OUR TEAM

CORE TEAM

Niyanta Spelman


Niyanta Spelman is the founder and executive director of RP. Knowing from an early age that she wanted her life’s work to be about protecting tropical rainfo...


Read More

Niyanta Spelman

Executive Director

Juan Millan


Juan Millan, as RP’s Director of Projects for Latin America, oversees all aspects of RP’s projects. He was formally RP’s legal representative in Peru and was instrumental in implementing and man...


Read More

Juan Millan

Director of Projects, Latin America

Mariela Palacios Gonzalez


Mariela currently works directly with the Executive Director of Projects in Austin. She is responsible for over-seeing the development of all project objectives and their implementation. She works clo...


Read More

Mariela Palacios Gonzalez

Director of Projects, Austin HQ

Beth Caplan


Beth is responsible for the planning, development, implementation, evaluation, and oversight of mutually beneficial partnerships. Her involvement with Rainforest P...


Read More

Beth Caplan

Chief Strategy Officer

Eusebio Alanya Quiñones


Eusebio is a natural leader from the Colibri Cloudforest region. With his wife and their two children, Eusebio lives in San Antonio and grows coffee in his chakra, ...


Read More

Eusebio Alanya Quiñones

Community-based Coordinator, Colibri Cloudforest project, Peru

Volodymyr Izerskyy


Dr. Volodymyr Izerskyy, an entomologist specializing in the breeding and reproduction of the insects of Europe (Ukraine and Russia), Africa (Kenya), and Asia (Philippines and Laos), and 18 years of ex...


Read More

Volodymyr Izerskyy

Entomologist

Nora Mullarkey-Miller


Nora Mullarkey-Miller retired from the Lower Colorado River Authority in 2016 after twenty-eight years, where she managed programs in water conservation, drought management, customer contracts and env...


Read More

Nora Mullarkey-Miller

Operations Support

Delainey Peterson


Delainey is Assistant to Executive Director, Niyanta Spelman. She assists Niyanta with all efforts and also coordinates communications for Rainforest Partnership including social media platforms. Her ...


Read More

Delainey Peterson

Executive Assistant

Linda Bergmann


Linda Bergmann retired from the State of Texas after 21 years of service at several state agencies, ending with 9 years at Texas Parks and Wildlife as Director of Financial Management.  During her ti...


Read More

Linda Bergmann

Accountant

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Hazel Barbour


Hazel Barbour is a founding and current board chair of Rainforest Partnership.

Hazel worked for many years at the Texas Commiss...


Read More

Hazel Barbour

Board Chair

Leah Barclay


Dr. Leah Barclay joined the RP board in 2015.   She created Rainforest Listening, the augmented sound reality project made in partnership with RP.  Leah is an A...


Read More

Leah Barclay

Board Member

Nathan Dooley


Nathan joined our board in February 2017. He has worked for over 20 years for Baker & McKenzie, a major international law firm, where he is currently Director of Practice Operations. In ...


Read More

Nathan Dooley

Board Member

Luis Felipe Duchicela


Luis Felipe joined our board in 2015 and has known Rainforest Partnership’s work and the team since its inception.  He introduced RP to its Ecuadorian partner C...


Read More

Luis Felipe Duchicela

Board Member

Joel Kenty


Joel is our newest board member and he brings to the board 22 years of business experience.  Joel had a long and successful career as a personal financial advisor, and has recently retired to focus o...


Read More

Joel Kenty

Board Secretary and Chief Governance Officer

Ross Melbourne


Ross Melbourne is a life long innovator, an entrepreneur and patent holder. He has lived and worked in the US for 30 years but grew up in England making stuff for fun.  From playing with a chemistry ...


Read More

Ross Melbourne

Board Member

Bob Warneke


Bob Warneke is RP’s current Board Treasurer and a founding board member and re-joined our board in 2015.  He is a Texas lawyer who has been involved in habitat ...


Read More

Bob Warneke

Board Treasurer

BOARD OF ADVISORS

John Doggett


John Doggett served as Board Chair for Rainforest Partnership from 2011 – 2014, where he used his expertise in research and teaching interests in internation...


