Directors & Districts - Edwards Aquifer Authority

Directors & Districts

Carol Patterson

Bexar County – District 1

Term Expires December 2026

Carol Patterson has a long track record of advocacy and leadership on regional water issues, including service on the board of directors of the EAA’s predecessor organization, the Edwards Underground Water District.

She was elected to the inaugural EAA board of directors in 1996. After the initial two-year term, Patterson was re-elected to five consecutive four-year terms.

Patterson earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland Oregon. She also studied at Lycee Michelet, Montauban, France, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Rochester Institute of Technology. She and her husband, a Texan, moved to San Antonio in 1970 where she expanded her education with many courses in geology, Spanish and design. She worked as a professional calligrapher when their children were young, and exhibited her work in the United States and abroad.

Patterson’s community service on water issues is focused on controlling costs, preserving water quality and respecting the environment. She supports collaborative recharge strategies to enhance water supply and springflow in the Edwards Aquifer in a way that protects watersheds. She was a leader in securing Wild and Scenic River status for Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande. Patterson served on Mayor’s citizens committees on water, and opposed the Applewhite Reservoir project. She served on the five-year Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP) effort and continues service on the Stakeholders Committee for the Habitat Conservation Plan. She is also president of Regional Clean Air and Water Association, and an associate member of the South Texas Geological Society.

Patterson has organized and lead numerous symposiums and forums on groundwater management and policy, authored publications and testified before the Texas legislature on water-related matters. In 2004, she successfully organized the drilling of a water well for a school for the blind in Karanji, India.

Byron Miller, Treasurer

Bexar County – District 2

Term Expires December 2024

Byron Miller is a businessman and community leader and who firmly believes in the Rotarian motto “Service Above Self.”

A fifth generation San Antonian, Miller grew up on the East Side. His mother, educator Hazel T. Miller, and father, businessman Johnnie Miller, founded the Miller Child Development Center Inc. in 1969. Currently CEO, Miller remembers helping to build shelves and cubicles for the center his parents first operated out of their home.

As a child, his mother “encouraged me to read and be inquisitive and to step outside my comfort zone,” Miller said. “You can’t always be sure that you’re going to be successful, but unless you try you have no chance.”

After graduating from Sam Houston High School in 1975, Miller continued his education at Morehouse College, one of the country’s most prestigious historically black colleges, graduating in 1979.

In 2006, Miller was appointed to fill a vacancy on the EAA board. He was elected for his first full term in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Serving on the board “has been very eye-opening, very rewarding to me,” he said.

A former justice of the peace, Miller’s long record of civic involvement ranges from being a Boy Scoutmaster to serving on the boards of the Witte Museum and the Carver Community Cultural Center. He is the commissioner of Juneteenth San Antonio and a lifelong member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“I believe in public service,” he said. “It’s one of the tenets of my life.”

Abelardo “Abe” A. Salinas, III

Bexar County – District 3

Term Expires December 2026

Abe Salinas, P.E., CFM is a project manager with 13 years of experience. His primary focus is on storm water-related issues for the purposes of flood control, erosion control and improved water quality.

Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, he attended Rice University, earning his B.S in Civil Engineering in 2005. Upon graduation Abe began working with HDR’s architectural division in Dallas, Texas where he focused on the site development of large healthcare facilities throughout the country. Shortly thereafter, he began working with their municipal engineering group designing local roadways. In 2007, Abe joined Freese and Nichols, Inc. in Dallas, Texas, working with its stormwater group. In late 2012, Abe moved and joined LNV in San Antonio working to develop its water resources and transportation planning practices.

In addition to his service on the EAA board, Abe enjoys contributing to the community through service by participating in various organizations focused on the built and natural environments, as well as volunteering with programs that encourage students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

Prior to moving to San Antonio, Abe backpacked around the world. While doing so, he developed an interest in mountaineering, having climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and spending three weeks trekking thru the Khumbu Region of the Himalayan Mountain Range, up thru Everest Base Camp and across the Cho La Pass to Gokyo.

Benjamin Youngblood III, Secretary

Bexar County – District 4

Term Expires December 2024

An independent business attorney practicing corporate, real estate and oil and gas law, Ben Youngblood cut his teeth working on water issues serving on San Antonio Water System committees.

During his time with the city-owned utility, “I started looking at the bigger picture,” he said. “And that’s the EAA.”

