Gregory Timmons, Vanessa Ellison, Shirah Dedman, David H. Hunter, Haywood Morgan
Dr. Irene Klaver
Gregory Timmons, moderator, Flint Water Recovery Resource Coordinator
Reverend Gregory Timmons is pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, Flint. A mission-oriented leader with 25 years of organizational strategy in his background, he has served corporate, religious, non-profit, health care, and community wellness organizations. Since the start of the Flint Water Crisis, he has led UMC’s recovery programs and help centers to support the people of Flint. He has been an active member of the local steering committee surrounding Flint: The Poisoning of an American City and appears in the documentary. His wife is the Reverent Faith Timmons of Bethel United Methodist Church. They are parents of a 12-year old son Greg II and a 6-year old daughter Olivia.
Vanessa Ellison is a “Green Queen” and an agent of change! She is a proud University of North Texas alumni with a B.A. from the Mayborn School of Journalism and a M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism. She serves as the Education Coordinator for the City of Denton Sustainability. As a current doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Woman’s University, she hopes to further her knowledge of ways to sustainably benefit the community. Vanessa is a Waco, TX native but has adopted as Denton her home since 2007. In her free time she enjoys vegan ice cream, reading, and traveling with her husband. Her passions are community service, sustainability and helping others understand the importance of interconnectedness to better our community and the planet.
Filmmaker, journalist, attorney, and activist creating content at the intersection of economics, race and the environment. Her short film on the displacement of Black Oakland, YOU A NOMAD, broadcasted on Free Speech TV. Shirah is a 2018-2019 Associate of the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley and of the Equal Justice Initiative. She’s a member of KPFA Radio’s Local Station Board, and the Programming Committee of its parent organization, Pacifica Foundation. Passionate about cooperative action, she's a member of Liberated Lens, a horizontally-run, intersectional, social justice film collective.
The journey to making FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD changed, changed the course of her life. Shirah's now pursuing her Master of Laws in Agriculture & Food Law at the University of Arkansas Law School.
David H. Hunter
David Hunter is the Manager of Watershed Protection and Industrial Pretreatment for the City of Denton, TX and has worked in water resources management for 24 years. His job involves management of the Cities Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit and the City’s Industrial Pretreatment Program. He also provides technical support for many surface water and wastewater issues including various grant research and model development. Additionally, Mr. Hunter is an Aerographer’s Mate Chief Petty Officer with the United States Navy Reserve. In this capacity he currently serves as a tactical meteorological and oceanographic forecaster. He has been involved in various research projects with the University of North Texas, Baylor University and many professional consultants. His research areas have been water quality, environmental modeling, environmental monitoring and analysis, toxicology and materials science. He has been an “A” certified water and wastewater operator and is currently a Registered Sanitarian, a Certified Floodplain Manager and Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control. One of the favorite parts of his job is being able to give tours of the wastewater treatment plant or talking to audiences of all ages and connecting water and engineering and science to all levels of society by talking about processes big and small related to water.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Texas. He is currently on the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Stormwater Coordinating Committee and Public Works Council. Mr. Hunter resides in Denton, TX with his wife and six children.
Haywood joined the City of Denton in June on 2014 as the City’s Urban Forester. He has 20 years of experience in Urban Forestry working for municipal governments, 10 years with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and 5 years with the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though he spent the 15 years working in the mid-west and upper mid-west he is a native of Port Allen, Louisiana.
Haywood received his Bachelors of Science Degree Cum laude in Urban Forestry from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1996. He has also studied Landscaping Design at the master level at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
While in Kansas City, Haywood worked on multiple privately funded high profile restoration tree-planting projects at the Liberty Memorial and on the historic boulevard and parkway system designed by pioneering city planner and landscape architect George E. Kessler.
During his time in Milwaukee, he was a part of a team that managed every aspect of the urban forest, including planting of new trees, pruning of existing trees, removal of dead/hazardous trees and complete boulevard & tot lot maintenance.
Since coming to Denton, he has been instrumental in the release of funds from the City’s Tree Mitigation Fund for the following:
1. Shady Trails Initiative – To plant trees along trails in City Parks,
2. Educational Trails Program – To educate the public on the various types of trees being planted along trails in city parks,
3. Denton Tree Initiative – To plant and provide trees for planting on private property,
4. The State of Denton Urban Forest Report – Which perform an i-Tree Eco assessment and Canopy study of City trees and
5. The City’s first Urban Forest Master Plan.
Building on the foundation laid by his predecessors Haywood advocates the preservation and planting trees as a means of increasing the species and age diversity of Denton’s Urban Forest. He envisions Denton with a comprehensive Urban Forestry program that proactively manages the trees in Parks, City properties, street right-of-ways and provides guidance for residence on their tree care needs.
Dr. Irene Klaver
Dr. Irene Klaver is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas. Her research and teaching interests explore the socio-political and cultural dimensions of water. She has written extensively on issues related to water usage, conservation, global environmental change, and cultural diversity. Klaver was a leading co-editor of the UNESCO book Water, Cultural Diversity & Global Environmental Change (Springer, 2012); co-editor of From Biocultural Homogenization to Biocultural Conservation (Springer, 2018); and Co-Director and Research Specialist of the award-winning documentaries “The New Frontier: Sustainable Ranching in the American West” (2010) and “River Planet” (2011). Currently she is finalizing a book about the Trinity River in North Texas (Texas A&M University Press) and working on a monograph on Meandering, River Spheres and New Urbanism. Dr. Klaver was Water and Culture Advisor for UNESCO, 2008-2013 and Co-Director of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy, 2010-2014.