James River Association Staff


Bill Street, CEO of JRA

Bill Street

Chief Executive Officer
Contactbstreet@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 201
Bill Street was born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up camping at the mountain headwaters of the Cowpasture and Jackson Rivers and spending summers on the Chesapeake Bay. As a child, he remembers following his father as he waded in lush underwater grass beds dipping for soft shell crabs. But by the time Bill came of age, those vital grass beds were gone because pollution wiped them out. Now with two sons of his own, Bill’s personal mission is to ensure that his sons are able to enjoy healthy Virginia waters that are closer to what his father experienced growing up than the degraded ones of his own childhood. Prior to serving as CEO of the James River Association, Bill worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as well as Malcolm Pirnie in Newport News, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duke University Wetland Center, and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. He is a double Hoo and a Dukie too with degrees in commerce and urban and environmental planning from Virginia and environmental management from Duke.

Christina Bonini

Communications Coordinator
cbonini@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 211
As a Richmond native, Christina has close ties to the James River. She grew up in a family that spent their time camping, hiking and enjoying weekends on the Chesapeake Bay. Her interest in turning over rocks eventually led her to VCU for a Masters in Environmental Studies. As Communications Coordinator, Christina has the privilege of combining her writing skills with her love of science and enthusiasm for the outdoors. She works hard to increase the public’s awareness of the James River Association and its mission to protect and restore the James River. Christina is truly optimistic that achieving a cleaner James is possible and wants to help others believe in the James River Association’s mission as well.

Catherine Buchanan, Director of Development

Catherine Buchanan

Director of Development
Contactcbuchanan@jrava.org; (804)347-7465
Catherine Buchanan grew up in Clarke County, Virginia enjoying the outdoors riding hunter/jumpers and foxhunting with the Blue Ridge Hunt. She spent many weekends canoeing and camping along the Shenandoah River, boating and enjoying wildlife during college on the Potomac River and now living in Midlothian enjoying time and recreating on the James River. She recalls bacteria levels being so high that you were warned against enjoying the river systems that brought her peace and enjoyment. After 23 years of working in a Development career with non-profits such as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, The Science Museum of Virginia and University of Richmond, she took a position with the largest global conservation group, The Nature Conservancy. Here she held the Director of Development position for Virginia for close to seven years. Her love of conservation grew from this role. Catherine feels back at home working for the James River Association by raising awareness and connecting people to our nation’s founding river.

Jamie Brunkow, Lower James Riverkeeper

Jamie Brunkow

Senior Advocacy Manager/James RIVERKEEPER®
Contactjbrunkow@jrava.org; (757) 634-4541
A native Virginian, Jamie grew up in Stafford County exploring backyard streams, taking canoe trips, and hiking the Appalachian Trail. These boyhood experiences undoubtedly helped lay the foundation for a career working to protect nature. Jamie got his start as an environmental educator working with teenage youth, and went on to work at Friends of the Rappahannock leading restoration, education and advocacy projects aimed at improving the health of the Rappahannock.  Jamie served as the Sassafras Riverkeeper on the Eastern Shore of Maryland prior to joining the James River Association in 2012, and has focused his career on water issues and the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Jamie earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech, and is pursuing a Masters of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. Most of all Jamie wants to help inspire citizens to be a voice for the health of the James River, so that we have a resource that is treasured and protected for generations to come.

Rob Campbell

Upper James Community Conservationist
Contactrcampbell@jrava.org; (434) 944-7975
Rob Campbell joined the James River Association in October 2013 as Upper James Community Conservationist in the new Lynchburg office. Rob, a native of the Lynchburg area, grew up in close proximity to the James River and has spent a considerable amount of time boating the river and its tributaries. Prior to joining
the James River Association, he spent five years with the James River Float Company where he served as a head raft guide and manager. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Randolph College in 2013. Rob currently resides in Amherst County on his family farm adjoining the banks of the Piney River. In his free time, Rob can be found canoeing or rafting as many Central and Western Virginia rivers as he can, as well as hiking, climbing and camping in the one of a kind Blue Ridge Mountains.

Emily Cope

Lower James Regional Outreach Manager
Contact: ecope@jrava.org; (757) 856-1252

Emily grew up in Washington, DC with tributaries of the Potomac River practically in her backyard. At a young age she discovered her love for water conservation through school field trips to the Chesapeake Bay. She studied Biology and Environmental Science and Policy at the College of William and Mary, where she experienced the James River as both a conservation biology student and as a rower for the William and Mary crew team. After college, she taught outdoor and environmental education on the Patuxent River in central Maryland. She had the opportunity to return to Williamsburg in 2017 to work in JRA’s Williamsburg office.


