Board of Directors
Born and raised in Georgia, John Branch graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Georgia Southern University in 1995. Prior to a career in radio and television, John spent 7 years working for the National Park Service in Grand Teton National Park, and for the US Forest Service in Gallatin National Forest. His love of the water comes from a lifetime spent boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking in rivers and lakes across North America with his friends and family.
Cari Clark Phelps
An avid world traveler and active participant in community and environmental organizations, Cari Clark Phelps¹ interests are keenly focused at the intersections of design, culture and small business. A native of Sarasota, Florida, Cari traveled during her childhood along the eastern seaboard, collecting natural products from riverbeds and wooded environs as well as seeking the wares of Native Indians, to create woven fiber sculptures her parents sold as art. Living this always-changing, entrepreneurial lifestyle lead Cari to the Savannah College of Art and Design to pursue a degree in architecture, but quickly fell in love with graphic design. Graduating magna cum laude in just 3 years, Cari gained experience working in a small business and then launched her creative design agency in 2004, now located in a circa 1900¹s renovated townhouse in Savannah, Georgia.
Dorinda G. Dallmeyer is director of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at the University of Georgia. A native of Macon, Georgia, she holds three degrees from UGA: B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology and a J.D. Her research has been supported by grants from the MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Ford Foundation, the Canadian Embassy, the National Science Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. Among other titles, Ms. Dallmeyer has edited books on civilian uses of space, globalization and environmental ethics, the negotiation of maritime boundary disputes, and marine environmental ethics. In 2005 she received the Phillip Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing about the Southern Environment in recognition of her edited anthology Elemental South. At UGA, she teaches courses in environmental dispute resolution and marine environmental ethics. A devoted natural scientist, she has lectured on expedition cruises to Alaska, Greenland, Central America, and the Caribbean in addition to more than 20 expeditions to Antarctica.
Mickey Desai currently Chairs the Metropolitan Counseling Services Board of Directors, is a member of the Georgia Lakes Society Board of Directors, and is a member of the United Way's Volunteer Involvement Program (V.I.P.) Alumni Association, the premier board development program in Atlanta. Working in the nonprofit sector since 2001, he helped resurrect the Atlanta Nonprofit Professionals group and organized the Stetson University Alumni Association across the state. In 1995 he received his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver, and he holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Stetson University. He has had a varied and diverse career path, choosing nonprofit causes specifically for strength of passion and demonstrated return on investment. His personal interests revolve around causes that develop personal strength, integrity and critical thinking skills. Mickey is the founder of The Nonprofit Snapshot.
Bruno Giri was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he studied biology and anthropology. After completing his B.S. in 1993, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Nepal as a fisheries extension volunteer for two years. He returned to the U.S. where he continued his studies in fisheries at Auburn University with an M.S. degree. Since then, he has spent time living and working in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, where he continues to pursue a seemingly endless PhD at the University of Georgia. He enjoys volunteering with a variety of local community organizations and travelling strange places in the world.
Gary’s life has always involved a passion for the environment and preserving it for future generations. As co-owner of Plastek Werks, an industrial plastics welding and fabrication company, Gary has had a chance to combine his expertise in plastics welding with his passion for preserving the environment to build environmental products for companies that want to protect groundwater, soil and air from contamination by hazardous chemicals. In 2007, Gary and his long-time business partner started Storm Water Systems to manufacture and install products that intercept trash and other pollutants mobilized by stormwater runoff to keep them from entering our waterways. Gary travels the entire United States and neighboring countries speaking, performing technical presentations, and meeting with clients wishing either to comply with stormwater regulations or simply do the right thing.
Duncan became interested in rivers from experience paddling and camping on the Canoochee, Ohoopee, and Ogeechee rivers as a small child. He received a B.S. in Environmental Health Science from UGA in 1996 and an M.S. in Environmental Science (with an emphasis on stream ecology and water resources) from Columbus State University in 2006. He has served as Watershed Coordinator for the Soque River Watershed Partnership in northeast Georgia since 2004. Duncan also serves on the boards of Keep Habersham Beautiful and Clarkesville Greenways.
Victor Johnson lives on the South Fork Broad River north of Athens with his wife and their animals. He is a reformed geologist practicing country law in Danielsville, Georgia, ranging from land use and government law to civil litigation. A long time board member of the Broad River Watershed Association, he’s also (among others) a board member of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation and United Way of Northeast Georgia, and helps with many community programs and projects. He’s over-educated, with a B.S. in Natural Resources and B.A. in Economics from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and an M.S. in Geology and J.D. in law from the University of Georgia. Though he has lived or worked in five southeastern states, Georgia is home (you always come back to the best).
Margaret Myszewski is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, but has lived in the Athens area for nearly 20 years. After receiving a Master’s degree in microbiology from UGA, she worked for a number of years at the USDA before moving to Oregon to attend law school. While she has always enjoyed swimming and scuba diving, her interest in the aquatic environment crystalized during many years of researching and writing about Georgia’s natural resource policy issues at UGA. Margaret is now a program coordinator with the Georgia Coastal Resource Council, a program that provides mechanisms for improved scientific exchange between coastal scientists, natural resource managers, and the public.
I am a 30 year Lake Lanier resident and outdoor enthusiast. My corporate background was handling hazardous waste and materials, conducting workshops and handling corporate clients. I also worked for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for 5 years as the Headwaters Outreach Manager. I currently participate with the Lake Lanier Association on Shore Sweep, Georgia Canoe Association on river clean up events, Rivers Alive Advisory Board, and Friends of Gainesville Park board. I have worked with various groups including the Lake Lanier Association to make the Shore Sweep one of the 3 biggest cleanups annually in GA. My cleanup activities brought me to the Rivers Alive advisory board and I made friends with many of my fellow board members including Dana Skelton. In early 2005 at a board retreat Dana asked me if I thought a week paddle down the Chattahoochee River would be something people would like to do. I remember writing her a check that day. My life changed with Paddle Georgia and I can't imagine not have kayaking, my friends and love of the rivers. Since then my life has been centered around protecting and enjoying rivers in the Southeast. I am a certified Recreational Kayak Instructor and can be found on the Chattahoochee River and other rivers paddling most weekends. I have paddled all 8 Paddle Georgia Trips and I enthusiastically have tried to recruit new paddlers and promote and support GRN and especially Paddle Georgia. With more time and freedom, I expect to be able help with more protection and promotion of all Georgia Rivers and the many GRN programs. I have paddled with Paddle Florida on the Suwannee River and 130 mile Keys Challenge, the Apalachicola River from Woodruff Dam to the Gulf and actively helped create the New Upper Chattahoochee Paddle Trail above Lake Lanier.
Dee’s life is a kaleidoscope of careers launched with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in her home state. She worked in TV as a writer, producer and ski show host; in the wine industry as a writer and wine judge; and in education as an international college recruiter and president of a proprietary college. She credits Paddle Georgia for igniting her passion for the rivers. Prior to that, the only thing she had ever done with a river was ice skate on it in the frigid Missouri winters.
The revolution will not be televised—but it could be visually mapped, laminated, overnighted, mounted on a wall, and used to ignite a movement once Julie Stuart gets involved. Recognized in Harvard Business Review for her graphic facilitation work before anyone could agree on what to call it, Julie has facilitated high-stakes meetings for such clients as Accenture, GE Energy, the American Institute for Architects, andthe Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Part strategist, part business truth-teller, part idea taxonomist, part champion of insights, Julie combines the right questions with a few well-placed scribbles to envision what’s really possible for her clients—and to map out how to make what matters happen.