Meet TLTC’s Staff and Board Leadership

Lori Olson, Executive Director

Lori Olson has served as the Executive Director of the Texas Land Trust Council since July of 2011, working to strengthen the coalition of land and water conservation organizations working across the State of Texas. In her work with the Council, Lori engages in state and federal advocacy, strategic outreach and research projects that promote the many benefits of conservation, and offers training and technical assistance, including hosting the annual Texas Land Conservation Conference.  

Lori has over two decades of experience in the field of land conservation, working with land trusts in Oregon, North Carolina, Georgia and Texas.  She is the former Executive Director of the Eno River Association, a land trust located in Durham, NC. She also served as a project manager for The Trust for Public Land, focusing on Central Texas conservation projects with government agency partners including the Cities of Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Travis and Hays Counties.  

A native Texan, Lori is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Biology, and a graduate of the University of Oregon with a Master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning, as well as a Master of Science degree in Public Affairs. She also completed her Certificate in Non-Profit Management at Duke University. She is an avid conservationist and lover of the outdoors. Lori lives in the Texas Hill Country with her family.

Board of Directors

Robert Mace – Chair

Robert Mace is Executive Director and Chief Water Policy Officer at the The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and a Professor of Practice in the Department of Geography at Texas State University. Robert has over 30 years of experience in hydrology, hydrogeology, stakeholder processes, and water policy, mostly in Texas. Before joining Texas State University in 2017, Robert worked at the Texas Water Development Board for 17 years, ending his career there as the Deputy Executive Administrator for the Water Science & Conservation office. While at the Board, Robert worked on understanding groundwater and surface water resources in Texas; advancing water conservation and innovative water technologies such as desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, reuse, and rainwater harvesting; and protecting Texans from floods. Robert also worked for nine years at the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin as a hydrologist and research scientist. Robert has a B.S. in Geophysics and an M.S. in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin.

Jim Bradbury- Chair-Elect

Jim Bradbury is an attorney with a private practice located in both Austin and Fort Worth, and focused on land, environmental, ag, and water policy issues facing Texas. Jim is a recognized authority on agricultural law as well as eminent domain. Mr. Bradbury also has significant experience in land use and the environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing production, including surface use rights, eminent domain and pipelines. Jim has served as an advisor to the US Department of State regarding the regulation of unconventional energy production, including presentation to the governments of China, Argentina and South Africa. Mr. Bradbury is a proud adjunct Professor at Texas A&M Law School, where he teaches Ag Law, serves as a member of the Natural Resources Program, and taught a Special Projects course in Texas Eminent Domain Policy. He regularly testifies at the Texas Legislature on landowner rights and water issues as they affect Texas public policy and serves on the Board of the Texas Land Trust Council working to conserve the last best places in Texas. Mr. Bradbury received his B.S. degree from Texas A&M University and his J.D. degree from the University of Idaho.

Clayton Ripley – Treasurer

Clayton Ripley, CPA, is an owner and CFO of TGM Wind Services/Kardie Equipment, a heavy equipment business headquartered in Austin, TX. Clayton is also the founder and managing director of the BGCP Entities, a group of companies engaged in real estate development and construction. For the past decade, Mr. Ripley has served as managing director of Town Lake Capital Management, an Austin-based registered investment advisor serving foundations, endowments and high net worth individuals. Mr. Ripley graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Accounting. He grew up in West Texas and currently resides in Austin, TX with his wife and kids, but spends much of his time at his family ranch in Llano County.

Allison Elder – Secretary

Allison Elder is the Director of Legal Services for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). In this capacity she manages the legal needs of SARA and serves on the executive team. Her responsibilities include legal compliance in the areas of contracting, construction, environmental regulation, risk management and records retention. Her career has focused on private land conservation and historic preservation. Allison has a finance degree and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the River Authority, Allison was the Vice-President and General Counsel of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust, a statewide private land conservation organization. She has also served as a Senior Attorney at the law firm of Braun & Gresham, and as Executive Director of Green Spaces Alliance. She is the immediate past Chair of the Texas Land Trust Council and of Mission Heritage Partners, the official friends’ group for the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. She is a volunteer with the Mentor Circle Program at St Mary’s University School of Law. Allison was selected by the San Antonio Business Journal as an Outstanding Lawyer in the community in 2019. She was a member of the 2017 Leadership San Antonio Class 42. Allison and her husband Steve have been married for 32 years and have four children.