Justin Doyle

Community Conservation Manager
Contactjdoyle@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811 ext 212
Justin’s passion for conservation began at a young age. He grew up in a suburb of Washington, D.C., where he witnessed the rapid conversion of fields and forests to sprawling residential and commercial development. He pursued a career in conservation to protect precious natural resources like the James River and became the James River Association‘s Community Conservation Manager in April 2013. He works to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of our natural resources in the James River watershed and manages the James River Association‘s Community Conservation Program. Before joining the James River Association he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Mary Washington in 2008, a Master of Urban & Regional Planning (MURP) degree from Virginia Commonwealth in 2012, and spent five years working as a planner in Henrico County. He is a 2015 Fellow of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute. He currently resides in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood with his wife and Schipperke, Henry. In his spare time Justin enjoys exploring the James River on his kayak, traveling, hiking, cycling, and snow skiing.

Nat Draper

Nat Draper

Senior Education Manager
Contactndraper@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811 ext 218
Nat joined the James River Association in April 2015. Before that, he was a public school science teacher in Henrico County for 16 years, serving both JR Tucker and Deep Run High Schools. He taught both Earth Science and AP Environmental Science and has always believe in hands on learning. Nat’s interest in science sent him to Randolph Macon College where he received his degree in Environmental Studies. He then went to Virginia Commonwealth University for his Masters in Education. As the Education Manager at the James River Association, Nat has the opportunity to present environmental education at the James River Ecology School on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. He also works with many science specialists throughout the watershed to create Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for their students. He strives to teach the younger generation to be advocates of the the James River.

Amber Ellis

Senior Watershed Restoration Manager
Contactaellis@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 205
Amber grew up in Powhatan County with the woods, creeks, and James River as her playground. The outdoors has always been where she feels most at home and is why she has grown a passion for protecting it. She earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech where she discovered ways to create spaces that not only are enjoyable for people, but also serve to enrich our natural environment. Prior to joining the James River Association she worked as a Landscape Designer at Timmons Group, a local architecture and engineering firm. At the James River Association Amber inspires others to take action towards a cleaner James River through her involvement with Watershed Restoration efforts. She is a Professional Landscape Architect in Virginia, a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional, and has a certificate in Ecotherapy through the EarthBody Institute.

Charles Johnson

Environmental Educator
Contactcjohnson@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 220
Charles was born and raised on the sandy shores of Monmouth County, New Jersey. He grew up in a family of outdoorsmen and quickly fell in love with nature as a child. Charles is an avid athlete, playing football and running track, and graduated from Virginia Union University with a degree in criminology and criminal justice. He served two years with Americorps through their Virginia Service and Conservation Corps and found his love for stewardship and environmental education. He has a passion for helping individuals find a deeper understanding for the environment and develop skills to make informed and responsible decisions to protect our natural world for future generations.

Anna Killius

Policy Analyst
Contactakillius@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 206
Anna spent much of her youth exploring the habitats, history, and communities that make up the Chesapeake Bay. She remembers early mornings on the beach watching tall ships sail in, muggy middle school canoe trips to measure Bay grasses, and chilly evenings camping and laughing along the James River. Her love for the region took her to William and Mary Law School, where she joined the Virginia Coastal Policy Center, working on sea level rise and stormwater management. Selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2014 as one of ten fellows to work on Capitol Hill, she went on to serve as legislative counsel for Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland, supporting his work as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus. Now, she’s ready to get back to her roots, sharing her enthusiasm for a healthy James River and pushing for the smart policies that get us there.

Brooke Newton

Elysa Mills

Master Captain and Educator
Contact: emills@jrava.org; (540) 846-2089
Captain Elysa Mills grew up in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and was always the muddiest student coming home from field trips. Through field experiences in nearby creeks, rivers, and the greater Chesapeake Bay, she was introduced to the significance of stewardship and cultivated a meaningful relationship with her local watershed. Elysa graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Environmental and Biological Conservation and in 2012 attained her US Coast Guard Master Captain’s license. Her great passion is to facilitate a connection between watershed citizens of all ages and their local waterways by fostering an emotional appreciation for the power and beauty of the natural world, allowing for hands-on investigations of the James River, and encouraging good stewardardship by relating citizens’ everyday actions to their local watershed.

Shawn Ralston

Program Director
Contactsralston@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 208
Growing up in North Carolina on the banks of a lake that provided her drinking water, Shawn became interested at a very young age with how her daily actions affected the water that her family depended on. During her childhood and into college, Shawn was an avid swimmer who spent hours a day immersed in water. After graduating from UNC-Wilmington, Shawn worked for the Department of Environmental Protection in Charlotte, NC conducting water quality monitoring on streams, lakes and rivers. From there, Shawn returned to school and received her Master of Marine Affairs and Juris Doctor from the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams School of Law respectively. After spending 8 years in Wilmington, NC leading environmental programs and managing planning for New Hanover County, Shawn relocated to Richmond. Shawn’s hope is that her children are able to experience and interact with the James as so many others have for generations.

