Who We Are

 

 

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Robby Byers, Executive Director

Robby Byers has worked for the Coastal Conservation Association for 18 years, where he started as an Assistant Director making his mark in Chapter development. Byers developed chapters across the state for nine years before taking the role of the Executive Director of Texas in 2006. He continues his position as the Director overseeing the state in Fundraising, Membership, Communications and Advocacy.

 Byers grew up in Houston and graduated from Sharpstown High School where he was the catcher of the 1982 State Championship Baseball team. Byers played on two Southwest Conference Championship teams at the University of Texas in 1985-86 as well as played for the National Championship in the College World Series. Byers received his Bachelors degree from the University of Houston.

He has been married for 17 years and has 3 children. He enjoys hunting and fishing with his family and coaching his son’s baseball team.


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Kim Philippi, Director of Communications and Media

Kim Philippi is the Director of Communications and Media at CCA Texas, where she films, edits and distributes videos about restoration projects CCA Texas participates in (www.ccatexas.org/videos); photographs project sites; organizes all social media efforts; and oversees and directs communications. Kim received a Master of Arts in Public Communications from Fordham University in New York, where she interned with the United Nations and was awarded funding to film a documentary in Africa. Prior to moving back to her hometown of Houston in 2013, Kim was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham and a Marketing Consultant for a search engine marketing company.

Kim is a proud member of the Texas Outdoor Writers Association and the Houston Food Blogger Collective. Kim enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, playing with their dogs, exploring Texas, traveling, spending time with friends and family, practicing yoga, eating good food, blogging about good food and being outdoors.


 

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Shane Bonnot, Advocacy Director

Shane Bonnot is the Advocacy Director for CCA Texas, working closely with CCA committees, members and staff on interests and policies that are vital to the long term sustainability of our coastal marine resources. As a 6th generation Texan, Shane grew up in Wharton where he spent his childhood in the woods, on the water, playing sandlot baseball, catching snakes and mostly driving his parents crazy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in Animal Science in 2000 and a Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi in 2003. After college, he worked for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for 3 years as the oyster hatchery manager. In 2006 he moved back to Texas to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife – Coastal Fisheries Division in the stock enhancement program at Sea Center Texas, spending 5 years as hatchery biologist and another 5 years as hatchery manager.

Shane has been married for 13 years to his lovely wife Lauren and together they have 3 children, Olivia, Adelyn, and Jules. He enjoys living outdoors, archery, music, guitar, hunting, fishing, eating wild game, and part-time cattle ranching in Jackson County.


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Sam Caldwell, Currents Newsletter Editor

Sam Caldwell says he has been involved with CCA since the first GCCA banquet in 1978. The artist/writer/photographer helped begin the Tide and New Tide magazines and Currents publications. Along the way, he and Fred Carr produced the national award-winning video, “Endangered Crescent” in 1983, and the Best Outdoor Book of 2001, “Change of Tides.”

Sam studied Fine Art at the University of Houston (eat ‘em up, Coogs), and plans to work on his Master’s Degree when he has a little more time. He was named Texas State Artist for 2004, and was the CCA Dallas Conservationist of the Year, 2015. His art can be viewed at www.samcaldwell.com.


 

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Drew Adams, Assistant Director

Drew Adams is an Assistant Director for CCA Texas. He started with CCA back 2011 and is loving every minute of it. It is a true blessing to be working for such a great organization. Drew was born and raised in Victoria, Texas, where he discovered his love for the outdoors. He graduated with a BA from The University of Texas-San Antonio, Go Roadrunners!

Drew loves to spend time with his amazing wife, who is by his side fishing as much as possible. If Drew is not at work or on the water, he is woodworking and doing projects around the house, rooting for the Astros, and eating big plates of Mexican Food. GO ASTROS!

Chapters: Brazoria County, Brazos Valley, Dallas, Golden Triangle, Greater Woodlands, Northwest Houston, Trinity Bay


 

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John Blaha, Assistant Director

John Blaha has worked for the Coastal Conservation Association since March of 2002, serving as an Assistant Director. In addition to his duties as an Assistant Director, Blaha is also the Director of CCA Texas’ habitat initiative, Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT).

Blaha is a life-long Texas coastal resident and currently lives in Rockport, Texas. Prior to coming to CCA Texas, he worked for the Dow Chemical Company and has been an active CCA Texas volunteer and member since 1990. As a lifelong recreational fisherman and advocate for Texas coastal resources, he also sits as a member of the Gulf of Mexico Citizen’s Advisory Committee, the Texas Sea Grant Advisory Committee and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Chapters: San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley, Aransas Bay, Redfish Bay, Brush Country
Events: Beeville Fish Fry,  Babes on the Bay Tournament, Babes on Baffin Tournament


 

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Brian Meuth, Assistant Director

Brian Meuth has worked as an Assistant Director for CCA Texas since September of 2011. His main focus as Assistant Director is working directly with numerous volunteers from chapters across the state in their fundraising efforts through banquets, kid fish tournaments and secondary events. Prior to working for CCA, Brian was a member of the Fort Bend CCA Chapter for roughly 20 years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Sam Houston State University, with a minor in Business Management. Before coming to work for CCA, Brian was a Project Manager for 13 years in the residential construction industry. He has also served on his local Little League board as the Boys Baseball Coordinator for the past 8 years.

