Staff

The Cibolo Nature Center & Farm takes pride in its people. We have chosen the best to serve Nature and our visitors. Read on to learn a little bit about our Employees and what they do.

CAROLYN CHIPMAN EVANS
Title: Executive Director
Originally From: San Antonio, with one foot in the Hill Country
Experience: 25 years loving the CNC
Why I Love and Protect Nature: I am the sixth generation on this Hill Country ranch where we live. I come from a long line of women who lived on this ranch and kept journals of their lives and their love of the land. I want all children to have the opportunity to play in the creek or see a great blue heron fly overhead. I am passionate about wild places and I want every generation to have the chance to experience them. Realizing how fast we are losing our natural world, I have dedicated my life to preserving land for future generations to know and love.

BENJAMIN ELDREDGE
Title: Director of Education
Originally From: Dallas, Texas
Experience: Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Hobart College and 5 years as a Hill Country rancher overseeing 5,000 acres, including hunting and ecotourism operations.
Why I Love and Protect Nature: Nature is the fundamental basis of our human existence, providing the necessary ecosystem services that sustain life on Earth. Without healthy, functioning ecosystems, we would lack soil in which to grow food, oxygen to breath, and clean water in our lakes and streams. Moreover, nature provides beauty that fills our senses with colors, sounds, shapes, textures, movements and feelings.
Why I Work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: It is time for a new definition of progress that includes working with nature to provide the highest quality of life desired by all humans and the well being of the ecology that sustains and enriches our lives. Through the practical application of scientific knowledge and compassion, humans can reverse destructive patterns, live abundantly, and make the world a healthier, happier and more peaceful place.

CHARLOTTE ALLEN
Title: Accounting Associate
Originally From: Odessa, TX, home of “Friday Night Lights” and Mojo!

Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Texas Tech, “Suns up Guns Up.” I have just recently jumped back into the working world. Prior to being a chauffeur, chef, nurse, counselor, purchaser, money and time manager for my family, I worked in retail, special events venues coordinator/manager, government accounting for Health Dept. and Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, realtor, and title escrow officer
Why I Love and Protect Nature:  I have always been an active and outdoorsy person.  Some of my favorite activities include: hiking, snow skiing, camping, RV’ing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating and any type of fishing (bay and deep sea).  I enjoy seeing and experiencing the diverse countryside and beauty that nature has to offer. 
Why I Work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: The CNC&F is an amazing and beautiful setting with wonderful and fun-loving people.  I am excited to work with an organization whose purpose is to conserve and preserve the natural beauty and protect the animals/species that inhabit the Cibolo Creek Corridor and educate future generations on how to connect and live in harmony with nature.  Our executive director’s mantra is “Go outside and Play”, how awesome is that?!

CHEYENNE JOHNSON
Title: Director of Development
Originally From: Austin, Texas
Experience: I have a degree in Geography, with a specialization in Environmental Resource Management from the University of Texas at Austin. Previous to the CNC, I was the Director of Development for the Hill Country Conservancy, Program Coordinator for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Totally Cool Totally Art program, Program Coordinator for the Texas Land Trust Council, and a Research Field Assistant in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.
Why I love and Protect Nature: It is on “us” to protect our resources for future generations. If people don’t understand what is around them, they won’t care what happens to it. Society as a whole must regain a sense of where we came and the important connection between our resources, nature, food, and water.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: It is my lifelong dream to engage and enrich the lives of those around me by sharing my passion for the outdoors. The opportunity to bring the vision of the Herff Farm to reality is one of the most important projects I have ever been a part of. Access to healthy & fresh food, while educating about sustainable living, water conservation, and our overall environment is at the root of creating a community that is economically viable, healthier, smarter, and happier!

CINDY GLASS
Title: Office Manager
Originally from: San Antonio
Experience: 30 years in office administration
Why I love and protect nature: Besides the basic moral value we all hope to instill in our children, what is the best possible gift we can leave them with when we are done on this earth – except this earth? All you have to do is take an early morning or late evening walk at the CNC or in any open green space and this question literally answers itself. Breathe it, be it, keep it.
Why I work at Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: The atmosphere of doing something that truly matters alongside people who are like-minded and passionate about making a difference. We are deceptive in the sense that we may be small, but we have far reaching effects! It doesn’t matter what size fish we are in the conservation of natural resources pond – our goal is to make sure “the pond” is here for generations to come. Our team is awesome, our goals worthy of our daily best efforts, our success measured by what our children’s children will say about us – that we made a difference!

