Catch us at the RAE Coastal & Estuarine Summit next month in New Orleans!

Staff

Leila Avery – Social Media Strategist

Leila is a Serve Louisiana member hailing from the Maryland/D.C. area with a passion for spreading awareness of local ecology and conservation practices. She is pursuing a degree in environmental science and is conducting an independent research study on oyster population health of the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. As social media strategist, Leila makes engaging content and creates educational resources. Earlier in 2022, Leila was part of a team that was nominated for a Webby Award following the creation of a K-12 StoryMap on the Nansemond Indian Nation use of land in the Chesapeake Bay. In her free time, Leila runs an entomology art and jewelry business, keeps fish and enjoys scary movies.  (leila.avery@crcl.org)

Darrah Bach – Oyster Shell Recycling Program Coordinator

Darrah served as CRCL’s monitoring and remote sensing technician through Serve Louisiana until joining the staff as the OSRP coordinator. Originally from San Francisco, California, Darrah moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in environmental studies and sociology from Tulane University. In her free time, Darrah enjoys drawing and collage making.  (darrah.bach@crcl.org)

Donna Betzer – Development Director

Donna Betzer is a development and marketing professional with over 30 years of experience. Most recently she served as Kingsley House Chief Development Officer as well as the Director of Strategic Giving for the Kingsley Foundation. She directed development and communications efforts, including the execution of fundraising strategies for individual donors, corporate and foundation supporters, and special events. Prior to this role she served as Director of Development of the American Diabetes Association Gulf Coast office and Director of Marketing for Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University in communications and psychology. Donna, a member of Women United and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, lives in Metairie with her husband, David, and enjoys gardening, reading and traveling. (donna.betzer@crcl.org)

Michael Biros – Restoration Programs Director

Michael Biros is a landscape architect who has over 10 years of experience working across coastal Louisiana on projects including adaptation planning, stormwater management and natural resource damage assessments. He holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Dickinson College. (michael.biros@crcl.org)

Tyler Bosworth – Advocacy Director

Tyler is a native of Baton Rouge and a graduate of the Southern University Law Center. For the past three years, he has served as the lead staffer for the Louisiana House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, specializing in natural resources law with a focus on energy and coastal issues. He has drafted legislation pertaining to the CPRA Annual Plan, oyster shell recycling, management of the coastal zone, coastal zone permitting, offshore wind energy production and the disposition of funds generation from Outer Continental Shelf alternative energy production, and numerous other bills that have served to enhance coastal Louisiana.In his free time, Tyler enjoys spending weekends with his wife and two children at his family’s camp in Chauvin. (tyler.bosworth@crcl.org)

Emma Butler – Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi River Delta

Emma is a Tulane University alumna with a bachelor’s in political science and environmental studies who is committed to public service, environmental stewardship and a sustainable future for the state of Louisiana. During her time at Tulane, Emma learned about the unique environmental factors that influence the state and its residents, including issues of flooding and subsidence. Her studies combined with her interest in public service fueled her decision to continue working to address these environmental challenges with local communities. She completed two years of AmeriCorps service and worked on urban stormwater management before joining CRCL. Outside of the office, Emma can be found with a book in her hand and a cat in her lap. (emma.butler@crcl.org)

Isabella Donnell – Operations Coordinator

Isabella grew up by Mobile Bay, Alabama, and moved to New Orleans to attend college in 2015. Isabella received her master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Tulane University in May 2020. Her studies focused on plant ecology and marsh ecosystems. Through her studies, Isabella became interested in how the health of our coast informs the health of our communities. In her spare time, Isabella likes to read, garden and continue to learn about the natural environment around her.. (isabella.donnell@crcl.org)

Addison Ellis – Communications Coordinator

Addison is helping to plan the 2023 State of the Coast conference; creating content for and helping manage our websites and social media; designing print and digital products; and contributing to development and marketing campaigns. With a passion for environmental justice, Addison enjoys combining other interests in research, writing and photography as tools for meaningful storytelling. She is a small business entrepreneur, an avid adventurer and a creative problem-solver. She loves to spend her days barefoot in her garden, where she grows a range of medicinal herbs, food, and flowers for the pollinators.(addison.ellis@crcl.org)

Andrew Ferris – Native Plants Program Technician

Andrew works with the Native Plant Program as a Serve Louisiana member. He graduated in 2019 from Lewis & Clark College, where he studied mathematics, and relocated to Louisiana in 2021. Andrew grew up in Maine, where he got to spend lots of time in a wide array of coastal and wetland environments. He’s excited to be learning about coastal Louisiana wetlands and the communities who rely on them through his work with CRCL. (andrew.ferris@crcl.org)

