FlatsWorthy

Our Board

Advisory Board

The FlatsWorthy Advisory Board is a group of dedicated anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about our mission.

Dean Appling

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Appling earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University; a. Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University; and is Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities at the College of Natural Sciences and UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Mr. Appling is a long time fisherman in the Rockport area.

Chris Brandt

Advisory Board President

Mr. Brandt earned his BBA in Finance at the University of Texas. He is Managing Director at Wortham Insurance, Austin, Texas – Personal & Commercial Lines and a member of Texas Cowboys Alumni Association Board. Mr. Brandt has a longstanding history of supporting conservation on the coast and a dedicated outdoorsman.

Ross Craft

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Craft earned his BS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a registered Professional Engineer licensed in Texas. He has been involved in the upstream energy sector for 44 years. During his career he founded/co-founded two domestic upstream E&P companies and one international E&P company, taking his last domestic E&P company public in 2007. In 2019 he resigned from his position of Chairman and CEO to pursue other non-public investment opportunities. He served on the Texas A&M University Petroleum Engineering Industry Board from 2013 to 2018. In 2012 he was named regional winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southwest Area. He is also an Eagle Scout. Mr. Craft is an ardent fisherman and outdoorsman.

John Eads

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Eads received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from SMU and an MBA from the University of Texas. He has been an Independent Producer of Oil and Gas in the State of Texas for 45 years. He currently serves on the Memorial Hermann Foundation Board and is a long time supporter of Baylor College of Medicine and Covenant House Texas. Mr. Eads is an avid outdoorsman and has been fishing the Texas bay waters his entire life. He is passionate about restoring and preserving the coastal ecosystem of Texas for generations to come.

Josh Fields

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Fields earned his degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor for Walton King Insurance Group and Chairman of Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Board. He is a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Mr. Fields is a long time outdoorsman involved in conservation and resource management.

Jay Kleberg

Advisory Board Member

Jay Kleberg is the Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Trust and co-founder of Explore Ranches. He served as Associate Director and Director of Conservation Initiatives for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, was a strategic consultant to the National Parks Service and Peregrine Fund, and is a documentary filmmaker.

David McKee

Advisory Board Member

Mr. McKee earned his PhD in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences atTexas A&M University; MS in Biology at Corpus Christi State University, Marine Science, Fisheries; and his BS at Texas A&I University. He is Professor Emeritus (Biology) at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Mr. McKee is an author and Historian of the Laguna Madre and related waters and a fishing enthusiast.

Keith Miears

Advisory Board Member

Keith Miears has over 25 years leading global supply chains and global teams. He is retired from Dell Technologies where he was Senior VP Procurement, Quality, and Global Strategy. Keith has always looked for opportunities to apply his skills and experience for a bigger cause and that was most evident when Governor Abbott tapped him to lead the Covid Strikeforce securing critical supplies for the state. Keith is an outdoor enthusiast and is on the water enjoying the fishery several times a week. He has a history of supporting conservation and has been seeking out projects that focus on ecosystem restoration.

Mike Thompson

Advisory Board Member

Mike earned a Bachelor’s degree from Lamar University in 1979. Upon graduation he joined a Peace Corp program in Guatemala. He worked for both Whole Earth Provision Co. in Austin and Patagonia Inc. based in Ventura, CA. He spent thirty-six years with Patagonia as a sales rep based in Austin and has since retired. In the 80’s he served on an Outdoor Retail Advisory board for TPWD. He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for Atchafalaya Basin Keeper and has been a member of that board for five years. He is an avid fly fisherman in both salt and fresh waters, as well as being an avid hunter.

Troy Utz

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Utz earned his BBA in Finance at the University of Texas. He is Senior Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch Private Client Group Houston, TX; Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Resource Advisory Committee Member; and Cancare Volunteer and Keynote Speaker on Cancer Survival. Mr. Utz is an active outdoorsman and fishing enthusiasts with a long-standing commitment to conservation issues.

Matt Wolthoff

Advisory Board Member

Matt Wolthoff has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Ethics and Compliance Officer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, a Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) facility in McAllen, since March of 2013. He earned a Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Concentration from the University of Texas – San Antonio and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the United States Air Force Academy. Matt is married to Lucy Ann from Harlingen, Texas and they have three children. Matt and his family enjoy the outdoors and spend their leisure time fishing in the Lower Laguna Madre or hunting in south Texas.

Tiffany Yeates

Advisory Board Member

Ms. Yeates earned her BBA in Management from Texas State University. She owns Gruene Outfitters and The Pomegranate in New Braunfels, TX where she lives with her two daughters. Ms. Yeates serves on the Board of Directors for the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited chapter as well as the Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board for Texas Parks & Wildlife. She is a long-time fresh and saltwater fly angler and conservationist.

