WELP BOARD MEMBERS
Mr. Stubbs was born in Decatur Co., Georgia in a small wooden frame home, in a rural community known to the locals as “Ten Mile Still”. Cleo is the third oldest of 12 siblings. He graduated from Fort Valley State University in Georgia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy and Soils. Cleo served in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division, and is very proud of his service to our country. He has enjoyed a 22-year career with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services) as a Project Soil Survey Leader in several areas of Alabama. Cleo also worked for Champion International Corporation for more than 12 years as a field operation soil scientist in the research and development department for forest production. Currently, he continues his working experience as an environmental scientist specializing in soil/site evaluations including wetland delineations.
“I have been active in the community for many years. A main focus of my endeavors is providing educational assistance to students, especially in the areas of math and natural science. It is a privilege to serve on the WELP board with many highly qualified members. Working together, WELP will continue to provide hands-on field experience for many interested students long into the future.”
Mr. Zachary grew up in Winfield, Alabama and went to college at Jackson State Community College and Ouachita Baptist University where he played four (4) years of baseball and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics. He got his first job in 2008 at a civil engineering consulting firm in Jasper, Alabama and returned to school at the University of Alabama. While working at the firm, he developed a passion for civil engineering and the outdoors. He received a second Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in civil engineering with a specialization in environmental and water resources from UA. In 2014, Zachary received his Professional Engineering (PE) license and established his own firm, Wilbanks Engineering & Environmental Solutions, LLC where he still practices today. He enjoys outdoor activities such as deer hunting, fishing, scuba diving and golf.
“My profession is founded upon my passion for stream and ecological restoration projects. When WELP invited me to be a board member, it was a perfect fit with aligned goal and objectives. I have a heart for instilling environmental values in today’s youth and playing a role in developing better communities for the future.”
Jess was born and raised in Birmingham, AL with a love for exploring and protecting natural spaces! She then moved to Boone, NC to study and focus on Sustainable Development and Media Studies at Appalachian State University. After receiving her B.A. she returned to Alabama as a film fellow for the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship, hosted by Alabama Rivers Alliance, where she created a film about the importance of understanding where and how food is grown and supporting local economies. She then worked in various roles and departments at Camp McDowell for the next two years. These roles included: environmental educator, videographer, and fundraising campaign coordinator. Currently, Jess still works with the Southern Exposure Film Fellowship during the summers, and also as a full time Education Digital Media Producer for Alabama Public Television. During her free time Jess can be found exploring outdoors with friends or creating art!
“I believe in the power of experiential education, and that every person should have access to these opportunities. WELP is a great example of this work, I admire the dedication of this organization to reach diverse communities and provide experiences for anyone who wants to learn more about the world around them and how we are all connected! ”
Mr. Friar was born in Florida and was raised up and down eastern United States. After graduating from Auburn University, Randy worked for GTE, General Dynamics, and Intergraph Corporation. After a corporate downsizing in 1995, he turned his hobby into a business and has been a remodeling contractor and real estate investor. Randy has made his home in Hartselle since 1992. He became involved with WELP through his twenty-year association with Cleo Stubbs.
“I believe that environmental change can begin on a small scale and spread through educating by example. Our children can change the world.”
Mrs. Fowler grew up in a military family and spent most of her life near Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. In 2012, she received her Masters of Science in Biology from Austin Peay State University with a concentration in freshwater biology, primarily studying macroinvertebrate ecology and taxonomy. For the past 5 years she has been employed as a consulting biologist and has worked on numerous projects incorporating wetland and stream assessments, biological monitoring, 401/404 permitting, threatened and endangered species surveys, as well as mitigation site development and monitoring. Angel is also co-founder of Earthwhile Collective, an establishment focused on stimulating resourceful creative potential and promoting environmental awareness through the transformation of found objects and discarded materials into functional creations. In her spare time, Angel enjoys exploring the outdoors, gardening, and treasure hunting.
“My curiosity for our natural world developed at an early age and I understand the importance of encouraging this in our youth as they will ultimately dictate the future of our environment. WELP provides an avenue that peaks the interest of students and strengthens their bond with nature. I am very fortunate to be a part of an organization dedicated to environmental awareness and preservation.”
Mr. Gilbert grew up in Winfield, Alabama, and is avid hunter and fisherman. Tim devoted over 30 years to the Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir as a land manager, where his duties included permitting, resource management, recreation development, policy development, public relations, government relations, and resource protection. He retired in 2007 and his current activities include land use consulting and wetland/stream mitigation banking. Tim is the current chairman of Guntersville Waterfront Development Advisory Board, and is skilled carpenter/wood worker.
“WELP provides an opportunity to perk the interest of young people in the environment by getting them outdoors where they can have a hands-on experience with the natural environment. This triggers their curiosity and opens doors to their education.”