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Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in Great Rivers Habitat Alliance. We welcome all correspondence from those interested in our organization.


PO Box 50014 St. Louis, MO 63105

Phone / Fax

phone: 314-918-1007 fax: 314-918-1351

Karen Coleman, Office Manager
O: 314-918-1007
F: 314-918-1351
C: 314-640-1256

J. Michael Checkett, Executive Director
O: 636-587-6027
C: 901-277-9118

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Meet the GRHA Staff

Prior to joining GRHA, Mike was employed with Ducks Unlimited for 18 years, most recently as the Director of Development for Missouri and Kentucky. Mike's 27-year career in conservation includes serving as the State Waterfowl Biologist and Migratory Bird Program Leader for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Research Scientist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He was a member of the Mississippi Flyway Technical Section and the Council and holds degrees from the University of Missouri’s Agriculture and School of Wildlife and Fisheries. Mike is a fourth-generation St. Louisan who grew up in the outdoors and is no stranger to the Confluence, having hunted on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers since the 1980s and is now part of the Over & Under and Quacker hunt clubs in St. Charles and Duck Head Lodge in Stuttgart, Arkansas. My vision for GRHA is to bring together conservation-minded folks from all walks of life, whether they're farmers, city-dwellers, cyclists, recreational boaters, biologists, hunters…anyone who has a connection to wildlife. To protect the Confluence for the benefit of wildlife, historic waterfowling, agriculture, clean water and people we must build a coalition of people who believe natural spaces matter and work together to reach a common goal of a healthy Confluence and flood protection for the communities across St. Louis.

J. Michael Checkett, Executive Director

O: 636-587-6027 C: 901-277-9118

Hannah attended Lindenwood University where she was on the Shotgun Sports Team and received a BA in Human Resource Management and an MBA. Hannah began shooting trap at twelve years old with her mother and found a passion for shooting shotguns. She continues to travel across the county with her husband Patrick and their two dogs, Brittany and Teal, to shoot trap in various state and national competitions. Hannah and Patrick got married in 2023 and enjoy competing in the special Husband/Wife events at trapshooting competitions. When Hannah isn’t at the range, she can be found camping, reading a good book, or making pickles. She is excited about working with GRHA to support their mission of protecting the Confluence for future generations.

Hannah Hopson, Operations and Events Manager

C: 309-202-3599


Karen Coleman, Office Manager

email: karen@grha.orgO: 314-918-1007F: 314-918-1351C: 314-640-1256

Meet Our Executive Board

David is a Principal of Watter, Wolf, Bub and Hansmann. He is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has successfully defended his clients in areas of complex personal injury and property damage, litigation including premises liability, construction, transportation, products liability and various catastrophic injury lawsuits. David has been a GRHA Board member for 20 years and has been hunting in the Confluence his entire life. David owns the Mallards Nest duck club in St. Charles as well as an upland farm in Scotland County where he manages habitat for upland birds and deer. In addition to GRHA, David is a life member of Quail forever. He is actively involved in QF where he served as the inaugural president of the Gateway Chapter of QF; the first Quail Forever chapter in the nation.  Alongside his love for the outdoors, David has a fondness for bird dogs.

David Bub, Esq.


Chris Hyams lives in Frontenac with his wife, Candace, son, Charlie (16) and son George (15). He is currently President of GS&S Construction, a mid-size commercial general contractor, which recently celebrated its 100th year in business. Chris began working at GS&S when he was 15 and purchased the company 9 years ago. Chris attended DeSmet Jesuit High School (’87) and graduated from Southwest Missouri State University (Missouri State) with a degree in Construction Management. Chris has been on the Board of Directors for Great Rivers Habitat Alliance for 13 years and has served as President for the past 6 years. Chris served on the Board of Governors at the Missouri Athletic Club and currently serves on the Preservation Foundation and Rod & Gun Club Committees. He also serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission in Frontenac.In his spare time, he enjoys duck hunting, clay bird shooting, and helping manage Baldwin Land Company, where he currently as President.

Christopher J. Hyams

Chairman of the Board

Mark Merlotti, CPA, CFP is shareholder and advisor at Renaissance Financial. A graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia, Mark earned his BS in accounting before going on to the Advanced Management Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mark is an avid waterfowl hunter and conservationist. He supports Great Rivers’ mission to reserve experiences for generations to come.

Mark Merlotti



Patrick Wittenbrink, Esq



Jason Cleveland

Events Chair

An energetic Irishman with a passion for entrepreneurship,the outdoors, comradery, and a few pints. A graduate from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, with a focus onmarketing, management, and logistics. McDara is the president of Green Leaf Procurement, a marketing,logistics, promotional company in St. Louis, MO.  A family man, he is married to his wife KC,and they have three wonderful kids. McDara is dedicated to conservation andprotection of all things’ wildlife and natural habitat.

McDara Obrien

Marketing Chair


Lincoln Gray

Membership Chair