The Alabama Rivers Alliance welcomes new board members for 2015!

The Alabama Rivers Alliance is pleased to welcome several new board members to our ranks! We look forward to working with them to protect rivers this year.

Our newly-elected board members include:
Mr. John Ehinger

John EhingerHuntsville, AL 

Tennessee River Basin

Prior to his retirement in 2009, John for almost 25 years was the editorial page editor of The Huntsville Times. He is a hiker, birdwatcher, bicyclist and paddler. He and his wife, Darlene, are conservation co-chairs of the Huntsville Canoe Club. He serves as a member of the Huntsville Air Pollution Control Board and the city of Huntsville’s greenways committee.


Dr. Ben Ferrill

Dr. Ben FerrillHuntsville, AL

Alabama River Basin

Ben is a geologist and city planner with the City of Huntsville, an active paddler, and a local conservationist who is active with the Flint River Conservation Association and a board member with the Alabama Rivers Alliance.


Ms. Keri Hontzas

Keri HontzasBirmingham, AL

Cahaba River Basin

Keri has worked for herself since 1993.  She runs a successful outdoor movie business that services the Southeast and an event promotions and marketing company. She has also devoted much of her skills and talent to the non-profit sector by serving on boards and helping raise funds and create fundraising events for various charities. Keri and her family enjoy the outdoors and travel. In the summer of 2014 they embarked on an ongoing journey to paddle the entire trunk of the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

Mr. Jack Key 

Jack KeyBirmingham, AL 

Cahaba River Basin

Jack grew up in Decatur, AL fishing, swimming and water skiing in the Tennessee River. Jack graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and currently owns the commercial real estate brokerage and investment company J. Key Properties, LLC. Jack is active in several local environmental organizations and is passionate about protecting Alabama’s natural resources. Jack enjoys hiking, fishing and cycling in his spare time.

Mr. Stephen Stetson

Stephen StetsonMontgomery, AL

Alabama River Basin

Stephen is an attorney and policy analyst at Alabama Arise, a statewide anti-poverty organization. He was born and raised in southeast Alabama (Pike County) and received his undergraduate degree in media studies (with an emphasis on print journalism) from the University of Texas in Austin. After a few years as a beat reporter, he attended law school at the University of Alabama, receiving his J.D. in 2007. He has been a member of the Bar and working on behalf of low-income and working Alabamians ever since. His areas of expertise include predatory lending, public transportation policy, criminal justice issues, and utility rates. He lives in Montgomery with his wife, Kate Shuster, their dog, Toffler, and two cats, Gai Pan and Snowden.

Ms. Amanda Shipp

Amanda ShippMobile, AL
Mobile Bay Basin
Amanda is the Director of Data Management at Housing First, Inc., the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Lead Agency for Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Amanda has been with Housing First since December 2013. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of AIDS Alabama South, in Mobile, AL, and the Administrative Director of Programs at AIDS Alabama in Birmingham, AL. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Montevallo, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and is licensed to practice in the state of Alabama.

Amanda currently serves as a Board Member of the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama (LIHCA). Previously, she served as Board President of the Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless (ARCH), as well as a member of the Alabama River’s Alliance Development Committee.

Rev Dr. Julian Walthall

Julian WalthallMobile, AL

Mobile River Basin

Julian grew up in Newbern in Alabama’s Black Belt and spent much time on the Black Warrior River at old Lock 5 in Hale County.  He recently retired as a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister having served four churches over the past 39 years in West Virginia and Alabama. In retirement, he is active in the Baldwin County Master Gardeners, volunteers at the Weeks Bay Arboretum, oversees a public access to Mobile Bay in Daphne and manages a family farm at Sunshine near Newbern.  His hobbies include gardening, fishing, hunting and canoeing. He and his wife, Carolyn, live in Daphne and they have a son who practices environmental law in Albany, NY and another son  who teaches English at an Italian university in Siena.

Please visit our “About Our Board” Webpage to learn more about the rest of the directors on our board.