Youngblood was appointed to the board in 2008. He was elected to the position in November of the same year and re-elected twice.

“I’ve always thought that water is the defining issue for the future of the region and I want to be a part of ensuring that the water remains clean and useful for the citizens of San Antonio,” he said.

A San Antonio resident since the late 1960s, Youngblood spent his early life on the move. His father was in the Air Force, so Youngblood “grew up all over.” By the time he graduated from Churchill High School in San Antonio, he had attended 18 schools. In his teens, Youngblood fell in love with sailing, and learned the sport on Woodlawn Lake. Later, he taught sailing at the Lake Canyon Yacht Club. Youngblood also has taught youth programs in fresh water ecology and astronomy.

Youngblood carries the special distinction of being both an Aggie and a Longhorn. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics from Texas A&M University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Youngblood serves on the boards of directors of: Mission Pharmacal Company (a multi-national pharmaceutical manufacturer); Edwin M. Jones Oil Company (a diversified independent oil & gas producer); and Airport Galleria Land Company (a commercial real estate development company). Mr. Youngblood has current and past service on a variety of civic, non-profit, and charitable boards, including the San Antonio Ethics Review Board (Vice-Chair), San Antonio Planning Commission Technical Advisory Committee, San Antonio Water System Citizen’s Advisory Panel (Vice-Chair), San Antonio Water System Rate Structure Committee, San Antonio Water Policy Group, San Antonio City Council Redistricting Commission, Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development (NNOD) (Past President), Northside ISD Bond Committee, and the Down Syndrome Association. He has taught youth programs in Astronomy, Freshwater Ecology, and Sailing.

Randall Perkins

Bexar County – District 5

Term Expires December 2026

Randall A. Perkins is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, and a businessman with substantial revenue producing management experience both in government and commercial operations.

Mr. Perkins grew up in Alamo Heights, graduated from Central Catholic High School, and graduated from the United States Military Academy West Point in 1960 with a Science Master’s Degree in Operations Research/Systems Analysis.

During his 22 years serving in the Army, he was stationed overseas in Korea, Vietnam, and Germany. Mr. Perkins also served in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army while stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

As a 15-year member of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) he was a Senior Program Manager in the areas of Personnel Information Systems Management, Facilities Operations and Financial Planning. He established, and was, CEO of a new 5-acre Homeowners Association (HOA) community in Fairfax Station, Virginia. After moving to Williamsburg, Virginia, Randall was Chairman of the Finance Committee for a 750 resident HOA which included a private country club, 18-hole golf course and a 150-slip marina.

Mr. Perkins states, “I strongly believe in the management and development of a long-range plan for the most valuable asset in Texas…water!”

Deborah Carington

Bexar County – District 6

Term Expires December 2024

Deborah Carington grew up on a small farm outside of Memphis, where her family relied on well water from the Memphis Sand Aquifer, “so I grew up with the awareness of where our water came from and knowing that it was high quality drinking water,” she said.

In college at the University of Southern Mississippi, Carington intended to major in environmental science, but a geology class changed the course of her studies and her life. After earning a Bachelor of Science, she continued her education at the University of Memphis. While there, Carington worked at the school’s Center for Earthquake Research and Information, monitoring the frequent microearthquakes along the New Madrid Fault.

With a Master of Science in geology, she landed a job with an oil company in Houston in 1982. She planned to stay in Texas a couple of years, but that changed when she met her husband Robert, an engineer. In 1998, they moved to San Antonio and Carington took time away from her professional life to raise two children.

Over the course of her career, one of Carington’s largest projects was developing a new Austin Chalk limestone reservoir in East Texas, “so I understand the subsurface geology, well-drilling process, permitting and sustainable withdrawal,” she said. When she learned there was an opening on the EAA board, she saw an opportunity to use her experience to help the community. Carington was appointed to fill the remainder of an unexpired term in August 2017.

Enrique Valdivia, Chairman

Bexar County – District 7

Term Expires December 2026
Bio coming soon.

Kathleen Krueger

Comal County – District 8

Term Expires December 2024

Director of development and public relations for Hope Hospice, and former councilwoman and mayor pro-tem of New Braunfels, Kathleen Tobin Krueger was appointed to the EAA board to fill a vacancy.

During her time on the council, Krueger was deeply involved in the protection of the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. She also served on the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance where she “became more informed and more aware of the importance of being a good steward of that precious resource for the next generation.”

