Director of Lake Management
South, Southwest & Midwest
David Ellison is an aquatic biologist with the SOLitude Lake Management team who serves as the director of lake management for Texas. He oversees many of SOLitude's large projects focusing on invasive species control, and has developed programs for Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Fisherman's Island Wildlife Refuge and Ft. Eustis, to name a few.
Dave is a certified pesticide applicator for turf, aquatics and public health in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is also a certified AquaMaster and Aqua Control Technician, a SePRO Preferred Applicator and a certified Stormwater Inspector. His participation in regular continuing education programs keeps his industry knowledge current with the latest technological trends.
Dave is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Prior to joining the SOLitude Lake Management team, Dave was employed as the assistant superintendent for an area golf course. During his years there, he was a licensed pesticide applicator for turfgrass. This experience, coupled with his education, make him a valuable and knowledgeable leader at SOLitude.
Like most of the SOLitude Lake Management team, Dave enjoys being outside and particularly enjoys the ocean. During his time off, you will often find Dave on the beach. He is an avid surfer, enjoys spending time with his family.
Business Development Consultant
Dustin Vassar is a business development consultant serving SOLitude’s clients in the Southwest. Dustin is responsible for helping the team build relationships with clients in the region as SOLitude continues to grow.
Dustin comes to SOLitude with an extensive background in new business development. He worked with Ricoh USA, based out of Dallas, Texas, where he was a top contributor in the marketplace. Prior to coming to SOLitude, Dustin worked as a business performance advisor for Insperity in Irving, TX. At Insperity, he was responsible for determining ways to help small businesses succeed, such as reducing administrative costs, attracting and retaining top talent, and shaping company culture.
Dustin is originally from Arlington, TX, and attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he studied Business Finance. Dustin is a member of Toastmasters International where he serves his club as VP Membership and enjoys helping new members with their public speaking skills.
Dustin spends his free time drag racing, playing golf, being outdoors with family and friends and staying active at his CrossFit gym.
Business Development Consultant
Cole Kabella is a business development consultant with nearly a decade of experience developing relationships with clients across Texas and educating them on the importance of sustainable and proactive lake, pond and fisheries management solutions.
Cole has a special interest in fish stockings, fish transporting and acclimating fish into clients’ lakes and ponds. He also has an extensive background in the control of aquatic vegetation growth and maintaining and enhancing the aesthetics of the habitat.
Prior to joining SOLitude, Cole graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Services. During his time at A&M, he traveled to South Africa where he was able to spend a semester of his studies. On this trip, he met the woman that he would later call his wife. They both returned home and continued learning until they graduated in 2013.
Cole grew up in Liberty Hill, TX, where he participated in the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. In his free time, Cole enjoys spending time outdoors. His hobbies include hiking, backpacking, camping, swimming and shooting.
Cory Smith is regional leader serving clients in SOLitude’s Texas market. Cory is responsible for all daily operations, field supervision and installations performed by the team, and regularly works to help clients exceed their property goals – whether those are enhanced aesthetics or growing the largest bass in Texas. He also works closely with the business development team, helping to create lake, pond and fisheries management plans for new clients across the Southwest.
Cory is a licensed commercial applicator in Texas through the Texas Department of Agriculture, as well as a member of the Texas Aquatic Plant Management Society (TAPMS). Prior to joining the SOLitude Team, Cory worked as Operations Manager for Aquatic Management Services for over eight years.
Cory attended Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, TX where he played baseball and ran cross country. At an early age, he developed a love for the outdoors and fisheries, and loves spending time outdoors with his wife, and their four kids. They all enjoy hunting, fishing, and water skiing. Cory also enjoys outdoor and wildlife photography, and has had several photos featured on SOLitude's webpages.
Biologist and Project Manager
As a biologist and project manager at SOLitude, Matt brings a scientific and resource-conscious approach to the company’s lake, pond and fisheries management projects. Matt has more than a decade of industry experience in the management of thousands of acres of water across the Southwest throughout his career, and has designed water monitoring programs for all types of waterbodies, including a 3,600-acre reservoir in northeast Texas.
Matt holds a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry, and is passionate about expanding his industry knowledge through laboratory research and countless hours in the field. In addition to his hands-on experience in aquatic environments, Matt spends much of his time promoting environmental stewardship in educational settings, and has given hundreds of presentations to children and university students through the Texas Forestry Expo and Texas A&M. He's also closely involved with the Texas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and the Texas Aquatic Plant Management Society, where he served as the society President in 2014.
Matt is a native of Dallas, TX, and spent over six years of his childhood in Chad, Africa. After returning to the states at age 17, he attended Texas A&M University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2003. During his senior year, Matt married his soul mate and high school sweetheart, Ashley.
Matt is a self-proclaimed “regular family man” and loves introducing his kids to all things outdoors, pursuing a variety of activities including gardening, hiking and fishing. As an avid naturalist and fisherman, he enjoys exploring any water he encounters and pursuing virtually any species of fish from fresh to saltwater, whether it be “shadow casting” with a 5wt fly rod or cranking on a 9/0 Penn strapped to a 130 lb. class stand-up.
Robert Callaway is an aquatic specialist who has been with SOLitude since 2007. He works with clients to develop comprehensive lake and pond management goals and has thorough experience in fish hauling and stocking techniques.
In addition to being a licensed commercial pesticide applicator, Robert is a certified service technician through Otterbine and AquaMaster. Robert uses his industry expertise to keep projects on track and serves as a knowledgeable resource for clients across SOLitude’s Southwestern market.
