Our Board

Ryan Collins, President – Ryan Collins, ASLA is a Principal at Dix.Hite + Partners. A registered landscape architect since 1999, he has successfully designed and managed projects from residential gardens to large scale land plans in a variety of settings; college campuses, neighborhood parks, downtown streets, and amusement parks. Ryan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia in 1996. Landscape architecture is the perfect marriage of his interests and abilities - ecology, construction, all things technical and love for the natural environment. He lives in Birmingham with his wife, Jennafer (also a landscape architect), and their three children: Elise, Abigail, and Rowan. He enjoys everything outdoors - hiking, camping, gardening, playing, and coaching, especially with his family.

Brian Cash, Vice-President – Brian Cash is a lawyer with Spain and Gillon LLC, with concentrations in public finance, governmental affairs, affordable housing and public authorities, general corporate law, and environmental law. He has his law degree from the University of Alabama, and undergraduate from Birmingham-Southern College.

Selby Greer Thomas, Secretary – Selby “Susie” Thomas is a professor of pharmacy at Auburn University where she received both her bachelor and doctorate of pharmacy. Susie has served on Auburn’s Historical Preservation Commission and served as the President of the Land Trust of East Alabama. Susie also led both fundraising and construction efforts for Hickory Dickory Park, a citizen-built park in Auburn.

Dr. Julia Cherry, Treasurer - An Alabama native, Dr. Julia Cherry is the Director of New College and a Professor of Interdisciplinary Sciences and Wetland Ecology in New College and the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama. She graduated with her B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College in 1999, and then earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Alabama in 2004. For her dissertation research, she studied the effects of herbivory and competition in water lily communities as a NSF IGERT Fellow. In 2005, she began working as a post-doctoral ecologist with Dr. Karen McKee at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (now the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center) to explore biological controls on marsh elevation dynamics in a changing world. In 2006, she joined the faculty at the University of Alabama. Her current research interests include understanding the mechanisms by which tidal marshes can adapt to, or mitigate the effects of, climate change.