Our Board of Directors
Leon Christion, Jr. (Treasurer), Knoxville, is an Environmental Planner with planning experience in water quality, open space, general land use, air quality and transportation issues. He is currently working as an independent contractor for the City of Knoxville . Leon recently received his Masters of Science degree from the University of Tennessee in Urban and Regional Planning with an Environmental Concentration. Leon also has a Masters of Science Degree in Science Education and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Geology. While at UT, he held leadership roles with the UT Cultural Attractions Committee and also served on the UT Conflict Resolution Board. Leon is a drummer/percussionist in a local music group and enjoys mountain biking, running, general physical fitness and golf.
Frederic (Al) Hamilton, Hornbeak, has spent 22 years researching and asking questions about the management of the waters of Reelfoot Lake and River System in Tennessee and Kentucky. He has also served as a consultant and advisor/historian to the State of Tennessee General Assembly - Reelfoot Lake Legislative Task Force from 1982 until 1987.
Al has also served as Chief Lobbyist to get the Tennessee General Assembly to create a special Reelfoot Lake Legislative Task Force to look into its present/past management by state and federal agency's of the Reelfoot Lake River System in Tennessee and Kentucky. He also acted as Chief lobbyist to get passed by the Tennessee General Assembly a law to required the Tennessee Wildlife Agency and other state departments and agencies at Reelfoot Lake to write and get passed into law a 50 year management plan for Reelfoot Lake & River System in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Al has written several House and Senate bills on the management of the Reelfoot Lake State Natural Area and River System He is also author of: "Reelfoot Lake and Its Ownership by the State of Tennessee at Natural Ordinary Low Water Mark" a 76 year purchase project of the State of Tennessee,” July 10, 1989.
Mimi Hughes, Taft, is 47-year-old mother of four who holds her masters degree in Reading N-12 th grade. She works as a Reading Specialist and supervisor of the Environmental Club at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama. Five years ago she began a "Neighbors of Coldwater Creek" group to clean up the creek and get it off the state's list of polluted creeks. It was taken off the list in 2002, but the group plans to keep it off. In July of 2003, she completed a five-year mission to swim the Tennessee River in an effort to make people aware of the need to treat the River with responsible respect. Her mission was to educate herself as well as those who asked her to speak about the need for a healthy river/watershed. She has worked with Alabama Water Watch members and TVA watershed consultants and biologist to gain a deeper understanding of environmental issues facing our waterways. Mimi feels the Tennessee River swim was just the beginning of a determined commitment to make and keep Tennessee waterways healthy.
Axel Ringe (President), New Market, is committed to advancing Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and to preserving/restoring as much of the Appalachian wilderness as possible. In the meantime, he is Senior Scientific Analyst, NCI Information Systems, Inc. under contract to US Department of Energy as has been since 1996. From 1980-1996 he held various positions with US Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, including biologist, information scientist, program manager. Axel’s professional and civic affiliations include Jefferson County Public Library Board; the Nolichucky Regional Library Board; the Sevier County Public Library Board; NatureWatch; the Executive Committee, Harvey Broome Group, TN Chapter of Sierra Club; and the Society for Conservation Biology. Axel holds a BA in Geology from Cornell University (1969) and participated in the graduate program in Animal Behavior, West Virginia University in 1974-1976.