Our founder, Laura Bush, inspires our work. Since her earliest days in Midland, she has felt a deep connection with the diverse natural beauty of Texas and a desire to pass it on to future generations. Giving voice to Mrs. Bush’s love for our natural world, Texan by Nature strives to strengthen the conservation ethic in all Texans that will ensure Texas’ economic vitality and heritage by conserving our natural resources for generations to come. ... Read More The people and the land are what make Texas great. When they are working in harmony, everyone benefits.
One of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, Laura Bush is actively involved in issues of national and global concern with a particular emphasis on education, health care, human rights and the preservation of our nation’s heritage. A hiking and outdoors enthusiast, Mrs. Bush inspires Americans to spend time in, and care for, our national parks.
As First Lady, Mrs. Bush served as Honorary Chair of the National Park Foundation, and visited more than 30 national parks and historic sites throughout the U.S., spotlighting the national treasures and natural wonders. In 2016, Mrs. Bush served as Honorary Co-Chair of the National Park Service Centennial with Mrs. Obama, and wrote a children’s book – Our Great Big Backyard – which encourages children to spend time exploring our national parks and the great outdoors.
As founder of Texan by Nature, Mrs. Bush is committed to native prairie restoration efforts and to teaching Texans the importance of conserving the state’s natural resources. The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas features a 15-acre native prairie landscape, and the Bushes are currently working to restore the prairie at their ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Texas. She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian. In 1977, she married George W. Bush. President and Mrs. Bush are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, son-in-law, Henry Hager, and proud grandparents of granddaughters Margaret Laura “Mila” and Poppy Louise Hager.
Neal Wilkins, Ph.D.
San Antonio, TX
Neal Wilkins is President and CEO of the East Foundation, where he is responsible for leading the Foundation’s mission of supporting wildlife conservation and other public benefits of ranching and private land stewardship. With Headquarters in San Antonio, the East Foundation owns and operates about 218,000 acres of South Texas ranchland as a working laboratory for its research, education, and outreach programs. ... Read More Before joining the East Foundation in 2012, Neal was a Professor of Wildlife Science and served as the Director of the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas Water Resources Institute where he coordinated the programs of more than 45 scientists and professional staff.
Neal has more than 28 years of experience leading research and conservation efforts across private lands in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Washington, and Oregon. His primary focus has been habitat management and conservation of land, water, and wildlife resources on private lands. His work integrates science, policy and economics for developing wildlife conservation programs. Until 2006, Neal was statewide program leader for wildlife and fisheries with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Prior to joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1998, he directed wildlife and fisheries programs for Port Blakely Tree Farms, a 150,000-acre forest landholding in the Pacific Northwest.
Neal is a Director and former Vice-President of Texas Wildlife Association. He serves on the board of Texan-by-Nature, the Management Council for the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management, and is a Professional Member of the Boone & Crockett Club. He and his wife Sandra have two grown children, Ashley and Matt.
Cynthia Pickett-Stevenson is a fourth generation Houstonian. She is a practicing attorney with over 34 years of experience, primarily in oil and gas, real estate, manufacturing, construction, and business acquisitions and dispositions. Cynthia earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Texas and JD from South Texas College of Law. ... Read More She is a longtime board member and former chair of the Galveston Bay Foundation. She serves as a director and co-vice chair of the Lone Star Coastal Alliance Board focused on securing a Federal Congressional designation known as the Loan Star Coastal National Recreation Area (“LSCNRA”) for the upper Texas coastal counties. Cynthia is also director of the Center for Excellence in Education, established by the late Admiral Rickover and Joann DiGennaro, co-chair of the Methodist Hospital Foundation, Methodist DeBakey Heart Center Council, and senior cabinet member of the Houston Methodist President’s Leadership Council.
Tamara Trail is a landowner and conservation advocate. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and an MS in Rangeland Ecology and Agriculture Economics. Tamara’s work experience ranges from endangered species issues and hands-on range management to program development and ... Read More non-profit management. She gained her appreciation for conservation education while working for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She then joined the staff of the Texas Wildlife Association and coordinated the development of its Conservation Legacy program. As a firm believer in the power of partnerships, she enjoys serving on Boards and conservation working groups across the state. Currently she serves on the Migratory Gamebird Advisory Committee, the advisory Board of Texas Bighorn Society, and is a Director of Texas Wildlife Association. She is actively involved in Texas quail management and education initiatives, programs that engage youth in the outdoors, and also serves on her local Chamber Board and as Secretary of the Old Jail Art Museum. She and her husband love sharing the outdoors with others and hope their three daughters will grow up with a similar love of the land and a passion for passing on our outdoor heritage.
