Staff

Erin O’Neil Franz

Executive Director

Austin, TX

Erin Franz is the Founding Executive Director of Texan by Nature, where she leads the organization’s mission to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources. Under her direction, Texan by Nature continues to grow relationships with those who use natural resources and the people who have the know-how to plan and implement realistic conservation practices. Since joining Texan by Nature in 2012, Erin has initiated and implemented a full-scale re-branding of the organization, ... Read More developed new conservation programs, and marshaled new, key relationships. Her goal is to turn Texan by Nature into a beloved household name. Erin’s leadership at Texan by Nature is a continuation of her strong track record of management, strategic planning, collaborative partnership building, and fundraising. Prior to Texan by Nature, Erin served as the Executive Director of the Colorado River Alliance in Austin. In that role, she oversaw the organization’s transformation from a grant funding organization to a full-scale natural resource education provider. She ushered in new and innovative natural science education and outdoor recreation programs designed for youths and adults. She also established new strategic partnerships, raised visibility, and engaged new audiences in the awareness, stewardship, and conservation of the Colorado River in Texas. Erin is a member of the Austin chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Junior League of Austin. She is also a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University. Erin lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Jason, and sons, Weston and Connor.

Shannon Harris

Program Manager

Shannon manages programs at Texan by Nature and facilitates their success for the prosperity of all Texans. She developed and implemented Monarch Wrangler in 2016 to include certification of monarch butterfly habitat recovery efforts among four sectors: residents, civic organizations, corporations, and landowners in Texas. She manages Conservation Wrangler which recognizes and supports innovative, transformational Texas-based conservation projects with tailored aid, resources, and visibility. ... Read More Shannon is a native Texan with a background in program management at the Center for Sustainable Development and the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and interned with the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. Shannon has a B.A. in Geography and an M.S. in Sustainable Design from UT Austin. She researched water conservation initiatives through the SWIFT Program in Texas, as well as the beautification policies of Lady Bird Johnson and the Johnson Administration and how nature in the city affects health, social issues, the economy, and the environment. Shannon lives in Austin with her husband.

Amber Liskey

Intern

Austin, TX

Amber is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas School of Architecture, pursuing a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning and a M.S. in Sustainable Design. She has been with Texan by Nature since May of 2016. Amber brings her love of nature to Texas from her beautiful hometown of Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. This past summer she traveled to Mexico to work with a rural community to implement sustainable farming and developmental practices.

Taylor Keys

Conservation Associate

Austin, TX

Taylor recently received her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University, home of the bobcats (Lynx rufus). She has been with Texan by Nature since May of 2016 and enjoys educating others about Texas’ amazing flora and fauna. Also, Taylor is a Steward of the Wild with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. On the weekends she enjoys spending time with her dog Sanford and exploring the great outdoors!

Gaby Gutierrez

Communications and Marketing Intern

Austin, TX

Gaby is currently a junior undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a B.S. in Corporate Communication with a certificate in business foundations. She is a native Texan and enjoys participating in community-led education, conservation, and beautification projects. She is a weekly volunteer tutor at local Austin elementary schools and is the current logistics officer/event coordinator for a large-scale event planning organization on campus.

Brandon Bragg

Communications and Marketing Intern

Austin, TX

Brandon is currently a sophomore undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a B.A. in Plan II Honors and a B.S. in Advertising. He enjoys religiously following Dallas sports teams and backpacking with friends in Texas’ many state parks. He is student in the University of Texas’ creative advertising sequence and he has developed passions for creative communication and fostering brand awareness.