Board Of Directors

aaron viles

Aaron Viles, New Orleans, Louisiana
Chair

Aaron Viles is a senior grassroots organizer at Care2, an online community of 29 million members working to make society a better place. He joined the certified B corp after decades in the non-profit environmental advocacy field.

Aaron honed his craft while working for Gulf Restoration Network, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Faithful America, and serving as a volunteer leader for the Sierra Club, Dogwood Alliance and his church. He began his career with Green Corps, the field school school for environmental organizing.

When not in front of a screen or on a conference call, Aaron can be found doting on his daughters or pedaling furiously to keep up with the peloton. 

Henry CaddellHenry Caddell, Mobile, Alabama
Vice-Chair


Hank Caddell is currently an attorney with Thiry & Caddell in Mobile, Alabama. From 1971-1978, he served as the Chief of the Environmental Protection Division of the Alabama Attorney General's office, and was recognized in 1978 as Alabama Air Conservationist of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation. From 1979-1985, he worked for Legal Services Corporation of Alabama, providing pro bono legal services to low income clients.

In 1983, he founded Save Our Dunes Inc., and served as chairman until 1986. In 1993, Mr. Caddell founded the Alabama Coastal Heritage Trust, an organization that purchases, preserves, and protects Alabama's remaining natural coastal habitats. He continues to serve as a member of their board of trustees.
 

Bev Nichols BoardBeverly Nichols, New Orleans, LA

Beverly (Bev) R. Nichols.  Bev is a CPA. She is a retired Tax and Employee Benefit Consulting Director in the New Orleans office of Bourgeois Bennett, L.L.C., CPAs and Consultants. Since the passage of ERISA in 1974, she has developed widely recognized expertise in the area of qualified employee pension plans resulting in extensive consulting and compliance assistance to individual, corporate, partnership and professional clients.  Bev is very active in professional and nonprofit organizations, providing leadership, education and support.

Bev has been a member and donor to the Gulf Restoration Network for many years. 

AckieAckie Adams, Dallas, Texas

Ackie Adams is a long time supporter of GRN. She has worked for 15 years leading efforts in Dallas, to educate and organize Aveda salons during Earth Month raising funds to support the work of GRN and other environmental partners.

Through her work, Ackie has helped GRN reach hundreds of Aveda salon staff who spread the word about our efforts to protect the Gulf and its waters.

Although currently a Texas resident, Ackie grew up in coastal Mississippi and she is still very attached to the area. She is a mother of two and serves on their school’s PTA Environmental Committee as the Vice Chair.
 

MartyMartha "Marti" Collins, St. Petersburg, Florida

Martha Collins is the founder of Collins Law Group where she has successfully litigated, lobbied, and negotiated for many of Florida’s largest precedent setting environmental and land use cases and polices.

She has appeared before numerous governmental agencies in Florida and Washington, D.C.; including, the Florida Governor, Cabinet and Legislature, and members of the United States Congress. Her work has been quoted or referenced in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, Politico, National and Florida Public Radio, other newspapers and blogs across the country and world, and in almost every major news media in Florida. 

Martha Collins graduated from Tulane University before she simultaneously earned a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University and a Masters of Law in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. Martha is admitted in the Florida Bar and the Federal U.S. Middle District Court of Florida. Currently Ms. Collins is past Chair for the Environmental and Land Use Section of the Florida Bar. 

May NguyenMay Nguyen, New Orleans, Louisiana

May Nguyen is from Louisiana.  Nguyen is the Community Outreach Director at Tulane Environmental Law Clinic where she develops and disseminates public education on environmental law and policy advocacy and coordinates and networks with diverse and often under-served environmental, small business, and community based groups to elevate grassroots environmental priorities and address environmental threats.  She also practices law part time at Garcia Law Firm where she handles contracts, succession, and nonprofit administration cases. Previously, Nguyen was a Strategy Consultant for Social Justice to nonprofits, most notably developing and implementing a novel "impact claims" strategy that successfully helped Louisiana’s coastal fishing communities demand recognition and calculate damages for their lost subsistence use due to the BP Oil Spill.  For her contribution, Nguyen received the Rishwain Social Justice Entrepreneur Award.

J.D. 2013, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., 2010, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., 2004, Amherst College
Languages: Vietnamese (fluent), Spanish (proficient)

Sam Perez BoardSam Perez, New Orleans, Louisiana

Sam Perez is a local New Orleans beverage director and bartender with roots in the Lower St Bernard Parish Islenos community. Their upbringing in and around Delacroix, LA and other coastal communities has inspired them to act as an advocate and liaison for environmental conscientiousness as it pertains to the food and beverage industry. Recently, they teamed up with a group of local bartenders to organize a bar event directly benefiting GRN and raised over $2000 for the cause. They are excited and hopeful to take on a larger role in pursuing sustainability behind bars and beyond, and to lend the perspective and connections of the bar industry to the GRN Board.

Colette Pichon-Battle, Atlanta, Georgia

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. recently assumed the role of Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (Atlanta and New York City) with a mission to build a people-centered human rights movement in the US. Colette aims to connect the grassroots human rights movement to the climate movement in the United States through initiatives focused on economic, social and ecological equity.

In her previous role as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Colette worked on issues of global migration, community economic development, climate justice and equitable disaster recovery. She has prioritized working with local communities, national funders and elected officials around equity in the post-Katrina/post-BP disaster Gulf Coast. Ms. Pichon Battle was a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising 2015, a regional initiative around climate justice and just transition in the South, and in 2016 she was named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity for her work with frontline communities in the US South.
 

Hal Suter cropped smaller

Hal Suter, Corpus Christi, Texas

Hal Suter has spent almost his entire life living on the Gulf Coast. Over the years, he has sold life insurance, conducted market research, been self-employed in in investments and property management, and was "sporadically reimbursed" for a side gig as a sportswriter and political columnist.

Mr. Suter is a lifetime member of the Sierra Club and has been very active in the Lone Star Chapter and its Coastal Bend Regional Group, and he is currently the longest-serving Chair of the Executive Committee for the Lone Star Chapter. He was instrumental in bringing the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of organized labor, environmental groups, businesses, and social justice groups, to Texas. The Apollo Alliance has since merged with the Blue Green Alliance where Hal sits on the state board of directors, representing the Sierra Club.As Chairmain of the Beach Access Coalition, Mr. Suter has been active in keeping the beaches on the middle Texas Coast open to the public. He has also been a member and leader of Toastmasters International where he won several speech contests. Mr. Suter holds a bachelor's degree from University of Austin and has lived on the Texas Gulf Coast since 1972.

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