James River Association Staff
Chief Executive Officer
(804) 788-8811, ext 201
Bill Street wins the 2010 Gerald P. McCarthy Award
Bill Street was born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up camping at the mountain headwaters of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers and spending summers on the Chesapeake Bay. As a child, he remembers following his father as he waded in lush underwater grass beds dipping for soft shell crabs. But by the time Bill came of age, those vital grass beds were gone because pollution wiped them out. Now with two sons of his own, Bill’s personal mission is to ensure that his sons are able to enjoy healthy Virginia waters that are closer to what his father experienced growing up than the degraded ones of his own childhood. Prior to serving as CEO of the James River Association, Bill worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as well as Malcolm Pirnie in Newport News, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duke University Wetland Center, and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. He is a double Hoo and a Dukie too with degrees in commerce and urban and environmental planning from Virginia and environmental management from Duke.
(804) 788-8811 ext. 203
(804) 788-8811, ext 211
As a Richmond native, Christina has close ties to the James River. She grew up in a family that spent their time camping, hiking and enjoying weekends on the Chesapeake Bay. Her interest in turning over rocks eventually led her to VCU for a Masters in Environmental Studies. As the Marketing and Development Associate, Christina has the privilege of combining her writing skills with her love of science and enthusiasm for the outdoors. She works hard to increase the public ’s awareness of JRA and its mission to protect and restore the James River. Christina is truly optimistic that achieving a cleaner James is possible and wants to help others believe in JRA’s mission as well.
Lower James Riverkeeper
Jamie joined JRA in May 2012. He previously served as Riverkeeper at the Sassafras River Association on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As the eyes, ears and public voice for the Sassafras River, he expanded water quality monitoring to track hazardous algae blooms, worked to implement SRA's watershed action plan, and garnered citizen and local government support for clean water policies. Jamie began his career as an environmental educator working with teenage youth, and went on to work at Friends of the Rappahannock, leading restoration, education and advocacy projects such as "Get the Dirt Out" - a citizen based effort to reduce pollution from construction sites. A native Virginian, Jamie grew up in Stafford County with a love for all things outdoors and earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech. From an early age his love for nature and wild places grew into a passion for protecting our natural resources, and Jamie brings to JRA a commitment to improving water quality in America’s Founding River.
(804)788-8811, ext. 215
“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit” – Ed Abbey.
Kyle first began his love for the natural world, through the words and images being drawn in his mind by authors like Edward Abbey and Thoreau. Kyle moved to The New River Valley to attend Radford University and was immediately transported to a different place and time. The mountains, rivers and trails of the Blue Ridge would become his classroom for the next 4 years. Kyle graduated with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and continued his passion for outdoor education all over the United States over the next few years. Ultimately finding himself back in the Richmond area and working for JRA. Kyle now helps to facilitate JRA’s education programs on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge and leads high school students down the length of the 340-mile James River during the summer James River Expedition trips. When Kyle is not leading education trips with JRA he enjoys hanging out with his girlfriend, their dog Marley and honing his skills on his new favorite hobby, fly fishing.
(804)788-8811, ext. 214
Georgia grew up north of the James River watershed in Hanover County, Virginia. Throughout her childhood, she followed her dad along many of his work-related excursions as a wildlife biologist, sparking her interest in wildlife and the outdoors. That interest followed her to Randolph-Macon College where she received a BS through the Environmental Studies program and spent time among extracurricular activities such as Greek Life and internships with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Since her time with the James River Association, Georgia has been fortunate to be a part of the ever busy Education Team, whose hard work is rewarded with spending a lot of time on the river. With her colleagues, she has co-lead two successful James River Expedition seasons between year-round education programming at the James River Ecology School. Conservation and teamwork has always been some of her greatest passions, in addition to paddling and spending time with her dog, friends, and family near the James!
