Our Team

Natalie Hausman-Weiss Executive Director

natalie@thewoodsproject.org

Natalie joined The Woods Project in February 2016. She brings nearly two decades of experience in the areas of non-profit management and development and comes to TWP with a passion for making a real difference in the world for the well-being and personal growth of disadvantaged populations and communities. Read More

Adriane Arnold

Finance & Operations Director

adriane@thewoodsproject.org

Adriane joined The Woods Project as Finance Operations Manager in October 2018, after serving as a TWP volunteer in various capacities. She is a Houston native who adores the outdoors. She majored in art history at Dartmouth College and has an MBA from the University of Houston. Read More

Jessi Manley

Development Director

jessi@thewoodsproject.org

Jessi joined The Woods Project in 2013. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor’s of Arts & Science in Exercise Science. She is excited to be part of The Woods Project and be part of positively impacting the lives of so many Houston students. Jessi enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, bowling, and being outside – doing any & everything.
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Michael Valdez

Program Director

michael@thewoodsproject.org

Michael joined The Woods Project in July 2018. While a native of Houston, his true home has always been amongst the surrounding trees and hills of the city. His liberal arts degree from the University of St. Thomas, with an emphasis in education and English, benefited him as he worked as a special needs teacher with students with neurological differences for nearly a decade.
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Diana Liga

Volunteer & Operations Manager

diana@thewoodsproject.org

Diana joined The Woods Project in January 2023. She received her degree in Horticulture from Texas A&M and has worked as a horticulturist in varying degrees for two decades. Her emphasis has always been on food production, sustainability, and sociohorticulture. She spends her free time rock hunting, hiking, crafting, and gardening.
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Jess Merino

Program Development Manager

jmerino@thewoodsproject.org

Jess joined The Woods Project as Program Development Manager in 2021, after serving as a TWP school coordinator and volunteer for five years. Jess has a background as an educator and a scientist. She previously taught Environmental Engineering at Energy Institute in Houston ISD, and before that she was as a Seismology Data Scientist with IRIS.
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Manny Salas

Program Manager

manny@thewoodsproject.org

Manny joined The Woods Project in January 2022 as a TWP Alumnus and recent graduate from Colby College. After his 2016 Summer Trip to Yosemite with TWP, he decided to pursue a career in the earth sciences. After receiving the Posse Scholarship to Colby, a small liberal arts school in central Maine, he majored in Geology and minored in Environmental Studies and Computer Science. Read More