The “My River POV” series provides readers the opportunity to learn about the unique insight and experiences of River Authority staff and their personal connection to the San Antonio River in hopes of inspiring stewardship of our creeks and rivers.
Growing up in southern Indiana near the Ohio River, I spent my formative years developing an appreciation for the importance of our natural water resources. Recognizing the environmental, economic, and recreational opportunities of the river made a lasting impact on me. I then joined the United States Air Force and spent a couple of decades traveling the world. I made it a point to visit creeks and rivers in the various communities I visited and that served to grow my appreciation for our waterways. In 2011, when my current position with the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) opened, I knew I wanted to be part of this vital organization.
My sons participating in a River Authority PSA about stormwater runoff in 2017.
On a daily basis, I sit at my desk and watch people enjoy this great resource. Yesterday, I watched a young family have photos taken along the river. The day prior, there was an elderly couple holding hands while staring at the river. This morning, while on a run, I passed other runners, walkers, and bicyclists along the Mission Reach. On any given day, I witness dozens of kayakers paddling the King William section of the River Walk. Each of these groups are making memories that will last a lifetime.
More importantly to me, as the head of our people programs, witnessing the passion and professionalism our employees exhibit day in and day out while inspiring actions for healthy creeks and rivers is the reason I love my job and value this amazing community gem. I thoroughly enjoy working with women and men who are doing groundbreaking engineering and science, riparian experts who are maintaining a crucial ecosystem, wastewater operators who are ensuring the effluent that is released in our creeks and rivers is above reproach, and support staff who work long hours to provide the tools and resources needed to do this vital work.
My hope is the constituents in our four counties rest easy knowing the River Authority is staffed with the best and the brightest in the industry. Each of our teammates are committed to safe, clean, and enjoyable creeks and rivers and it shows in the work they perform each day.
I also have the opportunity to sit through hundreds of employment interviews annually and I get goosebumps when I hear applicants describe why they want to join the agency responsible for protecting this natural resource. Witnessing my fellow citizens share the same passion that I was exposed to as a child validates my faith in humanity. It is normal for us to get well over 100 applicants for each vacancy because there is such a strong desire to be part of protecting our water resources. While my tenure with the River Authority will be just a blip on a timeline, I am proud to part of this amazing organization and I am comforted knowing the river and its tributaries will be protected for decades to come.