Brian has two boys, Bryce (13) Cade (11), and a loving supportive wife of 16 years, Christina. They enjoy spending time at their bay house fishing the Matagorda Bay system. When not on the water, Brian can be found at the deer lease, on the baseball field managing his boys teams, or traveling the roads with his boys’ show cattle.

Chapters: Austin, Fort Bend, San Jacinto, Laredo, Lee County, Trinity Valley, Tri-County, West Texas


 

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Taylor Rieck, Assistant Director

Taylor Rieck joined the CCA team as an Assistant Director in January of 2016. He graduated with a degree in Business from Sam Houston State University in 2011, Eat ‘em up Kats! Before joining the CCA team, Taylor spent several years as a Golf Professional, and most recently spent three years working as an Account Manager for Coca-Cola.

Taylor has a passion for being outdoors and spends most of his spare time on the golf course or out on his family’s land taking care of the cattle. He is very thankful for the opportunity to work for such a great organization, and with so many great co-workers and volunteers.

Chapters: Brenham, Colorado Valley, Fort Worth, Galveston, Matagorda Bay, Port O’Connor, Sabine-Neches


 

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Erich Schneider, Assistant Director

Erich Schneider has been with CCA for the last three years as an Assistant Director. He graduated with a degree in Business from Sam Houston State University. Prior to working for CCA, Erich was a Golf Professional in the Woodlands area for six years, where he taught, played golf, and ran the operation.

Erich’s hobbies include fishing (of course), golf, music, and sports. He has also been huge Cowboys and Astros fan his entire life! Having grown up in Victoria, Texas, learning the waters of Port O’Connor, Erich has been a lifelong fisherman/outdoorsman. Erich firmly believes that joining CCA was the best life decision he has ever made, and he is thankful every day for the opportunity to work with great people and for an amazing organization.

Chapters: Alvin/Pearland, Bay Area, East Texas, Hays County, Mainland, Sam Houston, Southwestern
Event: CCA Texas Inter-Chapter Challenge Tournament


 

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Matt Still, Assistant Director

Matt Still joined the CCA staff in 2009 as the Assistant Banquet Director, then advanced to become an Assistant Director in charge of chapters, helping them facilitate annual fundraising events. He is currently a board member on the Galveston Bay Council Committee representing CCA Texas.

Matt was born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas. His passion for fishing started at a young age, when his family would go on summer vacations to Bolivar Peninsula. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, and he was an active member in the Aggieland CCA Chapter. Matt has a wonderful wife who shares his passion for the water and loves to go fishing with him (even though he makes her wash the boat!). Matt and his wife have a 1 year old son who already loves the outdoors, and he looks forward to spending time with him on the water. Other than fishing, Matt enjoys woodworking, hunting, cooking, remodeling/construction projects, and playing golf.

Chapters: Greater Sugar Land, Guadalupe Valley, Katy, Lower Colorado, Lower Laguna Madre, San Gabriel, Texas A&M, West Houston


 

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Coleman Todd, Assistant Director

Coleman Todd has worked as an Assistant Director for CCA Texas since 2006. He assists multiple chapters across the state in their fundraising and secondary activities. Coleman is responsible for chapter development, where he has aided in adding 11 Chapters to the CCA Texas Team. Coleman also heads up the Annual CCA Texas State BBQ and STAR Awards Dinner.

A native Texan born and raised in the small gulf coast town of Needville, Coleman began exploring the outdoors at an early age on the beaches and bays of Matagorda, where he spent countless hours with family and friends enjoying our natural resources. This lifelong passion for the Texas Gulf Coast is what motivated Coleman to become involved in marine conservation.

Chapters: Central Houston, Hill Country, Houston Home Builders, Houston Real Estate, Live Oak , Mid Coast, San Bernard
Event:  STAR/State of Texas BBQ


 

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Brian Weaver, Assistant Director

Brian Weaver has been with CCA since February of 2014. He is currently an Assistant Director for CCA Texas, overseeing seven local chapters.

Brian is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University, where he earned a degree in Construction Management. Before joining CCA, he spent three years working in the construction industry here in Houston.

Brian enjoys spending time outdoors with his friends and family, whether it is fishing, hunting, or playing golf.

Chapters: Centex, Heart of the Hills, Northeast Houston, Orange County, Prairie, Texas State,
Tomball/Magnolia


 

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 Amie Fritchman, Executive Assistant

Amie Fritchman was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania where she attended Lock Haven University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a concentration in Marine Biology. She and her fiancé moved to Houston in January 2016 where she began work in the Membership Department for CCA National. Before moving to Texas, Amie completed a work study program with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S FWS) and served for a year with AmeriCorps working for Cambria County Conservation District (CCCD). In both positions she performed research for stream restoration projects, as well as did hands-on work from farmland and stream surveying with U.S FWS and U.S. Department of Agriculture, stream sampling of macroinvertebrates with CCCD and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), and fish electroshocking with PA DEP for current and future stream restoration projects. Amie’s love of the outdoors, fish, and conservation made her an exceptional Environmental Education Specialist while working with CCCD.

Amie is excited to learn about fish in Texas and the Gulf Coast and research the current and potential future problems involving our beloved fish. She loves advocating for the conservation of our land and water and is thrilled to be a part of an organization that has the same mission.


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Blake Burnside, Banquet Assistant

Blake Burnside serves as the Banquet Assistant for CCA Texas. Blake is in charge of all merchandise and can be found running around the state to different CCA Texas fundraising events during banquet season! Prior to his employment with CCA, Blake worked in roofing sales.

A resident of Needville, Texas, Blake’s interests include hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.