Governor Abbott Appoints Four To Lower Colorado River Authority Board Of Directors
Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Martha Leigh Whitten and Joe Crane and has appointed Carol Freeman and Melissa Blanding to the Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors for terms set to expire on February 1, 2027.
Martha Leigh Whitten of San Saba is owner and operator of Alamo Pecan & Coffee Company Whitten Real Estate and Whitten ranching operations. She served on the San Saba City Council, the City Parks Board, and the San Saba Independent School District Advisory Committee. She previously worked at Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) in Austin, as well as Whitten & Rennscheidt CPAs and Whitten & Williams CPAs. She volunteers as the assistant treasurer for the First Baptist Church Stewardship Committee and on the Angel Tree Project for Needy Children. Whitten received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University.
Joe Crane of Bay City is the managing general partner of BU Growers, Ltd., and Lester Winfree Rice & Cattle, LLC. He has served as the LCRA director for Matagorda County since 2015. He has been farming milo, soybeans, corn, cotton, and rice since 1998, and previously worked as the general manager for Prairie Rice, Inc. He serves as a board member of the Matagorda County Fair Association, and previously as a member of the Wharton County Fair Association. Crane received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University.
Carol Freeman of Llano is a retired Llano ISD educator. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Llano Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Hill County Cattlewomen’s Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Southwest Texas Cattle Raisers Association, the Texas Farm Bureau, and the Hill Country Cattle Raisers Association. Freeman received both her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and her teacher certification from Texas A&M Kingsville.
Melissa Blanding of Driftwood is a stay-at-home mom who previously worked at the Texas Public Utility Commission, in the Office of the Governor, and as the chief of staff to a former Texas State Representative. She volunteers with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Regents School of Austin, and she is a former member of the City of Austin Water and Wastewater Commission. Blanding studied government at the University of Texas at Austin, then began her career in public service. She is chair of the Stewardship Committee for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and a parent volunteer for the Regents School of Austin.
These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.