BRI ADVISORY
BOARD MEMBERS

The Borderlands Research Institute for Natural Resource Management is part of Sul Ross State University (SRSU) and is in the Texas State University System. The Advisory Board is appointed by the President of SRSU and consists of 9-15 members represented by constituents of the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands including landowners, civic leaders, and other interested parties. Advisory Board members provide guidance and advisement on Mission, Goals, Strategies of the Institute, assists in establishing research priorities in west Texas and northern Mexico, helps with fund-raising by identifying potential sources for research funding (i.e., individuals, foundations, corporations), and serve as “goodwill ambassadors” for the Institute.

J.P. Bryan, Houston, Texas

J.P. Bryan, Houston, Texas

In 1978, J.P. Bryan and his wife, Mary Jon, bought the building and returned The Gage Hotel to its turn-of-the-century Trans-Pecos glory, melding the region’s rich ranching heritage of Mexican, Spanish and Native American cultures. J.P. is heavily involved with the Texas State Historical Association and has amassed over 25,000 exquisite pieces of Texana. His collection is considered the world’s largest, and includes artifacts, books, documents, maps, paintings and drawings. The purpose of the collection is to illustrate the vision, courage, integrity and entrepreneurial spirit with which the state of Texas and the American Southwest were founded. He is a proud University of Texas graduate and received a law degree from the school. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Torch Energy Advisors Incorporated (TEAI) of Houston. J.P. also serves as Chairman of the Board of Resaca Exploitation, Inc.

J.P. Bryan, Houston, Texas

Sarah Nunley Biedenharn, San Antonio, Texas

Sarah Nunley Biedenharn is a fourth generation landowner, rancher, and hunter. Sarah, along with her sister and cousin, form the fourth generation of leadership for the Nunley Brothers. Founded by her great-grandfather and expanded by her father and uncle, the family’s Santa Gertrudis cow-calf operation has ranches in South Texas, the Hill Country, the Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos.

Sarah received her Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and accounting from Texas Christian University. She is Associate Director of Sales with Sonder, a hospitality company, and previously worked for Goldman Sachs in Dallas. She and her sister are co-owners of Nunley Sisters, a livestock management business.

Sarah serves on various conservation committees across Texas, is a member of the board for Texas Agricultural Land Trust, and currently serves as President of the Texas Wildlife Association. Sarah and her husband Tucker live in San Antonio.

Charles Davidson, San Antonio, Texas

Charles Davidson, San Antonio, Texas

Charles Davidson is a Partner with the Republic Ranches team. He is a 4th generation Texan, active and passionate about rural Texas and the outdoor pursuits. Charles received a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He owns and operates a ranch in Real County, Texas. He is a Director Emeritus and Executive Committee Member of the Texas Wildlife Association, as well as a Past President, a Trustee of the TWA Foundation and a past member of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s White-tailed Deer Advisory Committee. Charles also serves on the Board of Directors of the Borderlands Research Foundation and is a member of the board of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust. He is also a member of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Charles resides in San Antonio with his wife and three children.

Elliott G. Hayne, San Antonio, Texas

Elliott G. Hayne, San Antonio, Texas

Elliott Hayne was raised in San Antonio, with west Texas family roots! Hayne is a great-great grandchild of A. S. Gage, famous for their cattle ranch located in Brewster and Presidio Counties in west Texas. In 2008, Elliott created SA Fresh Catering. Elliott’s culinary philosophy and passion reflects the growing trend towards healthier eating and a down-to-earth lifestyle. Elliott is Chairman Emeritus of the Borderlands Research Institute Advisory Board and is an active member of the Texas Wildlife Association.

Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Beeville, Texas

Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., San Antonio, Texas

Dan Allen Hughes currently serves as Chairman of the Borderlands Research Institute Advisory Board. He was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009. He serves as president of Dan A. Hughes Company, an oil and gas exploration company based in Beeville and is president of Hupecol Operating Company and CEO of Maverick American Natural Gas. He is also a member of the Texas A&M University College of Geosciences Advisory Council and a member of the All-American Wildcatters. Hughes and his wife Peggy are both Texas A&M graduates, and have three children.

