Staff and Board of Directors


Scott Salmon

Executive Director

Since November of 2021, Scott Salmon has been the Executive Director of Friends of the White River. Scott began volunteering with Friends in 2008 as a raft guide through the River School program, and has worked several downtown cleanups and many float trips since moving to Indianapolis in 2012.

He holds a M.P.A. from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a B.S. from Indiana State University. He spent nearly five years with the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, managing pollution-caused fish kill response and riparian restoration, conducting environmental risk assessments, and planning aquatic habitat projects such as low-head dam removals and streambank restoration.

Scott has held teaching, logistics, and leadership positions with numerous outdoor education organizations over his career, and maintains Wilderness First Responder and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certifications. He currently serves as a volunteer board member with the Indiana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and on the Indiana Conservation Alliance Steering Committee.

Sarah Beckerman

Watershed Restoration Director

Sarah grew up along Carmel Creek where she learned an appreciation for and responsibility to the environment. She is a plant enthusiast, avid adventurer, and experienced outdoor educator. She has guided trips all over the US in pursuit of helping others connect with nature. After volunteering for Friends’ River School, she started as Watershed Restoration Director in September of 2023. 

Sarah holds degrees in biology, neuroscience, and outdoor recreation and resource management from Indiana University. While at IU, she also graduated from the Conservation Outdoor Recreation/Education and the Advanced Outdoor Leadership Training programs. She is a regular water sampler with the White River Alliance’s River Assessment Field Team and a White River Docent at Central Indiana Land Trust’s Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve.

Sarah finds joy in the talents and creativity of Indianapolis’ music and arts scene. She likes investigating the mysteries of navigation, space, and time. You can usually find her studying plants and walking her pitbull at a local park.

Eddie Gill IV

Outdoor Education Director

Born in Ogden, Utah, Eddie now resides in Carmel, Indiana where he has lived for the past 19 years. Eddie, 23, recently graduated from Grace College in Warsaw, Indiana where he received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and master’s degree in Non-Profit Management.  During his time at Grace he also played basketball, going to the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight in his final two years.  He is a lifelong fisherman, adventurer and outdoor enthusiast.  Since the time he could walk, all Eddie has ever wanted to do was be outside exploring all of the wonders nature has to offer.

Several years ago, Eddie vowed to make a difference.  He wanted to create a more inclusive and diverse space in the outdoor world.  With this in mind, he came up with Journey for a Cause.  Journey for a Cause was an initiative to raise awareness in diverse communities of the opportunities and benefits experienced with fishing and boating. Inspired by Eddie’s dream to promote diversity and inclusion within the boating, fishing and outdoor adventure community, he took a ten-day journey by boat that began in Evansville, Ind. on June 1, 2021.  His journey included visits at nine marinas and waterside venues, ending with a final stop at Navarre Beach, Fla. on June 10. During the voyage, Eddie promoted the mental health and physical health benefits of fishing and boating, and drove awareness of the accessibility of fishing and boating, and demonstrated that the outdoor community is welcoming to all, including those from minority and underserved communities.

Kay Hawthorne

Environmental Justice Director

Kay (she/they) is a cultural anthropologist born and based in Indianapolis, IN. She graduated from Purdue University with bachelors degrees in Anthropology and Public Health. While at Purdue, she worked in the Archives and Special Collections and was heavily involved in student organizations such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

Kay got into Environmental Justice work toward the end of college, and dove deeper after graduation, working in the Near Northwest/ Riverside communities as well as EJ and historical projects on the Southeast side, namely in the Norwood and Babe Denny neighborhoods. She has also served as a community outreach consultant for local entities such as the Indiana State Museum and Indy Parks. Connecting with history is her passion and purpose; she loves memories and the people, places, and things that hold them. This led her to start her environmental and historical consulting company, Mapping Purpose, LLC.

In her “spare” time, Kay enjoys quality time with family and friends, good music and books, and triathlon training.


River Dog

Porter is a mix of 20+ different dog breeds, including German Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, American Terrier, Beagle, and Basset Hound. He relocated to Indianapolis from his birthplace in Kokomo, IN in 2021.

Board of Directors

Keith Cruz , Vice President

Current Board President.  Civil engineering site designer. Bicycle, canoe, and fishing enthusiast.  Volunteer with River School and passionate about cleanups/invasive plant removal along waterways.

Lisa Milton

Board Vice-President Lisa Milton has been Manager of Natural Resources for Newfields since May 2022. Prior, she served as the Assistant Operations and Property Manager for White River State Park, where she gained experience controlling invasive plants in a riparian setting on the Urban Wilderness Trail. Lisa has a Masters of Science in Environmental Science with concentrations in Applied Ecology and Water Resources from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Jason DeArman , Secretary

Board Secretary. Owner of DeArman Property Group powered by Compass, Owner/Guide at Two Forks Guide Service, and GACC Board Member. Husband to Kara and Father to Avery and Charlie DeArman. Lover of all things White River, especially the Smallmouth Bass.

Cathy Hurt , Treasurer

Treasurer since 2015, Certified Public Accountant.  Has lived on the White River for 35 years.  Assistant Office Manager for the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.  Former auditor for the State Board of Accounts; past Clerk/Treasurer for the town of Rocky Ripple.

Andrew Churchill , Assistant Treasurer

Andrew serves as the Assistant Treasurer for the Friends of the White River Board. He has been a director since 2023, Owner, JRA Architecture, LLC

Adam Barnes , Governance Committee

Director since 2013. Executive Director of the Holliday Park Foundation and former park manager there, long-time partner with River School, active in tours, cleanups and programs.

Heather Barnes

Board Member since 2023, Heather loves conservation, clean water and comedy. She has worked as a director at both the John G. Shedd Aquarium and at the Museum of Science and Industry to transform communication, culture, and methods of engaging audiences.  She currently teaches executive presentation skills at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and is the founder of Improv @ Work, LLC.

Sue Reed , Governance Committee Chair

Director since 2017, retired attorney and resident of Edgewater neighborhood on White River, training in Hoosier Riverwatch and masters degree in biology.

Rachel Treloar

Growth Marketing, Avantor Sciences

Daniel Woody

Social Media Consultant, IU Health; Owner of Daniel Woody Photography