Dean Appling

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Appling earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University; a. Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University; and is Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities at the College of Natural Sciences and UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Mr. Appling is a long time fisherman in the Rockport area.

Chris Brandt

Advisory Board President

Mr. Brandt earned his BBA in Finance at the University of Texas. He is Managing Director at Wortham Insurance, Austin, Texas – Personal & Commercial Lines and a member of Texas Cowboys Alumni Association Board. Mr. Brandt has a longstanding history of supporting conservation on the coast and a dedicated outdoorsman.

Ross Craft

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Craft earned his BS in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a registered Professional Engineer licensed in Texas. He has been involved in the upstream energy sector for 44 years. During his career he founded/co-founded two domestic upstream E&P companies and one international E&P company, taking his last domestic E&P company public in 2007. In 2019 he resigned from his position of Chairman and CEO to pursue other non-public investment opportunities. He served on the Texas A&M University Petroleum Engineering Industry Board from 2013 to 2018. In 2012 he was named regional winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southwest Area. He is also an Eagle Scout. Mr. Craft is an ardent fisherman and outdoorsman.

John Eads

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Eads received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from SMU and an MBA from the University of Texas. He has been an Independent Producer of Oil and Gas in the State of Texas for 45 years. He currently serves on the Memorial Hermann Foundation Board and is a long time supporter of Baylor College of Medicine and Covenant House Texas. Mr. Eads is an avid outdoorsman and has been fishing the Texas bay waters his entire life. He is passionate about restoring and preserving the coastal ecosystem of Texas for generations to come.

Josh Fields

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Fields earned his degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor for Walton King Insurance Group and Chairman of Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Board. He is a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Mr. Fields is a long time outdoorsman involved in conservation and resource management.

Jay Kleberg

Advisory Board Member

Jay Kleberg is the Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Trust and co-founder of Explore Ranches. He served as Associate Director and Director of Conservation Initiatives for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, was a strategic consultant to the National Parks Service and Peregrine Fund, and is a documentary filmmaker.

David McKee

Advisory Board Member

Mr. McKee earned his PhD in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences atTexas A&M University; MS in Biology at Corpus Christi State University, Marine Science, Fisheries; and his BS at Texas A&I University. He is Professor Emeritus (Biology) at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Mr. McKee is an author and Historian of the Laguna Madre and related waters and a fishing enthusiast.

Keith Miears

Advisory Board Member

Keith Miears has over 25 years leading global supply chains and global teams. He is retired from Dell Technologies where he was Senior VP Procurement, Quality, and Global Strategy. Keith has always looked for opportunities to apply his skills and experience for a bigger cause and that was most evident when Governor Abbott tapped him to lead the Covid Strikeforce securing critical supplies for the state. Keith is an outdoor enthusiast and is on the water enjoying the fishery several times a week. He has a history of supporting conservation and has been seeking out projects that focus on ecosystem restoration.

Mike Thompson

Advisory Board Member

Mike earned a Bachelor’s degree from Lamar University in 1979. Upon graduation he joined a Peace Corp program in Guatemala. He worked for both Whole Earth Provision Co. in Austin and Patagonia Inc. based in Ventura, CA. He spent thirty-six years with Patagonia as a sales rep based in Austin and has since retired. In the 80’s he served on an Outdoor Retail Advisory board for TPWD. He is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for Atchafalaya Basin Keeper and has been a member of that board for five years. He is an avid fly fisherman in both salt and fresh waters, as well as being an avid hunter.

Troy Utz

Advisory Board Member

Mr. Utz earned his BBA in Finance at the University of Texas. He is Senior Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch Private Client Group Houston, TX; Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Resource Advisory Committee Member; and Cancare Volunteer and Keynote Speaker on Cancer Survival. Mr. Utz is an active outdoorsman and fishing enthusiasts with a long-standing commitment to conservation issues.

Matt Wolthoff

Advisory Board Member

Matt Wolthoff has served as the Chief Operating Officer and Ethics and Compliance Officer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, a Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) facility in McAllen, since March of 2013. He earned a Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Concentration from the University of Texas – San Antonio and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the United States Air Force Academy. Matt is married to Lucy Ann from Harlingen, Texas and they have three children. Matt and his family enjoy the outdoors and spend their leisure time fishing in the Lower Laguna Madre or hunting in south Texas.

Tiffany Yeates

Advisory Board Member

Ms. Yeates earned her BBA in Management from Texas State University. She owns Gruene Outfitters and The Pomegranate in New Braunfels, TX where she lives with her two daughters. Ms. Yeates serves on the Board of Directors for the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited chapter as well as the Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board for Texas Parks & Wildlife. She is a long-time fresh and saltwater fly angler and conservationist.

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