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Staff

Sharlene Leurig

CEO of Texas Water Trade

Sharlene Leurig is Chief Executive Officer of Texas Water Trade.

She is a sustainable water finance expert with extensive experience in Texas on long-range water planning, infrastructure finance and water transactions. Formerly, she directed the Texas Environmental Flows Initiative, a collaboration of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, the Harte Research Institute, The Nature Conservancy and several other groups, to purchase water for the bays and estuaries of the Texas Gulf Coast. She also chaired the Austin Water Forward Task Force, which developed a groundbreaking 100-year water plan approved unanimously by the Austin City Council in 2018. She holds a BA in Physics and English from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a fellow in the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative, focusing on the role of science in multi-stakeholder resource planning and dispute resolution. Ms. Leurig lives in Austin.

Jim Drees

CEO of Vida Water

Jim Drees is the Chief Executive Officer of Vida Water.

Jim comes to lead Vida Water with extensive corporate and philanthropic experience. His corporate years were spent in a progression of roles at Ford Motor Company, Dresser Inc., and General Electric. He has significant experience in new product and new market development and in business operations management. He brings experience working with and serving the water and wastewater sectors. In 2016, he pivoted his career to executive/managing director roles in nonprofit organizations that make positive impacts on the communities and constituents they serve.

Jim holds both a BS (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and an MS (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) in Mechanical Engineering. In his free time, Jim enjoys travel, trail running, and making stained glass pieces. Jim is excited to lead Vida Water’s mission to bring clean water to all Texans.

Nicole Beckstrom

Development Associate

Nicole Beckstrom is the Development Associate at Texas Water Trade.

Nicole comes to Texas Water Trade with a background in sustainability and experience working within the nonprofit sector. She earned a BS in Sustainability with a focus in ecosystems from Arizona State University. After she graduated, Nicole completed a service year with AmeriCorps with 4-H Capital in Austin, TX. She then became the Garden Science Educational Specialist at 4-H Capital. Nicole is passionate about building sustainable communities, connecting people to resources, and empowering others to be changemakers.

In her free time, Nicole likes to explore the many parks in Austin, play trivia with friends, and hang out with her cat, Stella.

Kristin Rodriguez

Director of Development

Kristin Rodriguez is the Director of Development at Texas Water Trade.

She comes to Texas Water Trade with 15 years of development experience in Texas. She previously focused on health and human services, creating meaningful partnerships and raising critical funds to support the missions of the American Heart Association and Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer. During her tenure at the American Heart Association, she was the recipient of the Cass Wheeler Award for Integration.

Kristin is a native Texan and a graduate of the University of Houston. She and her husband live in Houston and have two daughters.

Christine Rosales

Operations Manager

Christine Rosales is the Operations Manager at Texas Water Trade.

She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Texas Water Trade. Chris comes to Texas Water Trade with years of experience as a detail-oriented and effective administrator. Before joining our team in 2019, she worked as a Faculty Coordinator at The University of Texas at Austin and as an Executive Assistant at the Dell Medical School and previously as an Executive and Exhibitions Assistant at a non-profit photography organization in Houston.