Sofia Giordano – Coastal Adventures Coordinator

Sofia is a New Orleans native who completed two AmeriCorps service terms through ServeLA with CRCL as the OSRP Technician before joining the staff as the Coastal Adventures Coordinator. She holds a passion for getting more individuals out in the field to learn about the coastal land loss crisis and coordinates individual and group volunteer recruitment, supports volunteer events on-site, and explores new coastal adventure opportunities that support CRCL’s mission. Sofia received her Bachelor of Science from Loyola University in Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology, where she completed an undergrad thesis on the plastic pollution crisis. Sofia is also an avid sailor and amateur potter. (sofia.giordano@crcl.org)

Gardner Goodall – Native Plants Program Coordinator

Gardner is an ecologist, urban enthusiast and avid bicyclist hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. As suggested by his name, he enjoys working with plants, and he is excited to be leading volunteers to support coastal restoration through native plantings. Gardner holds a degree in environmental studies from UNC-Asheville, and he has years of experience in volunteer management and land stewardship. In his free time he likes to garden, play disc golf and cook with friends. (gardner.goodall@crcl.org)

James Karst – Communications Director

James is in charge of internal and external communications. He is a former journalist in New Orleans, having worked for many years as an editor at The Times-Picayune. He was on the newspaper’s staff that won two Pulitzer Prizes in 2006. He has also published stories in magazines including 64 Parishes and Preservation in Print. He has been interviewed on the air by NPR’s “Weekend Edition” and on television shows that have aired on the NFL Network, the Travel Channel, and National Geographic. A story about his writing was recently published by The New Yorker. He moonlights as a professional competitive eater (formerly the No. 4 oyster eater in the International Federation of Competitive Eating — 15 dozen oysters in 8 minutes) and as an actor, with credits including “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Treme,” and “America’s Most Wanted.” He received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. (james.karst@crcl.org

Fiona Lightbody – Oyster Shell Recycling Program Technician

Fiona is a Serve LA member. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she came down to New Orleans to study environmental biology and international development at Tulane University. In 2021, she graduated with a master’s degree from Tulane in ecology and evolutionary biology. In her free time, you can find her walking her dog or catching up on new TV shows, and she is looking forward to getting hands-on conservation experience with CRCL! (fiona.lightbody@crcl.org)

Kelly Messer – Special Events Director & Development Manager

Kelly develops and executes our public and private events, and is our lead graphic designer and webmaster. She joined the CRCL team in 2007. CRCL has long been known for its well-planned and orchestrated events because of Kelly’s artistic eye and attention to detail. As CRCL’s graphic designer, she is responsible for developing critical informational pieces for both internal and external distribution. Kelly’s expertise in IT has allowed CRCL to incorporate the latest technology into its web design and computer networks. She also develops and maintains CRCL’s extensive database system. (kelly.messer@crcl.org)

Corey Miller – Director of Community Resilience

Corey leads our Outreach and Engagement program, assisting residents of coastal Louisiana to become more informed, engaged, and prepared for the future of our changing coast. Through the program, CRCL develops innovative ways to reach residents: infographics, videos, presentations, and community forums. He also works directly with other community-based organizations. He joined CRCL in 2012. A third-generation native of the New Orleans area and an alumnus of LSU, Corey received his Master of Sociology from the University of New Orleans through a research assistantship with the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART). (corey.miller@crcl.org)

Brett Pickett – Outreach Assistant

Brett is a native Louisianian and Serve Louisiana member working on the Future Coastal Leaders program. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a M.S. in environmental behavior, education and communication in the spring of 2022. In his free time, Brett enjoys going on hikes, reading about New Orleans history and cooking. (brett.pickett@crcl.org)

Kimberly Davis Reyher – Executive Director

Kim leads CRCL, setting strategic direction and overseeing staff and programs. Kim joined CRCL as Executive Director in June 2014 after 13 years with the World Wildlife Fund, where she served as Fisheries Program Director. In that capacity, she promoted fisheries sustainability through engagement with fisheries around the world and influential players in the seafood industry. Kim co-led the development of a $29 million tuna management project with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and led the International Smart Gear Competition, which awards cash prizes for fishing gear innovations and supervised projects in more than 20 countries. Before joining WWF, she worked with the Ocean Conservancy in Florida and Washington, D.C. Kim received a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University. (kimberly.reyher@crcl.org)

Will Thinnes – Community Outreach Coordinator

Will is originally from Memphis. He received his bachelor’s of science in ecological restoration and environmental policy from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Shortly after, Will moved to New Orleans to become an Americorps member at SBP, where he helped lead volunteers in reconstructing homes in the Lower 9th Ward. Most recently, Will worked at Green Light New Orleans, where he managed their rain barrel program — installing rain barrels around the city, engaging with the community and hosting educational workshops about green infrastructure. Will’s passion for ecological restoration and community engagement drove him to CRCL. In his free time, Will enjoys reading by the bayou, chasing sunsets and asking tourists to pronounce Tchoupitoulas. (will.thinnes@crcl.org)