CLAIRE JENKINS
Title: Communications Coordinator
Originally From: Orange County, California
Experience: I have a degree in English Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara and have worked in the public relations, marketing and advertising sector in California, Northern Virginia, North Carolina and finally here in Texas. Before joining the team at the CNC & Farm, I worked for UTSA and had various contract positions through my consulting firm CJ Communications to include Texas Public Radio and Material Media.
Why I love and Protect Nature: I see our relationship with nature as being give and take. We are lucky to be able to reap its benefits on a daily basis but in turn, need to help sustain and protect it for our future generations.  My love for nature was born in the Sierra Nevadas and along the California Coast and I feel privileged to now be able to live in and enjoy the beauty of an entirely different landscape- the Texas Hill Country.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: From hiking and picnicking to playing in the creek, I enjoyed all the CNC & Farm had to offer before it became a “job”.  But like any position in communications, it is much easier to do when it involves promoting something you believe in. And with the nature center being a natural educational playground with activities, workshops and events for all age ranges, the possibilities are endless.

DONNA TAYLOR
Title: Environmental Research Scientist
Originally From: Mojave Desert of California
Experience: Science has been a part of my life since I was a young child, I have always been very inquisitive of the natural world and how it works. I became an environmental scientist because I couldn’t decide between biology, chemisty and geology and wanted to do work in all three realms. I also work with Geographic Information Systems.
Why I love and Protect Nature: Natural systems sustain life on earth as we know it, I can’t imagine not loving and protecting that which sustains us.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: I believe in the mission of the Cibolo Nature Center and what it does. Because we are a NGO we can get conversations started that don’t typically occur between government agencies, especially with regards to water resources and sustainability. The Cibolo Nature Center fills a very important role in the Texas Hill Country and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

JENNIFER WYLE
Title: Director of People, Visitor Experience & Operations
Originally from: Fredericksburg, TX
Experience: B.S. in Agriculture Development;  M.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University. I have spent my career working with people, animals, and food.
Why I Love and Protect Nature: As a child, I spent much time outside “in the country.” Riding bikes, swimming in the creek, making forts, or being outside with my animals filled most of my time and fueled my love for nature and agriculture. Growing up in the Texas Hill Country I have developed a deep appreciation for our natural surroundings and I hope to share that appreciation with my children.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: Here it is possible to work with people who care about a common mission and the surroundings in which we live.  I am thrilled each day to look out the window and see the wonders of nature. As my own children began to grow up, it became clear to me the importance of teaching them about agriculture and the land on which we all live. Our family made a conscious decision to get the kids outside working with animals and enjoying the outdoors. Working at the Nature Center helps me ensure the same experiences and adventures for generations to come. 

JOELY CIFRE
Title:
 Volunteer Coordinator
Originally From: Hampshire, Tennessee
Experience: I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Memphis. Previous to the CNC&F, I was a newscast producer for 15 years, even winning an Emmy for Best Newscast.  I then switched careers into animal welfare.  Now I am combining my love for animals and nature into one amazing job!
Why I love and Protect Nature: My childhood was spent exploring the woods in Tennessee with my sisters and cousins.  Nothing in the world could compare to spending the entire day walking through a forest, seeing the animals and then spending the night under the stars.  I became a journalist to make a difference in the things that were important to me.  Now I am able to continue that vision, by helping to recruit an army of volunteers who care deeply about the natural beauty all around us.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: I am so blessed to finally be able to combine all of my passions into one job!  Not only do I get to share my love of nature and animals with everyone, but I get to recruit some amazing people to help us along the way.  Engaging the community is crucial in making sure that the CNC&F will be here for many generations to come!

JULIA MURPHY
Title:  Assistant Director of Partner Relations
Originally from:  San Antonio, Texas
Experience:  With degrees in Urban Planning and Business Administration from UT Austin, I am coming to the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm from Green Spaces Alliance, an accredited land trust, where I served as Executive Director.  Prior to that, I worked on sustainability issues and community planning for the City of San Antonio.  I am a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and serve on the board of the San Antonio Parks Foundation. 
Why I love and Protect Nature: Protection of our natural resources is essential to our quality-of-life, including our economic competitiveness as a desirable community.  But more than that, the infinite variety of plants, animals and landscapes that we have around us is truly astounding and provides us beauty, peace, and restoration in our daily lives.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: Here it is possible to experience the wonders of nature firsthand and educate future stewards of  our world about our collective responsibility to take care of it.   We are showing that conservation protects our lands, waters, and iconic Texan wildlife that makes living here so special.  Demonstrating the interconnectedness of collecting rainwater, growing food, and establishing pollinator habitats, for example, helps people realize how they can play a part in promoting sustainability. As a lifelong area resident, I care about the future of our community and am thrilled to be working everyday with an organization that is adding value to the place I call home.
 

KEN HILLEMAN
Title:  Buildings & Grounds Manager
Originally From: St. Louis County, Bridgeton, Missouri, moved to Texas in 1981
Experience: Criminal Justice Major, 25 years with the Houston Police Department, Retired.  I have a long history of home repair, remodeling, wood working, and general maintenance.
Why I love and protect nature:  My grandfather had two small farms in Middletown, Missouri.  At a very small age I learned about land management, and growing corn and soy beans.  There were also black angus cattle on the farm and a couple of horses.  Our family was able to hunt quail and deer on the property.  My family also enjoyed the Missouri State Parks and we did a lot of fishing for rainbow trout in the current river.  I also had an opportunity to work on a 1400-acre wheat ranch located in Wyoming when I was 14 years old.  So I learned from a very young age about the importance of farming, hunting and fishing, and I want my kids and their kids to have nature to enjoy.  And I am surrounded by several family members including my wife who are Hill Country Master Naturalists.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm:  I am outdoor person.  I like repairing things and I like the various tasks.  I am a people person and pretty good handyman.

