Current Honorees

Congratulations to our 2017 Honorees!

Steve Lewis – Conservationist of the Year

steve-lewis-photoSteve C. Lewis is the Chairman of the Board of Jefferson Bank, a community Bank with 11 locations in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding communities. Steve also serves as Chairman of the Board of Jefferson Bancshares, Inc.

Steve is passionate about wildlife and the natural resources of Texas. He has served as a volunteer for 30 years in the wildlife conservation arena.  He is a Past President and founding Trustee of Texas Wildlife Association Foundation.  He is also a Past President of the Texas Wildlife Association and Past President of the Agrifood Education Council.  Additionally, he has served as Vice Chairman of the Texas Youth Hunting Association and Founding Chairman of Texas Agricultural Land Trust.  In 1996, Steve was selected as the Outdoorsman of the Year in San Antonio.

Currently, Steve serves as a Director of Texas Wildlife Association, Trustee of the Texas Wildlife Association Foundation, Director of Texas Agricultural Land Trust, and Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors of Cibolo Nature Center.

Steve is also an advocate for education reform in Texas and currently serves as Chairman of Choose to Succeed in San Antonio which supports high performing charter schools in Bexar County.

Steve graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA degree and holds a law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. He is an Eagle Scout.  He is a member of Mission Concepcion Parish in San Antonio.

Steve and his wife, Susan, have three boys – Kenneth, Barclay, and Spencer.


Dr. Joan Holt – Professional Conservationist of the Year


G. Joan Holt is Professor Emerita of Marine Science at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. She received her BS and MA in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington, and Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries from Texas A&M University- College Station. She was with UTMSI for over 35 years as a researcher, teacher and administrator. Holt was Interim Director of UTMSI 2012-2013, Associate Chair of Marine Science 2011-2012 and Director of the UTMSI Fisheries and Mariculture Laboratory for 10 years holding the Perry R. Bass Chair in Fisheries and Mariculture.

Dr. Holt’s work has addressed vital issues surrounding fish ecology, captive culture, and development. Her research has provided a model for understanding the role of early life history in maintaining healthy fish populations. She has been part of ground-breaking research, including the captive spawning and rearing of red drum, cobia or ling, and Southern flounder. Her early research established the optimal requirements for rearing red drum larvae to the juvenile stage; methods that are now used for stock enhancement and aquaculture production worldwide.

She Co-organized the First International Tarpon Symposium in 2001 at UTMSI, and the Third International Tarpon Forum at the University of Veracruz, MX, in 2004. Both resulted in published proceedings on the ecology, growth and distribution of this iconic species.

Her lab was one of the few in the country to grow coral reef fishes in captivity to conserve native populations. Dr. Holt and her students spawned and raised a number of ornamental fish and shrimp popular in the aquarium trade. Significant results from her coral reef fish research forms the basis for a new book to be published by Wiley- Blackwell on Marine Ornamental Aquaculture. She will be co- editor of that publication due out in early 2017.

Dr. Holt’s research has resulted in over 140 publications and training for 34 graduate students and post docs. She has lectured around the world (Australia, China, Portugal, Japan, Uruguay, Norway, and Belgium) addressing vital issues on fish ecology, captive culture, and larval development. Her research has been featured on the Discovery Channel, ABC News, Lago in the Morning Radio Show, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, Tide Magazine and in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express.

She has worked to enhance birding in Port Aransas and trained local public school students in birdwatching and for competition in the Great Texas Birding Classic. She has served for 20 years on the Organizing Committee for “A Celebration of Whooping Cranes and Other Birds” for The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau and has been a Co-compiler of the Port Aransas Christmas Bird Count for 27 years. Dr. Holt was Director of Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District for 12 years, and Port Aransas City Council member since May 2016.


Y Women in Careers Lifetime Achievement Award, YWCACC, 2016

Lifetime Achievement Award, Texas Aquaculture Association, 2013

Inducted into the Port Aransas Boatman’s Hall Of Fame, 2009

Researcher of the Year 2006, Texas Aquaculture Association

Public Service Award, Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, 2006

Chairman’s Award for Tarpon Tomorrow, Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, 2004

Port Aransas birding site named Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond, 2003

Harvey Weil Sportsman Conservationist Trust Award, 1999

Certificate of Environmental Leadership, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuary program, 1998

National Academy of Science Panel on Marine Aquaculture in the United States, 1992


Rotary Club - Corpus Christi

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