Parker Johnson, Houston, Texas

Parker Johnson, Houston, Texas

Parker Johnson is the Senior Vice President, Chief Facilities Operator at Silver Eagle Distributors. Silver Eagle Distributors is the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. Parker is a native of San Antonio, Texas. Since childhood, he has been in the family Registered Hereford cattle ranching business and is currently managing wildlife habitat and conservation programs at the family ranch in West Texas. Parker is very active in various charities and conservation organizations in Houston, San Antonio and throughout Texas. His involvement includes memberships in Order of The Alamo, San Antonio German Club, Tejas Vaqueros, American Quarter Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, American Cutting Horse Association, Lifetime Member of the Texas Wildlife Association, Bighorn Sheep Society, Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Parker received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas Tech University. Parker and his wife Victoria reside in Houston, Texas, with their daughter Liston and son Case.

James King, Fort Davis, Texas

James King, Fort Davis, Texas

James King is a sixth-generation descendant of Captain Richard King and grew up in Corpus Christi and on family ranches in South Texas. After graduating in 1981 from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Rangeland Ecology, James started a career in Natural Resource Conservation and Real Estate. With The Nature Conservancy, James led efforts to protect over 500,000 acres of our state’s most important conservation lands and waters. He has additionally protected over 300,000 acres in landscapes such as the Devils River, Lower Pecos River, Davis Mountains, Marfa Grasslands, and Chinati Mountains using private conservation tools like Conservation Easements and Conservation Buyers. In 2008 he started his own statewide conservation real estate business, King Land & Water LLC, with wife Tammy and now their son Harrison. James is active today in many major ranch and conservation projects across the state, representing both buyers and sellers of unique lands. James serves on the board of the Texas Land Trust Council, Borderlands Research Foundation, Borderlands Research Institute, McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors, Friends of Lydia Ann Channel, and is President of Port Aransas Conservancy.

James King, Fort Davis, Texas

J. Bryan King, Fort Worth, Texas

Bryan is Managing Partner of LKCM Headwater Investments and a Principal of Luther King Capital Management. Bryan has acted as an Investment Manager responsible for micro- and small-capitalization public and private investments since 1993. In 2000, he founded LKCM Capital Group to launch and oversee alternative investment strategies. He established Bryan King and Mason King Livestock Partnership in 1984 on a bank loan to manage a fledgling cattle operation that he and his brother, Mason, have developed into a diversified investment holding partnership.

Bryan serves as Chair of the Board of Directors or Managing Partner of several businesses, and he has served as a board member, investor, and active advisor to numerous public and private companies as well as civic boards.

A graduate of Princeton University with a BA in American History, Bryan earned a Ranch Management degree from Texas Christian University and an MBA from Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He enjoys spending his weekends with his twin daughters, recreating outdoors, collecting American art and antiques, reading and investing.

Bobby McKnight, Fort Davis, Texas

Bobby McKnight, Fort Davis, Texas

Bobby McKnight and his wife, Lynda, are both very proudly west Texan. Seven generations of the McKnight family have worked Texas’ land as agriculturists and ranchers, thus good stewardship has always been of utmost importance. Bobby is a partner in McKnight Ranch Co., operating in Jeff Davis, Brewster, Reeves, Crane and Ector counties. He serves as a Director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and is on the executive committee of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Previously, Bobby served on the Board of Governors for the Permian Basin Area Foundation and the Federal Reserve. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University.

John B. Poindexter, Houston, Texas

John B. Poindexter, Houston, Texas

John Poindexter is a third-generation Texan and a military veteran who lives in Houston and the Big Bend region of West Texas. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from New York University, and was a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army. John is currently the Chairman of the Board and CEO of J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc., a member of the Director’s Advisory Council of the Museum of the Big Bend, and was Chairman of its Development Committee. Poindexter is most at home at his historical Cibolo Creek Ranch, which is used by cultural, academic, business and civic organizations for meetings and other functions. He actively restored the ranch and has written a book describing its history and the biography of the area’s founder in “The Cibolo Creek Ranch” (1990). He is also the author of several works on historical, military, genealogical and economic subjects.

