I am seeking election the TCMA BOD. In the past, I served two terms on the Board and I feel that I made meaningful contributions. During those terms, I served for 4 years as President and worked on numerous committees. I have held leadership positions in the Texas Caving community many times, including 3 years as President of the TSA.
I started caving as a college student at Texas A&M University in 1976 and was active in the student grotto until I graduated in 1981. I relocated to Dallas and became an active member of the DFW Grotto. Over the past few years, I have been an active member of the Arbuckle Mountains Grotto.
In my “real” life, I am an architect and specialize in the design of complex institutional facilities through a collaborative and integrated process. That’s means I lead my clients through an engaged collaborative design process to create their vision for their project. I feel that my problem solving, and collaborative leadership skills provide benefit the organizations that I work with on a volunteer and professional basis.
I believe the TCMA has an important role in the Texas Caving Community. The organization has several missions ranging from preservation and stewardship of cave and karst resources to education and research about caves and the importance of conserving caves, aquifers and karst. I think the Board should reflect the geographic diversity of Texas cavers and the organization should look to create or acquire preserves within each of the unique karst regions of Texas.
In the future, I would like to see the TCMA grow its fiscal assets, acquire additional preserves and secure management agreements of resources owned by others. I believe that the TCMA should look to acquiring preserves in the 5 surrounding states. I believe the TCMA should consider becoming a regional or international entity and acquire a preserve in Mexico. I believe the TCMA needs to avoid the fiscal trap of buying and owning buildings – as an architect, I see too many organizations spend too much money maintaining facilities.
The TCMA should remain true and faithful to its Mission, Vision and Values. The organizations focus remain focused on the long-term mission of the protection and preservation of caves, karst, aquifers, research and education.
I respectfully request your support.
Lee Jay Graves
I have enjoyed serving the Association for the last three years, I think we have seen significant progress toward our goals. We still face challenges dealing with certain properties, but by working together, I expect we can arrive at a consensus. I commit to work with every board member to achieve this consensus. We wont agree on every detail, but we must commit ourselves to general agreement on the big issues. We all agree to serve the Association, not ourselves, and we are responsible for growing the organization for the next generation of cavers. If selected to serve another term, I promise to serve the Association to the best of my ability, in the spirit of fellowship and compromise.
Lizette Rincon Harbour
I have been a caver since March 2011, when I joined an Introduction to Speleology course from the local grotto in Costa Rica (Anthros). It was the second time in my life I had been in a cave, but I knew I would enjoy it as much as the first time, back in middle school. Crawling, mud baths, wading through underground rivers and squeezing through birth holes? Sign me up!
I was the grotto secretary and communications manager until I moved to Texas in May 2012. I coordinated caving trips, explored a whole lot, and led training sessions on equipment for the Introduction course. I was part of the organizing committee for the First National Speleolympics held at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica and also completed the Level 1 Cave and Wilderness Rescue Course led by the Belize School of Outdoor Leadership Training … after a grueling but fun, six-day experience in the Costa Rican rainforest, including but not limited to building a stretcher out of one length of webbing and a machete, 24-hour waterfall rescue and cave overnighting with no equipment! Yup, still loving this caving/rigging/rescue thing!
Once I moved to Texas, I knew I wanted to continue caving and began attending the Dallas-Fort Worth Grotto meetings. I became a DFW Grotto member in 2014 and have been active since then, now in my second year as grotto secretary. I have been to national conventions, and have attended and volunteered at TSA Spring Convention and the Texas Caver Reunion. And I absolutely still love caving.
Although I don’t get to go on caving trips as much as I would like for the constraints of family and work, but try to at least go out caving once every one or two months. I want to continue to help the DFW Grotto grow, help host more caving events for the group and continue to explore underground. I would be honored to serve in TCMA and contribute to cave management from our cave-dry land of DFW!