LINDA CHARLTON
Title:  Nature School Lead Educator
Originally from:  Pennsylvania
Experience:  I have spent my whole life among children, teaching, writing curriculum, and managing programs.  Among the places I have worked are Discovery School (9 years), Southwest School of Art (5 years), and the San Antonio Zoo (3 years).  I have a BA from Trinity University and I am working on an Environmental Education Certificate from UTSA.
Why I love and Protect Nature: Nature is what provides for us, connects us, and centers us. How can you not love something that willingly provides blueberries? And isn’t that the sign that Nature is loving us right back?
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: I cannot imagine a better day than getting to play and learn outside with children in a space as beautiful as Cibolo Nature Center & Farm.  I must have the best job in the whole world..
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SARA BRUMBY
Title: Donor Development/Database Manager
Originally From: New York State
Experience: I began my career at CNC as a volunteer in 2008 and joined the staff soon after. I attended Northwest Vista College and my professional background is business administration. Most recently I was the customer service manager for an automotive dealership in San Antonio.
Why I Love and Protect Nature:  Nature is a wonderful resource providing sustainability and recreation and so important that we protect and preserve it for now and future generations.
Why I Work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: My love of nature and history makes working for the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm a perfect choice. I have the opportunity to encourage all of us to get outdoors more often and explore, have fun and learn.  I am very fortunate to work with a wonderful group of people, making a difference by helping raise funds that support our programs and conservation initiatives.

STEPHANIE COLVARD
Title: Director of Children’s Education
Originally From: Tennessee
Experience: B.S. in Outdoor Recreation from Middle Tennessee State University. 13 years professionally working in Environmental and Outdoor Education. Gained knowledge and skills by working with the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Audubon Society, U.S. Navy, and 4H. Competed a Naturalist Internship and became a Certified Interpretive Guide at the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center. Fell in love with the outdoors by attending many camps each summer camps from age 8-18.
Why I love and protect Nature: I love the spark of imagination you see when a child discovers new things in nature and you know that a real connection has been made!
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm: God blessed me with the amazing opportunity to work with a wonderful group of people that all share in a common goal to teach the love and appreciation of the outdoors.

TAMI MacKENZIE
Title: Financial Director
Orig. from: So. California
Experience:  I have spent most of my career leading non-profit organizations in the financial/HR/IT areas - most recently, the last 20 years as the VP/CFO for the Jewish Community Center in San Antonio. I enjoy helping these organizations excel in overcoming the many challenges non-profits face with the “business” side of their mission.
Why I love and protect nature: Growing up in California, my family regularly visited many of the nation and state’s beautiful parks.  I loved exploring these places and appreciated those that came before us
that worked to protect them for us and for the generations to come.  
Why I work at the CNC&F: Anyone that has walked the Woodland trail could testify that this area is beautiful and worthy of being protected.  I believe in preserving this natural beauty God created for our enjoyment and I love working with a group of like-minded people who appreciate and believe in the protection of these precious places.

TIARA CHAPMAN
Title:  Farm Programs Coordinator
Originally from:  Augusta, GA 
Experience: I discovered my life’s calling my senior year of college after I watched America’s Best Idea. As I listened to Shelton Johnson recall his first visit to Yellowstone, I felt my heart pound with a resounding resolution to ensure that these sacred spaces are accessible and protected for generations to come. My passion for the outdoors has taken me all over the United States—from Augusta to Anchorage, Merced to Albuquerque, San Antonio to Asheville as I’ve made it a personal goal to see as much of this gorgeous country as possible. I’m a Bexar County Master Gardener, Texas Master Naturalist, and Area Leader for Outdoor Afro. In my free time, I love to knit and binge watch British comedies on Netflix.
Why I love and Protect Nature: Oftentimes the grittiness of world becomes too loud for me to cope. I love feeling the burden of the world lift from my shoulders as I take that first breath of alpine air, or massage my shins after setting up camp at the end of a 5000ft ascent, or recline in a kayak to listen to cicadas. That experience is as integral to my life and sanity as water; so I want everyone to be able to enjoy that same feeling, to have the opportunity to rejuvenate their psyches in the great outdoors.
Why I work at the Cibolo Nature Center & Farm: I feel in my core that I have a responsibility to preserve these special places for generations to come. At the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm, I get to work and play hard while living out my dream of saving the planet. I’m surrounded by a team of inspiring people who believe that anything is possible and I thrive on the challenge of how to better serve them and the mission.