Born in San Antonio, Krueger spent her formative years in Bandera, learning to shoot, ride, fish and drive a tractor on the family ranch. After graduating from Bandera High School, she attended Texas A&M University where she earned a degree in English literature and journalism in 1980.

Krueger worked as a legislative aide and in public relations before marrying her husband, former U.S. Senator Bob Krueger. During his political career, she traveled independently to more than 200 of Texas’s 254 counties.

When her husband served as an ambassador in Africa, Krueger worked with Habitat for Humanity building homes in remote villages. She also led an International Red Cross expedition into the Kalahari Desert to provide clothing for the Bushmen of Botswana. Together, the Kruegers authored an award-winning book, “From Bloodshed to Hope in Burundi: Our Embassy Years During Genocide,” published in 2007.

Krueger has worked for Hope Hospice, a non-profit hospice and bereavement agency in New Braunfels, since 2013.

“More than anything, I want to lead a life of purpose – to be of help wherever I am and in whatever ways I can,” she said.

Matthew Hoyt

Comal & Guadalupe Counties – District 9

Term Expires December 2026

Businessman and former New Braunfels City Council member, Matthew E. Hoyt, was elected to the EAA board of directors in 2022. He has previously served on the New Braunfels River Activities Committee, the New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission, the New Braunfels Development Advisory Committee and the New Braunfels Utilities Water and Wastewater Advisory Board.

A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Hoyt is also a member of the Greater New Braunfels Area Chamber of Commerce, a past president of the New Braunfels Eagles Aerie #2999, and is a former member of the CASA of Central Texas Board of Directors. He was named a Herald-Zeitung Pillar of the Community, and a Rising Star of New Braunfels and is a recipient to the Certificate of Achievement from the Texas Municipal League. Hoyt is also a member of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio and is a member of the Texas Rivers Protection Association. Hoyt also previously served to the First United Methodist Church board of directors, and represented the city of New Braunfels at the National League of Cities Convention.

Maggie Hutchins-Wagner

Hays County – District 10

Term Expires December 2024

Maggie is a fifth generation Texan, growing up in the DFW metroplex and discovering a love of the outdoors as an adult. She earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in applied geography from Texas State University.

While active in a variety of community organizations, her focus is supporting environmental education and connecting all people to their natural environments. In 2000, she began volunteering with the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. She led hikes for people new to natural areas, advocated for land and water protection and outdoor recreation activities, and served as SMGA president and vice president. She has also held positions on the City of San Marcos Parks & Recreation Advisory board, the National Geographic Education Foundation Texas Advisory Committee as well as advising on numerous outdoor/environmentally focused Girl Scout Gold, Boy Scout Eagle, and San Marcos HS projects and programs.

Ms. Hutchins is a certified research administrator and the program manager for the Center for Analytics and Data Science at Texas State University.

Rachel Allyn Sanborn, Vice-Chair

Hays & Caldwell Counties – District 11

Term Expires December 2026

Rachel Allyn Sanborn has lived in Hays County since 1981. She became involved in water issues in 1997 by volunteering for the San Marcos River Rangers, part of the Texas Stream Team Network of water quality monitors working to identify non-source pollution and areas of poor water quality. She eventually became the Volunteer Coordinator and has trained over 700 volunteers to serve as citizen scientists monitoring water quality along the San Marcos River and across the state. The River Rangers now boasts over 50 regular volunteers a month – alerting city and county officials to potential problems and learning more about the natural cycles of the San Marcos River.

She has spent the last 20 years developing student and community interest in environmental stewardship and encouraging residents to take an active role in the preservation and protection of their river and aquifer. She has participated in San Marcos and Cypress Creek watershed plans and is familiar with the Habitat Conservation work being done to improve water quality along the San Marcos. She boasts being a veteran trash-picker and kayaker and participates in numerous river clean ups all year long.

Sanborn holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Political Science Department at Southwest Texas State University and has served two terms on the board of the San Marcos River Foundation. She is currently employed with the San Marcos River Foundation to administer the River Ranger program and assist with SMRF’s expanded work in land conservation and watershed protection of the recharge zones. Additionally, she has served seven years as President of the Friends of the San Marcos Library, has volunteered with numerous youth groups and was the 2014 inductee into the San Marcos Women’s Hall of Fame.

Scott Yanta

Medina County – District 12

Term Expires December 2024

As a fourth-generation farmer, Scott Yanta has a vested interest in the preservation of the Edwards Aquifer.