Ruthie Bowman Russell, San Antonio, Texas

Ruthie Bowman Russell, San Antonio, Texas

Ruthie Bowman Russell inherited her conservation values and love of west Texas land from her grandmother, whom she grew up visiting on weekends and during the summers. She has been ranching since 1970, and she is passionate about preserving the land, its wildlife, native habitat, and educating youth on how to do the same. Ruthie works to educate the public on the importance of ranchers, who she describes as the stakeholders who “keep our air and water pure while protecting habitat and wildlife.” Russell has served on the SMH school, Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, Los Compadres, and Texas Wildlife Association boards. She currently shares her expertise with the Texas Nature Conservancy, South Llano Watershed Alliance, Mind Science Foundation, and Borderlands Research Institute’s advisory board.

Allen W. Smith, Austin, Texas

Allen W. Smith, Austin, Texas

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Allen Smith found his love for wildlife and the outdoors at a young age, learning from experience on his family’s ranches across the state. After graduating from St. Edward’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Allen worked as a petroleum marketer for Triple S Petroleum Company in Austin for 17 years before starting his own fleet card company, Texas Fleet Fuels, in 2006. He is currently a member of Borderlands Research Institute’s Advisory Board and brings in personal knowledge from his family’s property, Reagan Canyon Ranch in West Texas. He also serves as president of the newly formed Borderlands Research Foundation, is a lifetime member of the Texas Bighorn Sheep Society, and recently completed the Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep in 2018. Allen shares his love of hunting and conservation with his two daughters, Hallie and Lizzie, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Mimi, traveling and flying to new places.

Kelly R. Thompson, Fort Worth, Texas

Kelly R. Thompson, Fort Worth, Texas

Kelly R. Thompson manages a family office engaged in public and private investments, including publicly-traded investments, oil and gas, real estate, and agriculture. He formerly served as a principal of Crates Thompson Capital, a private equity firm, formed in 1996. Mr. Thompson has served as a director of privately-held companies engaged in manufacturing, distribution, retail, financial services, and energy. Previously, he served as a senior officer and director of a private bank holding company in Texas responsible for investments and acquisitions. He serves on several non-profit boards, including as chair of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, and as chair of the Upland Game Bird Advisory Committee for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Mr. Thompson is the mayor pro tem of the Town of Westover Hills. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 with a B.B.A. in Finance.

Kelly R. Thompson, Fort Worth, Texas

James C. “Rad” Weaver, San Antonio, Texas

James C. “Rad” Weaver is CEO and Chairman of CW Interests, an investment management firm in San Antonio.

He is currently serving on multiple corporate boards including Cox Enterprises, KB Home, and Milestone Brands. In 2017, Rad was appointed to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

Rad and his wife, Ashley, own the Petan Ranch in Marfa and the Amanecer Ranch in Yancey. They are both graduates of the University of Texas, passionate about supporting children’s education programs, and have two children who equally love the outdoors.

Justin B. Yarborough, Austin, Texas

Justin B. Yarborough, Austin, Texas

Justin B. Yarborough is the Founder of Encino Holdings and is currently active in family enterprises engaged in ranching, real estate, consumer packaged goods (CPG), and investment management. Justin is also a Partner at Capital Creek Partners, a multi-family investment office focused on private markets.

For two decades Justin has worked in both the public and private markets, as well as an entrepreneur and family business owner. His professional experience includes prior roles at Kayne Anderson Capital, Morgan Stanley, Texas House of Representatives, and the United States Marine Corps.

Justin is from Alpine, Texas, where his family has been in the ranching business for decades near Big Bend National Park. Justin received his law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, where he walked-on to the football team. He and his wife, Ashley, live in San Antonio with their daughter and two sons.