Read More

John Doggett

Advisor

Hugh Forrest


Hugh Forrest is our most recent advisor and an incredible addition to the Rainforest Partnership Team. Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer for South by Southwest (SXSW). Scheduled 

Read More

Hugh Forrest

Advisor

Ladeene Freimuth


Ladeene serves as a strategic advisor to the RP. She advises and represents RP in Washington DC while working to identify, and connect RP to potential strategic en...


Read More

Ladeene Freimuth

Advisor

Karla Johanning


Karla Johanning, a native of Costa Rica, is the CEO and founder of KJ Scientific LLC, an environmental chemical testing company located at the Texas Life Sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown, T...


Read More

Karla Johanning

Advisor

Sergio A. Lira


Sergio A. Lira (Alejandro) has serves as advisor, translator, connector and has even served as gentle mediator in RP’s partner community. Alejandro is a lawyer, ...


Read More

Sergio A. Lira

Advisor

Gurpreet Singh Rai


Gurpreet Singh Rai, affectionately known as Gurps by his friends, supports RP with strategic advice and introductions. He has headed the Carbon Market where he cre...


Read More

Gurpreet Singh Rai

Advisor

Will Wynn


Will Wynn served as two-term mayor of Austin, Texas from 2003-2009 and was a speaker at the first RP event in February 2009 since when he has continued to advice R...


Read More

Will Wynn

Advisor

CONSULTING ADVISORS

Lavanya Selvam Alli


Lavanya worked as Director of Projects at Rainforest Partnership through 2016 and as a Project and Research Associate prior to that, focusing on the organization’s projects in Peru and Ecuador. Lava...


Read More

Lavanya Selvam Alli

Project Consultant

Grace Hadrous


Grace works as a consulting advisor for Rainforest Partnership by writing grant proposals for education based projects that raise awareness of vital rainforest conservation issues. She also writes cur...


Read More

Grace Hadrous

Youth Education Initiative

Eileen Keller


Eileen is recognized as one of the foremost media authorities in the world of Advertising.  Recently she worked as Cabletron’s Marketing Director for one of their spin-off companies. She was respon...


Read More

Eileen Keller

Social Physicist

Valerie Mirto Thomson


Valerie Mirto Thomson provides executive coaching and business consulting for Rainforest Partnership. Drawing on more than two decades of entrepreneurial and non-profit experience, alongside seventeen...


Read More

Valerie Mirto Thomson

Operations Advisor

TC Waugh


TC Waugh is a native of Austin, Texas and currently serves as Rainforest Partnership’s Director of Engagement, working with donors and partners to strengthen relationships with the organization.

...


Read More

TC Waugh

Director of Engagement

Joep Meijer


Joep Meijer is Dutch and has been in Austin, Texas since 2006 and serves as the Rainforest Partnership Climate Change consultant, working with on the ground teams to connect the activities to the glob...


Read More

Joep Meijer

Climate Change Consultant

VOLUNTEERS + INTERNS

KEN ANNAN

Graphic Design

NIKO ARCHER

Social Media Intern

CHANTELLE BARRETTO

Research

LAINEY BENSON

Outreach Coordinator

RICHARD BURGER

Films for the Forest Coordinator

SHRUTHI CHANDRASEKARAN

Salesforce

YANYAN CHEN

Digital Media Intern

HANEE CHOI

Outreach Intern

REED CROSSLEY

Digital Media

CASSIE DEXTER

Blogs and Research

COLE FIELDS

Event Support

RICARDO GOMEZ

Digital Media

GYUNGMUN HA

Outreach Intern

JENNIFER JEN

Event Coordination and Outreach Intern

NANCY KINSTLER

Social Media Intern

REBECCA LAWRENCE

Project Development

LESLIE LINDSEY

Event Coordinator

HICHAM EL MANSOURI

Salesforce

LEVI METHVIN

Project Intern

PENNY POTTER

Operational Infrastructure

ANNA PROVENZANO

Research Intern

PHILIP RUSSELL

Translation

ALEXANDER SANTA

Videographer

SRI SARANU

Salesforce

BRUCE SHARRAR

IT

JURNEE TROUBLEFIELD

Project Intern

TIFFANY WANG

Projects Intern

SOPHIA WAUGH

Intern

HUIXIN ZHAN

Digital Media Intern