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Staff and Board

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.

Adam Butler

Board Member

Adam Butler, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is co-founder of the Butler brand development studio in Austin, Texas.

After graduating from the University of Texas in 1996 with a Communications and Leadership Studies diploma Adam went on to an award winning, seven year run with legendary Texas advertising agency GSD&M. In 2002, he co-founded Butler brand development studio. His studio has led brand defining work for Austin FC, College Board, Texas Children’s Hospital, Truth Initiative, Chariot Energy, and a host of beloved Texas brands.

He is a founding board member of Farmshare Austin, a member of Austin Park Foundation’s Groundbreakers and currently serves the Shield Ranch Foundation as a fundraising steering committee member. Adam is a grateful husband to his wife of 17 years, Julie Butler and together they are the proud parents of three boys; Wilson, Davis and Noah. When not at work you’ll find Adam outside; most often on a bicycle, swimming in the sacred waters of Barton Springs, or somewhere in the Texas state parks system.

Anderson Bynam

Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Anderson Bynam, Treasurer of the Board of Directors at Texas Water Trade, is an Investment Banker located in Houston, Texas.

Andy is a Managing Director with Mesirow Financial, Inc. in the Public Finance Department. He focuses on servicing municipal clients primarily in Texas as well as other states across the South and mid-Atlantic. Andy has more than 30 years of public finance experience including over $100 billion in bond transactions for water and sewer facilities, utilities, general infrastructure, housing, and education.   Andy has participated as a board member for the Greater Houston Area Red Cross, Jazz Houston, Inc., the Houston Area Urban League, and the Community Artists Collective among several civic endeavors.

Susana Canseco

Board Member

Susana Canseco, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is an attorney and rancher living in San Antonio, Texas. 

Susana grew up in Del Rio, Texas and Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, where she helps run her family’s multi-generation cattle ranch.  In her legal practice, Susana specializes in water-rights and real estate transactions and administrative practice.  She has represented land and water owners, as well as groundwater conservation districts, and regularly writes and speaks on water law.  Following law school, Susana clerked for the Honorable United States District Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas.

Kinnan Golemon

Chair of the Board of Directors

Kinnan Golemon, Chair of the Board of Directors at Texas Water Trade, is an environmental, energy and natural resources lawyer and lobbyist in Austin, Texas.

For over three decades, Golemon was a Partner with Brown McCarroll, LLP, where he was the senior member of the environmental team. From 1992 to 2006, he served as General Counsel for the Texas Chemical Council, the association representing the approximate 80 chemical manufacturing operations in Texas. He was a founder of the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and during a 30-plus year tenure in the American Bar Associate (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) Law he held numerous leadership positions. In 2008, he was inducted as an initial Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL). He presently serves on the Executive Council of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center for Energy, Law and Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Golemon served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961-69, which included tours in Cuba, Okinawa, Taiwan and Vietnam.

John Hall

Board Member

John Hall, a board member at Texas Water Trade, is a Public Affairs policy expert.

John Hall is the President and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, water, and resilience issues to shape scientific solutions for a sustainable and equitable future. He has been a thought leader and practitioner on the impacts of energy on air quality, the environment, communities, and climate for the past thirty years. His policy and research expertise include environmental justice, clean energy, climate resilience, and emerging technologies that reduce air and climate pollution while supporting economic growth and job creation.

Before joining HARC, he chaired the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the predecessor agency to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).  Hall left a lasting mark on TCEQ by implementing the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program. He also served in leadership roles at Environmental Defense Fund, focusing on clean energy efforts in ten of the largest states, and vehicle electrification initiatives in Texas.

Mary Kelly

Board Member

Mary Kelly, a Texas Water Trade board member, is a practicing environmental lawyer and former chemical engineer in Austin, Texas.

Mary is currently a Partner at Culp & Kelly LLP, a mission-driven law and policy firm that is focused on water and natural resources in the American West. Previously, she managed a consulting firm, Parula, LLC that dealt with freshwater concerns, representing clients such as The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). From 2002 through 2010, she served as Vice President for EDF’s Rivers and Deltas program, promoting stream flow protections in Texas, as well as managing EDF’s water work in California, Louisiana and North Carolina. Prior to that she led the Texas Center for Policy Studies for 13 years. The Center worked on a variety of environmental projects in the state, including U.S./Mexico border environmental issues,  water policy, toxic pollution and pesticide regulation. Her earliest legal work was with the partnership, Henry, Kelly, Lowerre, and Frederick, a Texas firm dedicated to representing non-profit groups, ranchers, farmers, and neighborhood associations in environmental matters.