Caleigh Remocaldo

Environmental Educator
Contact: cremocaldo@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 207
Growing up in the neighborhoods of Richmond, Caleigh became passionate about the James River watershed at an early age. Her love for the outdoors brought her as a student to the James River Association in 2011 when she participated in the inaugural James River Expedition. Caleigh took the passion she gained during that trip to James Madison University where she studied Public Policy and Administration with a minor in Environmental Studies. She previously worked as an environmental educator at Blue Sky Fund where she gained an appreciation for outdoor education in Richmond City. Caleigh looks forward to encompassing her experiences gained from the Expedition and connecting youth with the river to teach others the special relationship the watershed has to offer.

Chelsea Tickle

Anne Marie Roberts

Middle James Restoration Manager
Contactamroberts@jrava.org; (434) 286-7000

Anne Marie grew up in Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes and swimming in them as a child, and so began her love of water. She has called Virginia her home since 2003 when she graduated from Sweet Briar College with a degree in Environmental Science. Prior to joining JRA she worked for the Robert E. Lee Soil & Water Conservation District coordinating the Amherst Watershed Protection Program since 2004. She developed and managed the Amherst Tree Buffer Program for over 10 years, earning her the Chesapeake Bay’s Forest Champion Award in 2016. She looks forward to connecting with a wide range of landowners across the Middle James River Watershed and assisting them with improving their land and water, especially through the installation of forested riparian buffers. She believes we all can be
stewards of the land and make an impact no matter how small a piece of the patchwork we care for.

Chelsea Tickle

Chelsea Tickle

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper
Contactctickle@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 203

Chelsea grew up just north of the James River watershed in Hanover County. Her summers were spent fishing on the James and exploring the shores of the Chesapeake Bay with her family. She understands the importance of healthy ecosystems as she has watched the shoreline erode over the years at her family’s cottage on the bay. Chelsea earned a degree in Health Sciences from James Madison University, where she also met her husband. Her passion for science eventually led her to the James River Association when she joined the team in June 2016. Though most of her time will be spent behind the scenes, she looks forward to the opportunity to support the mission of a protecting and restoring the James River. In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and kayaking with her husband and dog.

Sherrie Tribble

Sherrie Tribble

Director of Operations and Events
Contactstribble@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 202
Sherrie Tribble began working for the James River Association as a Lee Davis Business Exchange Student in 1987. She has held many positions within the organization and currently serves as Special Events and Major Gifts Officer. Sherrie’s years of experience and history with the organization have allowed her to develop a great number of positive relationships with members, board members and partners. She values and treasures all of the amazing experiences and opportunities that have been provided to her. Sherrie holds a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and brings a passion for the history of the James River as well as enthusiasm for the great work that the James River Association does to protect America’s Founding River.

Ben Watson

Staff Scientist
Contact: bwatson@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 215
Born and raised in Richmond, Ben spent his early years rock hopping on the James River with family and friends. His appreciation for the outdoors, instilled from a young age, led him to a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Watershed Management from Virginia Tech. After college, he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail before completing an M.S. at the University of Wisconsin studying climate change and vegetation dynamics. During his time as a graduate researcher and instructor he came to fully realize his dedication to science outreach and communication – attributes he now hopes to apply to a community he cares deeply about. As a Staff Scientist with the James River Association, Ben is thrilled to further our understanding of the James River and convey the importance of the ecology, conservation, and restoration of the James to the citizens of its watershed.


Ryan Walsh

Lower James Restoration Coordinator
Ryan grew up in central North Carolina but has long been passionate about the ocean and aquatic habitats. He studied marine biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and marine technology at Cape Fear Community College. Some of his more recent adventures include tagging and monitoring nesting sea turtles on Bald Head Island, studying aboard a research vessel in the Bahamas, and working in natural resource management with the Fairfax County Park Authority. As a relative newcomer to Virginia, he is excited to jump in and conserve the James River, its watershed, and the amazing plants and animals that call it home.

Angie Williams

Database and Web Coordinator
Contactawilliams@jrava.org; (804) 788-8811, ext 209
Angie has enjoyed being outdoors since she was a child. Growing up in Mechanicsville, VA she spent the majority of her time outdoors; chasing chickens, riding horses and building forts in the woods.  Her love of horses took her to Virginia Intermont College, where she received a degree in Equine Studies and Business.  After several years as a riding instructor, Angie switched her focus from teaching to protecting and started working for the James River Association in 2007. Even though she now spends the majority of her time behind a desk, she enjoys connecting others with the James through events and social media.

It takes a team approach

We protect what we love!

Staff retreat, September 2015

JRA staff on canoe trip

Like our mission? Join our team!

If you are interested in working at the James River Association, check the employment page for job openings or send us a note. We are always looking for passionate river advocates!