The owner of Yanta Hay Farms, an irrigated coastal hay farm in Devine, Yanta grew up hunting and fishing with friends. After high school, he attended Tarleton State University, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural systems management.

The family farm was started on 300 acres in the early 1900s by Yanta’s great-grandfather Joe, a Polish immigrant who entered the United States through the port of Galveston and settled in the community of Panna Maria. The farm, which has grown with each generation, is now more than 2,500 acres.

A former member of the Medina County Groundwater District board, Yanta was elected to the EAA board in 2014 and re-elected in 2016.

“I want to protect the interest for these farmers out here,” Yanta said. “In population we’re just a small number, but we use half of the water consumed out of the Edwards.”

Yanta’s son Cole, a student at Texas A&M University, and daughter Kaylee, who has been accepted to A&M, both plan to return to the farm when they complete their educations.

“We’ve got to have this water to make a living,” Yanta said. “We’ve got to make it last for the next generation to come.”

Russell Persyn

Medina & Atascosa Counties – District 13

Term Expires December 2026

Russell Persyn is a professional engineer with over two decades of experience in water resources engineering work. He is currently the Senior Vice President for the Water Business Unit for RESPEC, an employee owned engineering and consulting firm.

Russell is a native of Medina County and the District he serves. His interest in water resources was developed during his days at Medina Valley High School when the formation of the Edwards Aquifer Authority was underway. That interest led him to attend Texas A&M University where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in agricultural engineering. During his Master’s program, Russell led the outreach for Texas AgriLife Extension Service, as a part of the new regional water planning process, on the ability to manage groundwater through groundwater conservation districts.

“My time traveling Texas to meet and discuss the opportunities and challenges for local communities on groundwater issues and mechanisms to manage those resources was a rewarding opportunity to advance the management of our water resources during the infancy of the Regional Water Planning process.” Russell said.

Russell went on to complete his PhD in agricultural engineering and civil engineering at Iowa State University and spent the next 5 years in teaching, research, and outreach related to water resources. His career would progress with time in both the public and private sectors advancing water issues.

“Water is the key resource to the future of our region, and I am priveleged for the opportunity to serve District 13 to manage, enhance, and protect our local resource for generations to come.” Said Persyn.

Donald W. Baker

Uvalde County – District 14

Term Expires December 2024
To be added soon

Rader Gilleland

Uvalde County – District 15

Term Expires December 2026

Rader Gilleland is a member of the Edwards Aquifer Authority Board of Directors, representing District 15, which covers the eastern half of Uvalde County. Mr. Gilleland was first appointed to the board of directors in September 2013 to fill a vacancy.

Gary Middleton

SCTWAC Appointed Director

Term Expires December 2024

A businessman and former mayor of Victoria, Gary Middleton has a long history of involvement with water issues.

Currently chairman of the South-Central Texas Water Advisory Committee, he was appointed to the EAA board in 2015.

Originally from Killeen, Middleton has lived in Victoria for about 40 years. He was in the outdoor advertising business for many years and served as a city councilman and as mayor.

As a public servant in a downstream community, Middleton was aware of the importance of the issue of springflow.

“It’s important to us that spring flow be maintained to the extent possible so that we can continue to use the Guadalupe River as one of our base sources of water,” he said.

As a member of the EAA, he is a strong supporter of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan.

“I never saw myself as an environmentalist and still don’t,” he said. “But the necessity to maintain all those critters at the springs certainly is a driving force for us having water in Victoria. You can’t have one without the other.”

Middleton also serves on the board of the South-Central Texas Water Planning Group, Region L.

Bruce Alexander

Medina/Uvalde Counties Appointed Director

Bruce Alexander is the current Superintendent of East Medina County Special Utility District providing drinking water to more than 3,500 connections spread out over 250 square miles of southeast Medina County.

Alexander has more than 40 years of experience operating a public water system in Medina County. He retired as the Director of Public Works for the City of Castroville before joining East Medina in 2008 as their Superintendent.

Alexander is the current President of the Texas Rural Water Association representing more than 900 rural water systems in the State of Texas. He also is an EAA appointed member of the EAHCP Committee representing all municipal initial regular permit holders west of Bexar County as well as a member of the SAWS ASR Regional Advisory Committee.

The EAA Board Meeting will take place on May 14, 2024 at 1pm.
Please click here for more information.