Upper James Riverkeeper
Pat Calvert has made the James River and its tributaries his home since relocating to Virginia. Born and raised in North Alabama's Tennessee River Valley, Pat experienced firsthand camping, hiking and exploring the haunts of the southern Appalachians, eventually earning the Eagle Scout award. Rapid conversion of agricultural and forested lands to urban and suburban uses near his home created a conscientious awakening that natural resources and health rely on human stewardship. Following graduation from Auburn University focused in Environmental Science, Pat taught environmental education for a small nonprofit organization. In 1997, Pat was offered the opportunity to co-lead the Virginia Watershed Education Program of Chesapeake Bay Foundation where he led thousands of students and teachers in on-the-water training experiences in central, northern and western Virginia and the Chesapeake until 2011. Recognizing the critical importance of education and action to protect our shared waterways, Pat was hired as Upper James RIVERKEEPER to spearhead the opening of JRA's Upper James River office in Lynchburg. Pat continues to reside with his family in central Virginia and to guarantee the right to float, swim and fish every accessible creek and river for future generations.
Rob Campbell joined JRA in October 2013 as Regional Outreach Coordinator in the new Lynchburg office. Rob, a native of the Lynchburg area, grew up in close proximity to the James River and has spent a considerable amount of time boating the river and its tributaries. Prior to joining JRA, he spent five years with the James River Float Company where he served as a head raft guide and manager. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Randolph College in 2013. Rob currently resides in Amherst County on his family farm adjoining the banks of the Piney River. In his free time, Rob can be found canoeing or rafting as many Central and Western Virginia rivers as he can, as well as hiking, climbing and camping in the one of a kind Blue Ridge Mountains.
Director of Development & Marketing
(804) 788-8811 ext.207
Ryan grew up not far from the banks of the lower James in Prince George County. He started at VCU in hopes of becoming an artist and prudently (cowardly) shifted to a Business major receiving his degree from Saint Leo University with a focus in Marketing. For over 20 years Ryan has always worked in nonprofits that held a personal meaning- first for the Boy Scouts of America, having grown up as the third boy in a family of Scouts; next as Director of Children’s Miracle Network, raising money for Children’s Hospital where his niece was being treated; and eventually landing as Director of Development and Marketing for the James River Association. As Ryan shares “The river once too polluted for I and my Scout Troop (Troop 976, by the way) to swim and fish in now serves as the perfect playground for my three children. There is no better ending than that. “
Community Conservation Manager
Justin's passion for conservation began at a young age. He grew up in a suburb of Washington, D.C., where he witnessed the rapid conversion of fields and forests to sprawling residential and commercial development. He pursued a career in conservation to protect precious natural resources like the James River and joined the James River Association in April 2013. He promotes conservation and responsible stewardship of our natural resources and works to connect communities to the James River and its tributaries for quality of life and economic benefits. Before joining the James River Association he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Mary Washington, a Master of Urban & Regional Planning degree from Virginia Commonwealth, and spent five years working as a planner in Henrico County. He is a 2015 Fellow of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, serves on the Falls of the James Scenic Advisory Committee, and represents the James River Association on the James River Advisory Council. He currently resides in Richmond with his wife and Schipperke, Henry. In his spare time Justin enjoys exploring the James River on his kayak, traveling, gardening, hiking, cycling, and snow skiing.
(804) 788-8811 ext 218
Amber Ellis, PLA
Watershed Restoration Project Manager
(804) 788-8811, ext 205
Amber grew up in Powhatan County with the woods, creeks, and James River as her playground. The outdoors has always been where she feels most at home and is why she has grown a passion for protecting it. She earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech where she discovered ways to create spaces that not only are enjoyable for people, but also serve to enrich our natural environment. Prior to joining JRA she worked as a Landscape Designer at Timmons Group, a local architecture and engineering firm. At JRA Amber inspires others to take action towards a cleaner James River through her involvement with the RiverRats program and JRA’s Watershed Restoration efforts. She is a Professional Landscape Architect in Virginia and you will still find her with dirt under her nails from her healthy obsession with gardening.
Policy and Government Affairs Manager
(804) 788-8811, ext 206
Originally hailing from the Potomac River watershed, Adrienne is proud to now call the James River watershed her home. She moved to Richmond to pursue her passion for environmental planning with a position for the Commonwealth of Virginia and to finish her Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning at VCU. After completing her degree, she came to work for JRA as the organization's Policy Specialist. When she is not fighting the good fight for stronger water quality regulations, you will find her exploring what the Commonwealth has to offer with her husband and son – hiking in the mountains, kayaking down the James, or relaxing on the beach.
