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Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Texas Environmental Grantmakers Group, this forum will inform Texas-based foundations, private philanthropists and non-profit partners about the value of program-related investments (PRIs) in maximizing Deepwater Horizon funds for Gulf Coast conservation projects.


Hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Texas Environmental Grantmakers Group, this forum will inform Texas-based foundations, private philanthropists and non-profit partners about the value of program-related investments (PRIs) in maximizing Deepwater Horizon funds for Gulf Coast conservation projects. The Forum will begin with a networking lunch followed by a panel discussion and workshop.

Sign-up for the event.

Moderated Panel
Dr. Andrew Sansom will moderate a panel to discuss how creative conservation financing, such as program-related investments, can play a critical role in reducing costs and maximizing conservation impact.

Donor Workshop
Following the panel, attendees are invited to participate in a workshop to learn practical tools for implementing and managing a program-related investment program.

Thursday, November 10, 2016
12:00 – 4:00 PM
AT&T Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705

Panelist Biographies

Justin R. Ehrenwerth – Executive Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Tanner Alston Johnson – Director for TX and LA, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Sayer Jones – Director of Finance and Mission Investing, Meyer Memorial Trust
Peter Stein – Managing Director, The Lyme Timber Company
Henry Tepper – ADS Ventures, Inc.
Dr. Andrew Sansom (Moderator) – Executive Director, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

Justin R. Ehrenwerth, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Justin R. Ehrenwerth serves as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). Created by the RESTORE Act of 2012 and comprised of the governors of the five Gulf Coast states and secretaries from six federal agencies, the Council is responsible for restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast.

Prior to joining the Council, Ehrenwerth served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce. As Chief of Staff, he assisted the Deputy Secretary in overseeing issues of management, policy, and strategic planning for the Commerce Department, which has an annual budget of $8 billion and approximately 47,000 employees.

Previously, Ehrenwerth served as Assistant Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s Office where he was a member of the Oversight and Litigation group representing the White House in congressional investigations and advising federal agencies on oversight matters. In conjunction with the Department of Justice, he worked with counsel from across the Executive Office of the President on issues related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Multidistrict Litigation.

During the first two years of the Obama administration, Ehrenwerth served in the Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel. As Counsel, he assisted with the management of over 325 lawyers in fourteen offices and drafted numerous legal opinions. Ehrenwerth received the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) General Counsel’s Award for Excellence for work related to the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Ehrenwerth has held leadership positions on a number of national and statewide political campaigns including the Obama for America and Kerry-Edwards campaigns. He has been active in the non-profit sector, having worked at the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics and the Northern California Grantmakers. He also served as a Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Teaching Fellow as well as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

Ehrenwerth is a summa cum laude graduate of Colby College and holds an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Tanner Alston Johnson, Director for TX and LA, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Tanner A. Johnson has worked for more than a decade on coastal conservation and restoration policy at the federal, state, and local levels. In his current position at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Johnson serves as Director of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund with principal responsibility for grant making in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

Johnson’s professional background includes a law degree from the Paul M. Herbert Law Center at Louisiana State University, followed by public service as Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, and aide to Governor Kathleen Blanco. In these roles, he developed a focus on Louisiana’s imperiled coast, and his work contributed to the development and unanimous adoption of Louisiana’s 2007 coastal master plan, entitled Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.

In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Johnson helped author and lead the Congressional staff level negotiation of the RESTORE Act. In 2013, Johnson was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to the Governor’s Advisory Commission for Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation.

Sayer Jones, Director of Finance and Mission Investing, Meyer Memorial Trust
Sayer Jones is the Director of Finance and Mission Related Investments at the Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland Oregon.

In his role as Director of Finance he oversees the daily functions of the finance and accounting department and is tasked with budgets audits and so forth.  In his role as the Director of Mission Related Investing, he spends his time on surfacing, reviewing and eventually investing in opportunities that add to the Trusts mission to build a flourishing and equitable Oregon. Examples are investments in the Portland seed fund, Ecotrust Forests, Women’s Venture Fund and the Oregon Angel fund along with assisting in the Program Related Investment portfolio (low interest loans to not for profits in Oregon) for the past seven years.

