Promoting the Katy Prairie Conservancy

| August 1, 2017

(L-R): Elisa Donovan and Ali Dodson.

(L-R): Elisa Donovan and Ali Dodson.

Elisa Donovan And Ali Dodson Share A Mission To Protect Our Coastal Prairie Ecosystem

The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) has announced the recent hiring of Elisa Donovan as assistant director and general counsel, joining advancement director Ali Dodson, who came to the nonprofit in late 2016. Both women share an environmental vision for the Katy Prairie’s 20,000 acres of vital ecosystem just west of downtown Houston.

“We are thrilled to have both Elisa and Ali on board to help advance our critical mission to protect a large piece of the Coastal Prairie forever,” says Mary Anne Piacentini, executive director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy. “Both women bring exceptional skill sets to our organization, which will help us grow and thrive in the coming years as we work to protect, restore and expand our coastal prairie preserves, in addition to connecting adults and children to land conservation efforts through top-notch programming.”

In her position, Donovan is responsible for overseeing administration, programs, and the strategic plan of KPC, as well as managing legal matters for the organization. She has experience with business, real estate and energy matters through her legal practice at a multi-national law firm, in-house at the legal department of Houston-based companies, and in her own firm. Donovan was excited to transfer her skills and experience to benefit land conservation, and the switch from corporate world to the nonprofit sector has been well worth the trade-offs.

“While I appreciate the opportunities I had working with business clients, mostly in Houston’s energy sector, it is truly satisfying to devote my time to a cause I care deeply about,” says Donovan. “Houstonians should be proud of our hometown habitat, the Coastal Prairie. Our natural areas are valuable for so many reasons, and we need to protect them for future generations.”

Donovan received a Bachelor of Science degree in materials science and engineering from Rice University along with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before moving to the field of land conservation, she became a certified Texas Master Naturalist, which is a program designed to train volunteers to make an impact in preserving Texas’ native wildlife. Donovan resides in West U with husband Barry and three sons.

As Katy Prairie Conservancy’s advancement director, Dodson is in charge of programs and events relating to fundraising and marketing, including annual giving, major gifts, capital giving, planned giving, and special events. Prior to KPC, she worked in fundraising for The Downtown YMCA and Texas Children’s Hospital and also owned a photography business. Dodson, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science and policy from Duke University, values the importance of the mission of the Katy Prairie Conservancy.

“Every day I learn more and more about the value of the prairie,” says Dodson. “Our prairie grasses hold floodwaters back from Houston, our wetlands improve water quality, and both wetlands and grasslands provide a home for resident and migratory birds. Here at KPC we are working hard to make sure that everyone in our community knows how important it is to protect these lands.”

An avid photographer, Dodson is on the board of directors of Bo’s Place and St. Mark’s Episcopal School and is an active member of the Duke University Alumni Association. She resides in West U with her daughter and son.

Category: People & Places in KATY

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