(804) 615 -6105
Originally from Henrico County, Ben grew up witnessing the transformation of historic farmland to suburban development. Optimistically, his work has focused on achieving a balance between growth and conservation in Virginia and around the world. Ben attended VCU, earning a degree in International Business and swimming in the James nearly every day. While in school, he worked as technician on a variety of ecological field studies including wildfire fuels in the Mojave Desert, elephants in Botswana, and wolves in Alberta, Canada. Finally, Ben earned a Master of Science in Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University, studying Samburu pastoral warrior-herders in northern Kenya and their involvement with conservation. Ultimately, Ben has always hoped to work with the people and places of the James, in the watershed he calls home. As Volunteer Coordinator, Ben is energized to connect the knowledge, experiences, and passion of Virginians to our world-class natural resource.
Director of Devopment
(804) 788-8811, ext 213
Shawn T. Ralston
(804) 788-8811, ext 208
Growing up in North Carolina on the banks of a lake that provided drinking water for the town in which she grew up, Shawn became interested at a very young age with how her daily actions affected the water that her family depended on. During her childhood and into college, Shawn was an avid swimmer who spent hours a day immersed in water. After graduating from UNC-Wilmington, Shawn worked several years for the Department of Environmental Protection in Charlotte, NC conducting water quality monitoring on streams, lakes and rivers. From there, Shawn returned to school and received her Master of Marine Affairs and Juris Doctor from the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams School of Law respectively. After spending close to nine years in Wilmington, NC leading environmental programs and managing planning for New Hanover County, Shawn relocated to Richmond with her family to the city in which her husband was raised – and to the river that is ingrained in his family and now hers. For JRA, Shawn brings experience in each of the 5 programs she oversees and works with a talented and passionate team to further JRA’s mission and goals. Through her work with JRA, Shawn’s hope is that her children are able to experience and interact with the James as her relatives, and so many others, have for generations.
(804) 788-8811, ext 210
Originally from Surry County, it was often difficult to coax Beth out of the brackish river water in her hometown. She attended James Madison University, where she combined her gift of gab and her love for all things Virginia into a Public History degree. Being a country girl at heart, Beth found a home within Virginia State Parks. Over the course of nine years, she served as a volunteer, conservation intern, park ranger, chief ranger, and environmental program manager. Beth left parks to gain more skills in interpretive planning, proposal writing, and nonprofit accounting. Now as Grants Manager for JRA, Beth is eager to secure support for the programs that she believes will undoubtedly promote positive behaviors toward her beloved river.
Born and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia, Christiana spent her free time along the sandy banks of the James River. She has always enjoyed being outdoors, which is shown through her many years of dedication to the local girl scouts troop, as well as her love for fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring. through high school, Christiana had always anticipated becoming a veterinarian, but her senior year, a very inspiring environmental science professor changed her mind, and she decided to pursue an environmental science degree at Virginia Tech. After four years in Blacksburg, Christiana received a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science with a focus in water, as well as a minor in wetland science, and is now thrilled to be giving back to the community that has given her so much in the past.
Director of Special Events & Major Donors
Sherrie Tribble began working for the James River Association as a Lee Davis Business Exchange Student in 1987. Throughout her tenure with JRA, she has grown from a part-time clerical staff position to the Director of Special Events and Major Donors and greatly enjoys working with JRA's wonderful members, volunteers and partners. Sherrie holds a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and brings a passion for the history of the James River as well as enthusiam for the great work that JRA does to protect America's Founding River.
Database & Web Coordinator
(804) 788-8811, ext 209
Angie has enjoyed being outdoors since she was a child. Growing up in Mechanicsville, VA she spent the majority of her time outdoors; chasing chickens, riding horses and building forts in the woods. Her love of horses took her to Virginia Intermont College, where she received a degree in Equine Studies and Business. After several years as a riding instructor, Angie switched her focus from teaching to protecting and started working for the James River Association in 2007. Even though she now spends the majority of her time behind a desk, she enjoys connecting others with the James through events and social media.