Prior to joining the Trust Mr. Jones worked as a CPA at Moss Adams LLP doing taxes and consulting services for a wide verity of clients, but mostly focused on the Not for Profit sector.

Peter Stein, Managing Director, The Lyme Timber Company
Peter Stein joined Lyme in 1990 and leads the Company’s conservation strategies. Prior to joining Lyme, Peter was Senior Vice President of the Trust for Public Land (TPL) where he directed TPL’s conservation real estate acquisitions in the Northeast and Midwest. During the past twenty plus years, Peter has worked with the Packard Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Sewall Foundation, LOR Foundation, Donnelley Foundation, Fink Family Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Mitchell Foundation in the design of land conservation grant initiatives and the creation of Program Related Investment mechanisms to leverage and accelerate conservation success in many jurisdictions across the US.

Peter lectures extensively at graduate schools and professional conferences on conservation investment schemes and strategies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Forest History Society and the National Alliance of Forestland Owners. In addition, he is a former Board Chair of the Land Trust Alliance, served as a founding Commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Rose Smart Growth Real Estate Fund No. 1. Peter earned a B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and was a Loeb Fellow and received a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1981. In 2012/2013, he was awarded the Kingsbury Browne Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, as well as the Kingsbury Browne Award from the Land Trust Alliance.

Henry Tepper, ADS Ventures, Inc. 
Henry Tepper is a consultant who has spent twenty-five years as a conservation leader in both the United States and abroad.  He has played a direct role in the protection of almost one million acres of land around the world. Among his positions are serving as the President of Mass Audubon, as Chief Conservation Officer and a Partner at Patagonia Sur, LLC, and working for fourteen years at The Nature Conservancy as the State Director in New Hampshire and then in New York State. Mr. Tepper has also worked for the past decade on efforts to advance private lands conservation in Chile. He has participated in several initiatives at the national Land Trust Alliance, including serving as a member of the independent Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and as a member of the National Land Trust Leadership Council. He has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters Degree and Admission to Doctoral Candidacy from Cornell University. Mr. Tepper lives with his family in Lincoln, Massachusetts, outside Boston.

Dr. Andrew Sansom (Moderator), Executive Director, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment 
Dr. Andrew Sansom serves as Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Professor of Practice in Geography at Texas State University. In this role, he coordinates university policy and research related to freshwater resources, manages the headwaters of the San Marcos River, administers the most extensive freshwater environmental education program in Texas, and supervises the training and coordination of more than 1,000 volunteer water monitors in rivers and streams throughout the state.

As one of Texas’ leading conservationists, he has previously served as Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Executive Director of the Texas Nature Conservancy. For his commitment to the management and protection of natural resources, he is a recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, The Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Pugsley Medal from the National Park Foundation, the Seton Award from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nature Conservancy. Sansom is a Distinguished Alumnus of Austin College and Texas Tech University.

Under his leadership at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Sansom spearheaded a number of significant programs, including founding Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, adding over 500,000 acres to state parks and wildlife management areas, creating the Lone Star Land Stewards Awards Program, and initiating an aggressive program to introduce urban children to nature and the outdoors.

Sansom has served on the Board of Trustees of the Texas Historical Foundation, Bat Conservation International, KLRU Public Television in Austin, The National Audubon Society, The Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and The Texas Travel Industry Association. He joined the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association in Washington D.C. in l969. He has also served as Environmental Coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth, Special Assistant to Secretary of Interior Rogers C.B. Morton, Director of Conservation Education at the Federal Energy Administration, and Deputy Director of the Energy Institute at the University of Houston.

His published works have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Town and City. He is the author of five books: Texas Lost, Texas Past, Scout the Christmas Dog, Water In Texas, and Southern Plains Bison- Resurrection of the Lost Texas Herd.

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