Regan Gammon has been a community volunteer and a nonprofit fundraiser for the past 35 years. She currently serves on the board of Sailors for the Sea as well as the advisory boards for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the South Texas Natives project. She is a founder of Texan by Nature. ... Read More Regan has been a member of the National Park Foundation board and served as its citizen chair for two years. She is a founder of the Texas Book Festival and was chair of the board for three years. She has served as president of the Junior League of Austin and the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School board. Regan and her husband, William, have two grown children. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University.
Katharine Armstrong is a fifth-generation Texan raised on her family’s South Texas cattle ranch. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and the mother of three grown children. Katharine was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 1999 by Governor Bush. In 2001, Governor Perry appointed her the first woman to lead the commission, ... Read More on which she served as chair. She currently serves as president of an environmental consulting firm as well as a governmental affairs consulting firm in Austin. She serves as chair of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, co-chair of the South Texas Native Restoration Project, and director of the Texas Wildlife Association. Her passionate belief in private property rights and the integrity of private landowners as stewards of the natural resources of Texas guides her efforts. She is married to Ben Love, a rancher in West Texas.
Marc L. Boom, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.H.E., is president and CEO of Houston Methodist, a hospital system in Houston with more than 1,900 beds and 19,000 employees. Its flagship, Houston Methodist Hospital, is consistently ranked among the country’s best by U.S News & World Report., and is the No. 1 hospital in Texas. Houston Methodist is affiliated with a number of academic institutions that support its teaching and research initiatives. These include Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Texas A&M University. ... Read More
Dr. Boom holds a B.S. in Biology with High Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.D. with High Honors from Baylor College of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and fellowships in geriatric medicine and general medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Previously Dr. Boom was executive vice president of The Methodist Hospital, president and CEO of Methodist Diagnostic Hospital and president/CEO/medical director of Baylor-Methodist Primary Care Associates, a network of primary care physicians.
Dr. Boom is also an assistant professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, an adjunct professor of management, policy and community health at The University of Texas School of Public Health and previously an adjunct professor of Management at Rice University. Dr. Boom is a member of numerous professional and community organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives, The Leadership Institute, the American College of Physician Executives, the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council; and, the American Heart Association where he is Past-President of the Board for the Houston Office. He represents Houston Methodist Hospital within the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) on the Board of Directors. He also serves on the boards of the Texas Hospital Association. Dr. Boom has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) since 2012. He served as moderator of the group’s Forum V in 2013-2014. Dr. Boom also serves on the board of Texans By Nature. He previously served as chair of the Health Care Advisory Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership. He maintains a part-time clinical practice where his special interests are preventive medicine, lipid disorders, and hypertension.
Dr. Boom was named CEO Communicator of the Year by the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in 2014. He was finalist for the 2009 and 2010 Health Care Hero Award by the Houston Business Journal. In 1999, Modern Healthcare magazine named Dr. Boom one of healthcare’s newest leaders – the “Up and Comers.” In the 2007 Modern Healthcare “Up and Comers Yearbook” celebrating 20 years of the list, Dr. Boom was singled out as the “Star Student” of the “Up and Comers Class of 1999.” The American Heart Association awarded Dr. Boom the “2006 Distinguished Service Award” and in 2012, Dr. Boom and his wife Dr. Julie Boom received the “Good Samaritan Award” from Interface-Samaritan Counseling Centers.
Dr. Julie Boom is a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her special interests are in vaccine advocacy and research. Married for over 20 years, the Booms have three children, Kathryn (20), John (16), and Janie (10). They are active members of First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Boom enjoys travel, soccer, gardening, playing the piano, and gourmet cooking.
Tina Buford was the first female president of the Texas Wildlife Association in 2009 and is a past president of the Texas Wildlife Association Foundation. She works for the East Foundation as the Education Project manager to develop and deploy natural resource education in the underserved communities of South Texas. ... Read More In 2016, Tina was appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Women, helping them identify information and services best suited to their needs, as well as finding solutions to emerging issues facing them, including women’s and children’s health issues. Along with her sister, Francisca Wittenbach, Tina represents the sixth generation of the H. Yturria family to work the land, which now consists of commercial cattle and hunting operations. The family recently celebrated being in agriculture for more than 150 years. Buford is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Rangeland Ecology and Management and is a graduate of the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program. She also is a director of the Sand County Foundation whose sole focus is supporting voluntary conservation on working lands through ethics, science and incentives. She and her husband Trey have two boys ages 10 and 13.
