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

Travis Phillips – Chair

Travis Phillips is an attorney with Armbrust & Brown in Austin, Texas. His legal practice focuses on transactional matters, primarily those involving commercial real estate or lending. Travis is a also a member of the board of directors of the Texas Land Conservancy, a statewide land trust responsible for conserving over 70,000 acres of land in Texas. A native Austinite, Travis is actively engaged in his community and is a graduate of several local leadership programs, including the Leadership Austin Essential Class (2013) and the Real Estate Council of Austin Leadership Development Council (2010). Travis is an honor’s graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography, also from the University of Texas.  As the proud parents of two young children, Travis and his wife, Ashley, are grateful for the efforts of local land trusts and other conservation leaders to ensure that Texas’ heritage of wide-open landscapes, ecological diversity and healthy wildlife habitat is available for future generations to enjoy.

Robert Mace – Chair-Elect 

Robert Mace is an Associate Director and the Chief Water Policy Officer at 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.

Jordan Gossett – Treasurer

Jordan Gossett is a commercial lender in Austin at Horizon Bank, a community bank that primarily deals in commercial lending across Central Texas.  Jordan grew up in the Texas Panhandle, where he spent a considerable amount of time at his family’s farm/ranch located in Lipscomb County. It was at the ranch where Jordan became interested in hunting, fishing, and land conservation. Jordan graduated from Belmont University in 2013 and then returned to Texas to attend graduate school at the TCU Ranch Management Program, where he learned the intricacies of agricultural business.  After graduation, Jordan and his wife Whitney moved from Fort Worth to Austin. Jordan is a member of numerous agriculuture and wildlife organizations such as the Hill Country Quail Coalition, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Stewards of the Wild, and the local CCA chapter. Whether it is hunting for trout in a Montana stream, or chasing quail across the plains of Texas, Jordan continues to pursue outdoor adventure.

Julie Shackelford – Secretary

Julie K. Shackelford is the Texas Programs Director for The Conservation Fund. Ms. Shackelford joined the Fund in 2004. In 2007 she opened the East Texas office in Nacogdoches where she works on land protection projects up and down the Neches River. To date, Julie has assisted in over fifty land acquisition transactions for partners that have protected 90,000 acres of land throughout Texas, focusing primarily on the Neches River in eastern Texas. Previously, Ms. Shackelford was the Director of American Farmland Trust’s Texas office for five years and prior to that she was the state wetlands planner at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for five years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Native Plant Society of Texas’ Nancy Benedict Memorial Award, the 2003-2004 Outstanding Technical Article for the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the 1998 National Wetlands Award. Julie holds a Masters of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College in Minnesota.

Jim Bradbury

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.

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.

Roel Lopez

Roel R. Lopez is the Director of the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, a research and extension unit of both Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and a Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He has over 20 years of experience in natural resource and land management with academia, federal and private industry. As a faculty member, he has authored more than 100 journal articles and book chapters on various natural resource topics. He served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense-Installation and Environment and continues to work with the Department of Defense on various national and local natural resource and environmental issues. His research focuses on endangered and fragmented wildlife populations, sustainability of military lands, land fragmentation of working lands, and approaches to regional planning. Roel has forestry and wildlife science degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and Texas A&M University.

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