Nathan came to New Orleans after a decade in natural resource management in the Mid-Atlantic. As a graduate student at Tulane School of Architecture, he gained a deep appreciation for the region’s unique history as well as the challenges of building in a deltaic environment like Southeast Louisiana. In particular, his work on climate change and cultural heritage built upon a longstanding commitment to the joint protection of natural and cultural resources.
That synergistic approach was a hallmark of his seven years as executive director of the Virginia Conservation Network. A coalition of more than 125 nonprofit and community groups, the network championed energy efficiency benchmarks, conservation easements and watershed restoration. During Nathan’s tenure, the network united rural communities concerned about a proposed uranium mine with business interests downstream to protect the drinking water of more than 1 million people. In partnership with foundations and conservation groups across six states, Nathan helped launch the Choose Clean Water coalition, which became a force for clean-up of the Cheasapeake Bay and a resource to local governments.
Previously, Nathan served in a state agency tasked with curbing runoff pollution from farms and cities and with promoting parks and open space, During that time he first encountered many of the principles of green infrastructure. He served as lead author for a greenway-blueway project, Captain John Smith’s Trail on the James River. He also authored a guide book to hiking trails near Richmond, Virginia. Nathan is married to Elizabeth Lott, a minister and Gulf South native. The couple have two school-age children.
Acting director of the Central City Renaissance Alliance, Tanya James is an agile facilitator, dynamic trainer, and respected community engagement strategist who inspires and empowers people to lead as a way of life. Ms. James possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and is passionate about life-long learning and equipping people with the tools needed to support both individual and community transformation. She has worked in community with grantees in the Neighborhood Capacity Building Initiative, Southern Rural Access Program (RWJF), Southern Rural Asset Building Coalition (Ford Foundation), Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Foundation for Louisiana, Louisiana Area Health Education Centers, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Human Resource Service Administration (HRSA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). She holds a Masters of Social Work from Southern University of New Orleans.
As project manager for Urban Conservancy’s, Felice oversees the Front Yard Initiative, an incentive program encouraging onsite permeability through the removal of excessive paving; Building Active Stewardship in New Orleans (BASIN), an environmental literacy and stewardship program for youth; and advocacy which includes anything from hosting public forums to submitting Master Plan amendments. Felice is a graduate of the UNO Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program, with an emphasis on Environmental and Hazard Mitigation Planning and Land Use and Urban Design. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans. Felice will soon be a certified member of the Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans, from which she learned much about observation and plant identification. A Louisiana native, Felice is passionate about this unique and wonderful state and looks forward to continuing her personal and professional journey here.
A professional engineer and land surveyor, Mr. Mora is a founder and managing partner at Batture LLC. Batture is an engineering firm focused on infrastructure planning and design. Mr. Mora is the current president of the New Orleans Professional Chapter of Engineers without Borders. This organization provided his initial introduction to the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative which he has been actively involved in since 2014. As a member of the Steering Committee he is excited for the opportunity to promote water literacy in the Greater New Orleans Area.
Brooke is a south Louisiana native and project designer at Gaea Consultants, LLC. She specializes in green infrastructure design by integrating engineering and landscape architectural techniques. Brooke obtained her Masters in Landscape Architecture and her Bachelors in Biological Engineering, both with honors, from Louisiana State University. She served as a project manager for the LSU Community Playground Project, where she collaborated with public elementary schools’ students, parents and staff to provide safe accessible playgrounds. She applied this experience in community-based design and service learning as a teaching assistant for the Landscape Architecture Masters Water Studio. Upon graduation, she worked for Spackman Mossop Michaels landscape architects where she integrated her stormwater modeling techniques into private practice. She currently is an active member of the Designer and Builders working group of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative, volunteers with the LSU Community Playground Project, serves as co-secretary for the New Orleans Engineers Without Borders chapter, and is a sitting board member of Groundwork NOLA.
Born in New York City and raised in nearby Connecticut, Keith Twitchell moved to New Orleans in 1979. In 1982 he launched his own company, Pendragon Promotions, a business communications firm. He served as a consultant for the Committee for a Better New Orleans beginning in July 2000 before accepting a full-time position in March 2002; he became president of the organization in June 2004. He is responsible for project management, organizational leadership and fundraising/finances, and has led key CBNO programs such as the Community Participation Program, the Orleans Public Education Network and the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative. Mr. Twitchell is a former Captain of Krewe du Vieux, a state-ranked tennis player and an award-winning writer, and has served on a variety of organization boards. He received a YLC Role Model award in 2014 and the Urban Conservancy’s Urban Hero award in 2016. He received his B.A. from Washington College and his M.A. from Bowling Green State University, and is a member of the ODK National Leadership Honor Society.
Jennifer (Jen) Roberts is currently working across the Gulf Coast as Coordinator of the Strategic Conservation Assessment of Gulf Landscapes Project with Mississippi State University in service to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the RESTORE Council. Formerly a Sr. City Planner with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, co-founder of Water Works Jennifer is a leader in environmental planning with expertise in watershed planning and community engagement. She is a Water Environment Federation Leadership Fellow, serves on the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and was a founding member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative.
Hoang Tao is currently working towards a Master’s of Urban & Regional Planning and Urban Studies PhD and has a degree in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, College of Environmental Design. He is involved locally with NOCDC, Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Open Architecture New Orleans, and CAC/Evacuteer. Tao hopes to create more sustainable, affordable, and socially conscious designs.
A lifelong resident of Treme, Vanessa Leon is an active member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church and of the Micah Project, a faith based organization that advocates for social justice and civic engagement. She recently played a key role in community advocacy that prompted local developers to embrace green infrastructure and improve onsite stormwater management.
Chuck Morse is a management executive and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business development, marketing, strategy, government relations and community engagement. He currently serves as Executive Director of LaunchNOLA, a small business development organization, as well as a mentor for Propeller’s Startup Accelerator Program and a small business consultant for CH2M. This work builds on his prior role as ConnectWorks Director at the Good Work Network, where he was responsible for the incorporation of small, minority firms into the supply chains of anchor institutions.
Alessandra Jerolleman is a subject matter expert in climate adaptation, hazard mitigation and resilience with a long history working in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Dr. Jerolleman has taught for Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, and Jacksonville State University. She is one of the founders of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) and served as its Executive Director for its first seven years. She previously worked as a lead grant writer and emergency planner for the First Peoples’ Conservation Council and as a program specialist in the Gulf Coast for Save the Children USA focused on children’s needs in emergencies.
Jerry V. Graves is the owner and principal consultant at Graves Public Services, LLC, a firm that provides urban, environmental, and resilience planning services to various public entities. He previously served in the public sector for over a decade, including tenures as director of land stewardship for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and chief administrative officer for St. Bernard Parish Government. Dr. Graves also previously worked as a senior hazard mitigation planner for James Lee Witt Associates. He earned a doctorate in urban studies and master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Orleans.