Robert is a graduate of Franklin High School where he participated in a number of sports including football, basketball, track, golf and baseball. He's also a father of two and enjoys spending time with his family through fishing and playing various sports.
Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist
Logan Cowan is a fisheries biologist working out of SOLitude’s Texas office. Logan helps develop individualized lake, pond and fisheries management plans for new and existing clients, and has a special interest in analyzing fisheries data from electrofishing surveys.
Logan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University and is certified in Aquatic Pest Control in the state of Texas. After graduation he gained experience as a wildlife removal specialist in the greater Houston area before joining SOLitude in 2014.
Growing up along the Gulf Coast, Logan acquired a great appreciation for the outdoors and the beauty of the aquatic environment. He has enjoyed many years fishing the pristine flats of the Lower Laguna Madre and hunting the waterfowl of the lower Texas Coast. Logan is married to his wonderful wife Kelsey with whom he enjoys spending time walking with along the beach, camping and fishing. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys pursuing better management through science as he seeks to steward our most precious natural resources.
Ryan Young is an aquatic technician based in SOLitude's Texas market. He focuses on creating healthier aquatic ecosystems for clients and provides a complete range of lake and pond management services, including lake mapping, fisheries management and fountain and aeration solutions. He also has a special interest in bass angling, mapping, vegetation management and fisheries management.
In 2009, he graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Poultry Science. He was a member of the university fishing team and competed in local and national collegiate bass fishing tournaments. As an avid outdoorsman Ryan worked began working as a student for Gander Mountain. He joined the company as a camping associate and worked his way up to a supervisor of firearms, and later, fishing, before joining SOLitude in 2015.
Ryan was born and raised in Houston, TX. At age nine, Ryan joined the Boy Scouts of America where he developed his love for the outdoors and his value of community service and hard work. In his free time you will find Ryan on the lake with his trusty side kick, Bear, or making rods and custom baits for finding monster fish.
Travis McCarver is an aquatic scientist serving clients in SOLitude’s southwestern market. In addition to delivering sustainable aquatic, turf and ornamental pest and weed control treatments, he provides comprehensive aeration and fountain unit installation and mechanical repair services. Travis enjoys solving problems and takes a special interest in troubleshooting to identify and fine-tune effective lake and pond management solutions.
Travis graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management, and continues to expand his industry knowledge and experience through regular licensing and product training opportunities.
Travis was raised in Hearne, TX, where he spent most of his youth hunting, fishing, or camping at local state parks - all of which he still enjoys doing today with his wife, Brooke.
Wildlife and Fisheries Scientist
Jessica Metz is a wildlife and fisheries biologist at SOLitude. She works directly with clients to help them achieve their lake and pond management goals. She also assists with the coordination of SOLitude’s fisheries management program and has a special interest in fish stocking and trophy fisheries management.
Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. During college, Jessica’s love of fisheries led her to work as a deck hand for a charter fishing boat for three summers. This experience led her to pursue and earn her OUPV Captains license through the US Coast Guard.
Jessica grew up in Seabrook, TX, where she gained a love for the outdoors at a young age from fishing the coast and the rivers in the hill country. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, boating, and hunting as well as visiting state parks throughout Texas.
Jason Regester is an aquatic specialist who has serviced clients in SOLitude’s southwestern market since 2007. Jason is experienced in all aspects of water quality testing and restoration, algae and aquatic weed control, fish habitat management and a multitude of other aquatic management services, and takes a special interest in enhancing fisheries through electrofishing surveys and data comparison.
Jason received his Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, and is dedicated to continuously expanding and sharing his industry knowledge with SOLitude’s clients.
Jason grew up in Tyler, TX, and loves outdoor life that includes hunting, fishing, and target shooting. He enjoys hanging out at the family farm, where hay is produced and three Longhorn steers roam and graze the pasture land. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter going to the movies, playing with their dog and having game night with family members. He loves scouting out new locations for wild hog hunting with his crossbow and is an avid NASCAR fan.
Buford Lessley is an aquatic biologist based out of our Tyler, TX, office. Buford works with each client to determine the best approach for the management of their aquatic resources, and implements sustainable solutions to help clients achieve their goals. He enjoys all aspects of lake and pond management, and has particular interests in electrofishing surveys, vegetation management, water quality testing and monitoring, and fish stocking.
Buford was raised in nearby White Oak, TX, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture from Mississippi State University. He went on to earn his master’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where his work focused on fish and macroinvertebrates communities found in oxbows and distributaries of the Rio Grande. During his time in south Texas, he gained valuable experience in all aspects of freshwater and saltwater fisheries management.
In his free time, Buford enjoys hunting, fishing and kayaking alongside his wife Amanda. He is also an advanced certified SCUBA diver and enjoys conducting dives in the Caribbean.
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In support of our belief that lakes and ponds are a precious natural resource requiring protection, SOLitude is committed to providing sustainable and renewable solutions that maintain ecological balance in the workplace and beyond.
When you partner with SOLitude, a dedicated field technician visits your lake or pond twice a month, leveraging extensive knowledge and training to carefully maintain ecological balance and preserve the appearance of your aquatic property.
Utilizing the latest GPS aquatic mapping technology and our own proprietary lake and pond management software, the experts at SOLitude collect all the data necessary to provide comprehensive analysis and in-depth solutions.