President - Mari Brindle (2021-2024)
BA, retired, Guadalajara International Book Fair Director 1987-2000; FLFR volunteer since 2005; directed Kids' Day on the River for 3 years; board member since December 2017. Maria’s hobbies include watercolor, sketching and colored pencils, organic gardening, swimming and hiking along the river. Mari and Alden live in a straw-bale house off the grid.
Contact: (205) 274-3537, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President & Volunteers - Ellen Timmerman Luce
Ellen Luce is no stranger to the river. She grew up going camping at the river. "My fondest memories are of camping along the Locust Fork River with my grandparents, parents, and brothers. We kids slept under rock ledges! Grandmother brought all the camping supplies and she'd cook the fresh fish for the whole gang. Now, with grown daughters of my own, I want to give back to the river that has given me so much. The river is my natural medication to manage stress."
Contact: Mobile: 205.353.8142, email@example.com
Treasurer - Nancy Pile
I was born and have lived in various states! Pertinent to FLFR:
Childhood in Cincinnati Ohio, we paddled as a family in a homemade fiberglass canoe on the Little Miami River. Junior High and High school years in upstate NY, paddled lakes in the Adirondacks, upper Hudson River, Schroon River and the Battenkill in Vermont. College in Tennessee, paddled the Ocoee in TN and the Hiawasee in GA. Medical school in NY, no paddling. I studied! Lived in Birmingham for 14 years then KY for 20. I didn't get back to water until we moved to Blount county last year. Now I love, LOVE, LOVING spending time on the Locust Fork.
Secretary - Eleanor Wright
Eleanor Wright is a board member, virtual conservationist, newsletter editor, and world traveler. Eleanor Wright is FLFR's board secretary, and media specialist presenting the outdoors through technology. She also serves as permit application watchdog and researcher and newsletter editor. A fluent Spanish speaker, she loves travel and visiting international destinations.
VP Conservation - Sam Howell
Retired Vice President Purchasing Birmingham Restaurant Supply Company, Past president of Friends of the Locust Fork River and current board member, Alabama Scenic River Trail President, Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Board president, Volunteer at Alabama State Games, a multi sport amateur competition, Hobbies include music, kayaking, fishing, hiking, healthy gardening, and visiting places of historical and cultural significance.
Contact: (M) 205.706.4376, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Liaison - Chris “Cleve” Cleveland
Chris Cleveland, board member, loves the river, paddles his kayak often and widely, and married his wife on its banks. Chris Cleveland joined FLFR in 2010 because of his love for the river that he developed from fishing and recreational kayaking with friends. He attended Kids’ Day on the River as a volunteer, and decided to be more active in preserving and protecting what he’d grown to love. When time came around for the kayak and canoe races, he volunteered as a gate judge. The next year he became race starter, and completed his first year of whitewater kayaking. While on a scheduled river hike he met his future wife, and they were married two years later on the banks of the River. Now he’s volunteer coordinator, member of the River Tales committee, and serves on the Board of Directors.
Contact: Text only: 205.956.8394, email@example.com
Outreach - Susie Mixon Wilkerson – Semi-retired.
An original co-founder of FLFR, past treasurer, president, executive director and now a board member again, Susie Wilkerson grew up swimming and fishing the lower Locust Fork and has enjoyed living on the bluffs of this beautiful river in Blount County for the past 37 years listening to her free-flowing music. Her hobbies include jewelry making, arts & crafts, vegetable and flower gardening; and she loves walking in her woods being one with nature. It is fun meeting new folks and promoting the beauty of the river and FLFR.
Advisory Council coordinator - April Benefield
I was born and raised in South Georgia and was always around what I called "brown water" (rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes). When I started coming up to Blount County to see my now husband, Bryan, the first places he took me were parts of the river. I fell in love with Mardis Mill, Swann Bridge and House Rock. Nothing is more soothing to my soul than sitting on a rock with my feet in the water. I want to encourage the adults and children in Blount County to care for this river and to fall in love with it as well.
I have served on the Board of Cullman Brewers Guild as well as served as their Treasurer. I am also an Ambassador with The American Kidney Fund. My hobbies are learning new things, brewing beer, my fledgling garden, off-roading, and crocheting.
Born and raised in Blount County, I've been in, on, and around this beautifully wild river all my life. I have spent my life prowling all round our family land that borders the river at House Rock, swimming, fishing, and cleaning up at Swann Bridge, and fishing and camping at King's Bend and 79 bridge. I am proud that my sons have as well and that they have the same values that I got from my parents and grandparents. Our family always made sure that we never took this river for granted and that we should keep it as wild, clean, and free as possible. I am honored to be a part of this amazing organization that has the same mission.
Contact: 205-202-9429, firstname.lastname@example.org