Joe Crafton is the owner of Wingshooter Investments, LLC. The firm’s investment focus is in wildlife conservation, sporting goods, and outdoor recreation companies. The most recent acquisition is Collectors Covey, Inc. of Dallas, TX. Collectors Covey has a national reputation as a leader in wildlife and sporting fine art, gifts, and furnishings. In its 38 years, Collectors Covey has made direct donations of over $10 million to wildlife conservation. ... Read More
Joe retired as Chief Executive Officer of CROSSMARK, Inc. in 2014. In his 26 year career, the company grew from a regional food broker with 110 employees to an international sales and marketing services company with over 40,000 associates in 5 countries. Prior to joining CROSSMARK, Joe held a variety of sales and management positions with Procter & Gamble.
Joe serves on the advisory council at the University of Tennessee, College of Business where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 1984.
Joe is the founder of numerous wildlife conservation groups including Park Cities Quail and Quail Coalition. He is a director at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation and is on the Upland Advisory Committee for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Joe is an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America serving as President of Circle Ten Council and Vice President of the National Executive Board. He is currently developing the Joe Crafton Sportsman Camp at the Bechtel Summit National Scout Reserve near Beckley West Virginia.
Joe is the father of three sons and lives in Dallas with his wife Amy Simmons Crafton.
Ray L. Ingle was named Senior Vice President, Operations Support, in January 2014 of EOG Resources, Inc. He joined EOG in 1989 as Operations Manager in Midland, Texas, and then served as Operations Manager in Trinidad and Tobago, before moving to Houston in 1998. He was promoted to Vice President and ... Read More General Manager Midstream in 2007 and simultaneously took on the job of President for EOG’s two midstream subsidiaries, Pecan Pipeline (North Dakota), Inc. and Pecan Pipeline Company. He added the role of Senior Vice President of EOG’s Hawthorn Pipeline operations in Oklahoma and North Dakota in 2009, and still holds these leadership positions today. He began his career with Union Oil Company in 1970, working the Mid-Continent, Permian Basin, and Rocky Mountain areas. He joined Pioneer Corporation in 1977, working his way through the ranks to Production Manager. In 1983, he moved to a small Tulsa-based oil and gas firm, where he was ultimately promoted to President. Mr. Ingle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Pipeline Association.
Elaine Magruder is a fourth-generation Texan in the ranching and oil and gas industry. She is the President of Andector Exploration Company. She graduated from Regis University with a Masters in Non-Profit Organization Management. Elaine is the Past President of the Board of Directors of the I-20 Wildlife Preserve and Jenna Welch Nature Study Center, Inc. ... Read More in Midland, Texas. She is currently heading up a $12.5 million capital campaign to build Phase III, which is the Jenna Welch Nature Study Center. Her current focus is on restorative projects and stewardship for land in Texas, both public and private, with an emphasis on protection of playa lakes as recharge zones to protect ground water. She serves as a trustee on the Abell-Hanger Foundation. Elaine lives at Morning Star Farm and promotes water collection and reformulation of materials to provide mulch and compost for the gardens and vineyard.
Carolyn Miller has donated much of her civic life to community building, philanthropy, and volunteerism. Among other causes, she is an advocate for education, social justice and issues of older adults. She is an active volunteer and supporter of a number of non-profit organizations including Café Momentum, Goodwill Industries of Dallas, March of Dimes, New Friends New Life, The Senior Source, ... Read More Shelter Ministries of Dallas (Genesis Women’s Shelter and Austin Street Center), Texan by Nature, and Trinity River Audubon Center.
Carolyn and her husband, David Miller, have made generous contributions to support education and the educational experience at their respective alma maters, Hendrix College and Southern Methodist University. They support many other causes and organizations through their foundation, The David B. Miller Family Foundation.
Carolyn has served the community in big and small ways including as non-profit board member, event chair and co-chair, and issues advocate. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Hendrix College and currently serves on the board of The Senior Source, Dallas Shelter Ministries, SMU Meadow School of the Arts, and SMU-in-Taos.
She received her B.Ed. from Hendrix College, M.Ed. from Stephen F. Austin University, and M.S. in gerontology from The University of North Texas.
Greg Schildwachter, Ph.D.
Dr. Schildwachter is a professional conservationist with a strong record of solving problems and innovating. He works through his company, Watershed Results, both as a registered lobbyist and a broadly-trained advisor with experience in wildlife and fisheries, forestry, land and water conservation, environmental economics, leadership and strategy, and ... Read More private investments in conservation. He has worked on local, state, and federal issues. He is now based in Washington, D.C. He has contributed to landmark agreements and improved policies in the conservation of wolves, salmon, other endangered species, private lands, and water rights. These include local agreements as well as state and federal policies. In this work, Greg has built many trusting relationships and fond familiarity with many communities and habitats across the country, including South Texas, where he worked for the Ocelot Recovery Program at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Greg’s career began with degrees in wildlife science and progressed to several senior policy jobs, including service at the White House Council on Environmental Quality advising President George W. Bush on public lands, wildlife, wetlands, and agriculture issues.