I couldn’t be more pleased that Ivey will be guiding the organization into this next phase of positive growth and development.”

The organization is at an inflection point and this transition – as well as its announcement – couldn’t be better timed. Over the past five years, Shoal Creek Conservancy’s advocacy and partnership with the City has resulted in nearly $15 million in public improvements along the trail, including rebuilding the trail between 5th and West streets and the Shoal Creek Restoration Project between 15th and 28th streets.

The Conservancy has also partnered with the City and community members to create a bold vision for the future of the Trail and Watershed through planning efforts. Now, with plans including the Shoal Creek Trail Plan, the Trestle Conceptual Master Plan, the Duncan Park Plan, and the Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan, complete or near completion, the organization has a real opportunity to partner with the City and make the recommended improvements.

In terms of transition, the organization has structured the change to be implemented as a smooth as possible. “A smooth transition to new staff leadership gives us great momentum to begin our next chapter,” said Ted Siff, Shoal Creek Conservancy Board President. “With Ivey at its helm, I’m excited about the Conservancy’s capacity to bring more and new programming to the Trail, Creek and parks within the Watershed, and with strong partnerships, much more.”

Long-time environmental steward, Ivey Kaiser is no stranger to the work and mission of Shoal Creek Conservancy. With more than seven years of professional experience working with Austin’s environmental non-profits, and strong leadership capabilities developed across community outreach roles at REI, Ivey has been involved with Shoal Creek Conservancy since its conception. In her new role as Executive Director, she will work to improve outdoor places, connect the work of the organization to the larger community, and make meaningful impact for Austin’s local trails, waterways and neighborhoods through stable growth and empowerment.

“Over the past decade, both my personal and professional lives have been focused on getting people outdoors and improving public spaces. I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to expand on these passions than leading Shoal Creek Conservancy into its next chapter of work championing the both Shoal Creek Trail and the larger Shoal Creek Watershed,” said Ivey Kaiser. “I’m honored and excited to begin this role, and hope to invite everyone in Austin to visit the Shoal Creek Trail and enjoy this shared resource that provides us all with natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and Texas history and culture.”

Ivey will take over as Executive Director of Shoal Creek Conservancy on May 23, and Joanna’s last day with the organization will be May 31.