CAHABA RIVER SOCIETY STAFF
Beth K. Stewart has been Executive Director of the Cahaba River Society since 1995, and grew up in the Birmingham area. In addition to leading organizational management and community relations for CRS, Ms. Stewart contributes to the Society’s programs providing policy advocacy, education, and collaboration for low impact development, storm water, drinking water supplies and efficiency, and faith-based care of creation. Beth has a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from The University of California, Berkeley with a focus in urban and environmental planning. She worked in the local government planning and zoning field for 15 years in Birmingham, New Orleans, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Bluegrass area of Kentucky, where she was the first full-time planning director for a small, historic county seat that became the location for a major Toyota plant. Beth was co-founder and executive director of the statewide nonprofit Kentucky Waterways Alliance and has been a private consultant on planning projects for historic preservation, land use, river protection, greenways, agricultural preservation, heritage tourism development, and coordination of state agencies. Beth helped found the Interfaith Environmental Initiative of Alabama, co-leads the Alabama Urban Stormwater Partnership, participates in the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Reform Coalition, and has served on 2 state task forces for environmental strategic planning. She is a member of Leadership Birmingham Class of 2002 and received the 2007 River Hero Award from the Alabama Rivers Alliance.
Randall Haddock, PhD, Field Director, has led CRS’s work on the water quality, science, and recreation programs since 1991. Randy provides policy analysis for growth and development issues and for state water quality permits and policies. He coordinates with Tricia Sheets to locate and abate pollution sources, and he works with local governments and developers to improve the design of development to reduce watershed degradation. Randy is one of the south’s notable ecologists and experts on watershed processes and our chief guide and naturalist on recreational canoe trips.
Tricia Sheets, Director of Administration, works on policy, water quality programs, and oversees CRS’s financial and personnel management systems. From 1994 to 2000, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. as a member of the Public Health/Environmental caucus advising the Clinton Administration on sanitary sewer overflow problems. She also served as the CRS representative on Jefferson County’s Environmental Services Advisory Committee. She leads all work related to the County sewer program and investigates point source pollution problems in the field and through document research. Tricia joined the staff of the Cahaba River Society in 1991. Before working in the conservation field, she worked in management at a Southeastern bank and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Casey Laycock, Director of Development, recently joined the Cahaba River Society staff. In her current role, she is responsible for growing and developing the organization’s communication and fundraising efforts as well as increasing partnerships and the impact of CRS within the community. Prior to relocating to Birmingham in early August 2016, she led and strengthened the membership and fundraising efforts of the Greater Houston Partnership as a Member Engagement Manager from 2011 to 2016. Casey is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and facilitator of international (and local) sustainable development projects with a wealth of experience in non-profit fundraising and financial management, project design and management, financial analysis, and international operations. She has a Master’s Degree in International Development with a specialization in Environmental Sustainable Policy from the University of Denver, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology. She also brings a unique background in pollution control from her experience as an Environmental Investigator focused in stormwater issues along the Gulf Coast for both Galveston County Health District and Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in southeast Texas. She is enjoying exploring Birmingham with her husband, James “Chris” Laycock, Director of Support Services for the Greater Alabama Council-Boy Scouts of America, and their two children.
Gordon Black, Education Director, leads the Shane Hulsey CLEAN Program of river field trips for youth. Gordon has a national reputation as a teacher and respected practitioner of paddle-sports. He teaches and certifies instructors in canoeing, kayaking and swift-water rescue, with 48 years of experience in canoes. He worked for 16 years as an instructor, guide, and Head of Instruction (7 years) at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, was the American Canoe Association’s national Director of Safety Education and Instruction, and has conducted boating safety trainings in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, and numerous other national programs. Through the science-based CLEAN trips, and the paddle-sport oriented Camp Cahaba program Gordon has introduced well over six thousand local youth to the Cahaba River during recent years.
La’Tanya Scott, CRS Environmental Educator, holds a degree in Environmental Science from Miles College. Her intense interest in the Cahaba River, her skills and knowledge, and especially her boundless enthusiasm will help many additional area students understand the importance, and the wonders, of the Cahaba River.
Katie Robertson Shaddix, Communications/Office Manager, coordinates the Cahaba River Society’s Web and print communications, handles administrative logistics, assists with financial management, event planning, membership, and maintains the CRS membership database. She is an Alabama native who has spent her entire life in and around Alabama waterways, learning to swim in Alabama rivers before she could walk around them. She grew up in the Cahaba watershed and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Montevallo and a master’s from UAB. She is passionate about helping people and animals. In her career, she has worked as the Development and Communications Coordinator for the Alabama Rivers Alliance and Director of Marketing for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.
Virginia Barr, CLEAN Program Field Staff graduated from Bowdoin College in 2016 with a degree in Music with a minor in Earth and Oceanographic Science. She works part time with Cahaba River Society assisting with field trips, ensuring that children have a safe and enjoyable education experience on the river. She loves working with children, and she teaches music classes at South Highlands Presbyterian Church and the South Highland Child Development Center. She also loves performing on the stage, and has recently been seen in Crimes of the Heart at the Birmingham Festival Theatre. You can catch her in A Bluegrass Christmas Carol this December at the Virginia Samford Theatre.
Virginia loves working with the Cahaba River Society. Helping children learn about the environment their drinking water comes from has been a delightful and fulfilling experience.