Colin Wallis

Colin Wallis
  • What does your organization do?

    The easy way to tell people what we do is to say that we improve parks in Austin, TX. We leverage volunteers, funding, and partners to improve our 300+ parks and open spaces that are woefully underfunded.
  • How did you become interested in this work?

    I was an early board member of the Trail Foundation and was the board chair when we raised over $5M to build the boardwalk. I'm a runner and an outdoor enthusiast. It was a natural fit.
  • What drives your passion?

    Perspective about how lucky we all are to live in Austin, TX, USA. My wife and daughter. NYT Crossword puzzles.
  • Did you have a mentor or a role model?

    I was fortunate to have many. Bill McLellan and Mary Herman took great interest in me as a human being early in my career. Chip Gist, Brent Buckman, and Greg Smith taught me more than I could ever remember.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?

    Probably myself. I try to do too much. I get too focused on what I'm not doing well and things that didn't work.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?

    Quit trying to shove 10 pounds of sh!$ into a 5 pound sack!
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?

    Laugh a lot.
    Focus on people and the rest will take care of itself.
    Always remember you are not the smartest person in the room.