Updated: CRBI’s new Executive Director plans to ‘streamline and amplify’ organization’s efforts to promote healthy waterways

Updated: CRBI’s new Executive Director plans to ‘streamline and amplify’ organization’s efforts to promote healthy waterways

Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman is new executive director of CRBI (photo from Ogeechee Riverkeeper)


Although he just moved to Rome last week, Coosa River Basin Initiative’s new Executive Director is no stranger to Rome. Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman officially assumed his new duties at the helm of CRBI on Wednesday. He and his family just moved to Rome last week from Savannah where he had been working as the Watershed Outreach Coordinator for Ogeechee Riverkeeper for the last two and half years.

“I am a Berry College graduate, so I am very familiar with Rome. My main attraction for coming to Berry was not only their beautiful campus, but that Rome was within one hour drive of anything to do with the outdoors…whether exploring the rivers or mountain biking, my two favorite things to do,” he says.

After graduating from Berry, Demonbreun-Chapman served as director for the Boys and Girls Clubs in Rome. He says he is ‘just getting his feet wet’ in terms of getting up to speed on CRBI and long-term goals for the organization.

“I hope to work to streamline and amplify the organization and our efforts to promoting healthy waterways. They (CRBI) has been doing a great job at it for the last 23 years and I am just proud to be a part of it and continuing that good work,” he says.

One of the first items on his agenda is the upcoming 11th annual Polar Bear Paddle on January 14. The free event is a 6-mile paddle on the Etowah River from Grizzard Park/Dixon’s Landing to Heritage Park in downtown Rome. Complimentary canoes and kayaks are available on a first-to-register basis. Registration will be open from 9-10 a.m. at Dixon’s Landing. Register Now at http://www.coosa.org/events/paddle-trips.

Demonbruen is kicking off his tenure at CRBI by challenging members and supporters to send him plunging into the frigid waters of the Etowah River during the event. If supporters donate $1000 or more to CRBI between now and Jan. 14, Demonbruen will take the plunge. Donations can be made online at http://www.coosa.org/events/polar-bear-paddle-plunge-2017

Media Release: The Coosa River Basin Initiative will start the new year with new leadership as the CRBI Board of Directors has hired Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman to lead the Rome-based organization dedicated to protecting the region’s drinking water and North America’s most biologically unique river basin.

Demonbreun returns to Rome after two and a half years serving as watershed outreach coordinator at Ogeechee Riverkeeper based in Savannah. He previously served as director at the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Georgia for four years.

Before taking the job with Ogeechee Riverkeeper, he served for a short time on the CRBI Board of Directors.

“While I enjoyed my job immensely at Ogeechee Riverkeeper,” Demonbreun said. “My family and I have missed being in Rome and are incredibly excited to be back.  I’m grateful for this opportunity to lead such a strong organization in protecting the rivers that are set so deeply in the heart of this city’s identity.”

While at Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Demonbreun was responsible for the organization’s education programs, paddle trips and volunteer training among other duties. In 2013, Ogeechee Riverkeeper won a $2.5 million legal settlement against a textile manufacturing facility responsible for a 2011 incident that resulted in the death of some 38,000 fish in the river.

“We’re excited to have Jesse back in Rome working for clean water,” said CRBI Board President Chad Johnfroe. “Jesse is familiar with Rome and other Northwest Georgia communities and has a strong record of community service.”

Demonbruen is a 2008 graduate of Berry College where he studied Biology and English.

He will be charged with leading the organization’s advocacy, education, water monitoring and restoration programs and raising money to support these programs.



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