Elisa Donovan

Elisa is the Vice President and General Counsel of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, a land trust that protects over 30,000 acres of farms, ranches and natural areas in a nine-county region in Texas’ Mid to Upper Gulf Coast.  Elisa has led the successful completion of multiple land conservation projects, sourced financing, and advocated for the protection of the coastal prairie. Elisa received a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Rice University and currently serves as a board member of the Rice Engineering Alumni.  Elisa holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and practiced law for over 20 years handling business, real estate, and energy matters.  Elisa redirected her career to fulfill her longstanding passion for the protection of wildlife habitat, joining the Katy Prairie Conservancy in 2017. Elisa serves as a member of the San Jacinto River Regional Flood Planning Group which is tasked with developing the first flood plan for the Houston region and is the Chairman of the Harris County Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Elisa enjoys cycling the backroads of Colorado County and spending time with her husband Barry and three sons on their family farm.

James King

James King, a six-generation direct descendant of Captain Richard King, grew up in Corpus Christi and on family ranches in south Texas, and at a second home on the coast in Port Aransas. After graduating in 1978 from Oxford College of Emory University with a degree in Liberal Arts, and in 1981 from Texas A&M University with a BS in Rangeland Ecology, James started a long career in Natural Resource Conservation and Real Estate. After college, he opened and co-owned a statewide farm and ranch real estate firm with offices in five communities across Texas. Then, James spent 19 years with The Nature Conservancy as part of the statewide senior management team. As head of real estate, James led the efforts to protect more than 500,000 acres of our state’s most important conservation lands and waters. James pioneered TNC’s Conservation Buyer Program in Texas, negotiating dozens of conservation easements across the Texas landscape. In 2008, he started his own statewide conservation real estate business, King Land & Water LLC in Fort Davis with his wife Tammy. He is active today in many major conservation and land projects across the state. James serves on the board of the Trans Pecos Water Trust, McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors, Borderlands Research Institute, Devils River Conservancy, and the Texas Land Trust Council. James loves hunting, fishing, hiking, and adventure traveling with his family and friends.

Julia Murphy

Julia is the Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of San Antonio. She is on the team implementing the City’s first climate action and adaptation plan, focusing on energy efficiency, modern transportation, and natural resource regeneration. Signature projects include land conservation over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, implementing the first bike sharing system in Texas along the San Antonio River to connect the assets in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, establishing the Hardberger Park Conservancy and coordinating preservation and adaptive reuse of the historic Herff Farm on the banks of Cibolo Creek. Previously, Julia was the Executive Director of Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas, a land trust based in San Antonio. In addition to the Texas Land Trust Council, Julia also serves on the board of the Cibolo Conservancy, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, and Urban Land Institute. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Todd Votteler

Todd is President of Collaborative Water Resolution and a partner with Four Worlds Consulting. He is Editor-in-Chief of both the Texas Water Journal and Texas+Water, and hosts the Talk+Water podcast. Votteler is a Fellow of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and a Specialist at The University of Texas’s Austin Technology Incubator. Previously, Votteler was Executive Manager of Science, Intergovernmental Relations, and Policy at the Guadalupe–Blanco River Authority. Before that, he served as the Assistant to the Federal Court Monitor during Sierra Club v. Babbitt, and was appointed as the Federal Special Master for the Edwards Aquifer Endangered Species Act litigation, Sierra Club v. San Antonio. Todd is the founding Executive Director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust and served as Chairman of the Guadalupe Basin Coalition. He also served as Chairman of the Texas Land Trust Council Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014. Votteler has a B.S. in Natural Resources from The University of the South, an M.S. in Natural Resources from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Geography from Texas State University.

Jeff Weigel

Jeff Weigel is Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy of Texas where he works on project and partner development, government affairs, and fundraising. A native of Minnesota, Jeff has devoted his career to the conservation of wildlife and natural ecosystems across the United States and Latin America, including grasslands, forests, deserts, freshwater and marine environments. He began his conservation career as a field biologist in Minnesota, and has evolved into program and project management, spending over 20 years working in Texas, and over a decade focused on Mexico and Central America. Jeff holds a B.A. degree in Biology from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, as well as a M.S. in Range Management from Texas Tech University.

Clayton Wolf

Clayton Wolf serves as Chief Operating Officer at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a position he has held since 2020. He served previously for more than a decade as the Director of the Wildlife Division. TPWD’s mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In his current position, Clayton leads and oversees the operations of the entire Department, from the essential operations of our state system of parks and protected lands, to the critical role that private lands stewardship plays in the conservation of Texas’ natural resources and open spaces. Wolf also brings over 30 years experience as a wildlife biologist in Texas, working across the Lone Star State on a myriad of wildlife management issues. Wolf received his Master’s degree from Texas A&M University and completed his undergraduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. He is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society. His passion for the outdoors was kindled while hunting, fishing and camping on the family ranch in Lee County, settled by his great-grandparents in the late 1800’s.

Honorary Council

  • Robert Ayres
  • Mickey Burleson
  • Jeff Francell
  • Burgess Jackson
  • Jim Jeffries
  • Thomas Kelsey
  • Amy Monier
  • Andy Sansom
  • Carter Smith