I was first introduced into caving by my parents at the young age of 8 with an adventure through the Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana. Throughout my childhood and adolescences family vacations often had caving on the agenda; commercial caves, but nonetheless caves. Shortly after meeting my wife Courtney in 2004 I was fortunate to introduce her to caving at Carlsbad Caverns. After a couple adventure tours at the park, she was hooked to caving like a bat to mosquitos. Our combined appetite for caving resulted in spending our first anniversary at Carlsbad Caverns where we completed every adventure tour offered at the park. Over the next decade many vacations we took revolved around caving – caving in multiple states around the USA, Puerto Rico, Belize, and Western Australia.
We joined the Greater Houston Grotto in 2014 where we were introduced to Texas caves and the larger Texas caving community. I have been very active in the GHG since joining, doing what I can to create a welcoming environment for new cavers and building a positive representation of GHG at caver gatherings; in Texas, other states, and foreign countries.
My caving experiences have given me a tremendous appreciation for caves, their ruggedness and their incredible fragility. My passion for caving has never ceased and I hope to instill that same passion in my children as they begin their caving lives. I have been interested in expanding my involvement with the caving community and an appointment to the TCMA would be a great avenue. If elected, I will do my part to make a positive impact on caving through reinforcing cave conservation, caving education, and introducing the non-caving public to the amazement and wonderment of the world below, all while generating a positive light on caving and cavers in general
Denise Prendergast has been a caver for nearly 20 years. With a bachelor degree in Geology, she has a keen interest in resource conservation and the outdoors.
Ms. Prendergast is currently on the TCMA Board of Directors and serves on numerous TCMA committees, focusing on membership and fundraising. She is excited to be part of the TCMA Board and enjoys assisting the organization in acquiring and protecting caves and karst. She is seeking a second term on the Board of Directors.
Ms. Prendergast is currently an officer of the UT Grotto and a past Secretary of the Texas Speleological Association.
Kara A Posso
A strong affection for the caving community, Texas cave projects, and conservation of our natural resources are my main driving factors in wanting to be involved with the TCMA Board. I place a high value on each of these items and have a deep appreciation for their role in my own life. I prioritize the idea of service and feel that participation with TCMA would provide a meaningful way to contribute to the community and conservation of resources that I love and respect.
I am asking for your vote to allow me to serve a term on the Texas Cave Management Association Board of Directors. My goal for this term on the Board is to run and continue serving as President of the organization. TCMA has worked hard to invest internally this past year and much work remains to be done. We’re an all volunteer board and each of us has limited time to give. The organization is working to make sure we’re well positioned to carry on our efforts long into the future.
As a former Treasurer and current President of TCMA, I am well versed in the skills and commitment needed to shepherd the organization forward. This past term, we’ve partnered with the TSS to create a permanent home for Texas Caving. We’re also actively engaged in the broader conservation community and always watching for the next acquisition. In addition to serving previous terms as a director and officer of TCMA, I have also been an officer of the TSA and the Bexar Grotto.
My caving life started 22 years ago as a tour guide at Cave Without a Name. Some strange people from the Bexar Grotto would come out to go play in the stream passage. It looked like fun and they did not appear too crazy, I wanted to know what was around the corner, so I joined in! From there I quickly joined in the fun around the state at various projects like Kickapoo Caverns and at Colorado Bend. Pat Copeland and other cavers lit a passion in me for cave conservation and restoration. This passion has taken me caving in many special places around the US, Mexico, and Belize.
The TCMA stewards places like Ezell’s Cave, a portal into the Edwards Aquifer or Deep and Punkin Preserve, a place that not only provides great recreational caving opportunities but also allows us to protect an important bat colony. Giving back to something that gives us so much joy is important. Vote for Joe!
Drew Thompson has been an active member in the TCMA since 2005 and a board member since 2015.
He currently is employed by the City of Austin’s Wildlands Conservation Division as a Biologist specializing in cave sciences. Through this work he monitors and manages Balcones Canyonland Preserve caves and other City of Austin properties.
Mr. Thompson has been a part of numerous caving projects in the US and Mexico, was president of the UT Grotto of Austin 2016-2017, holds level one certification from NCRC, and is property manager for the Lost Oasis Cave Preserve.