BOARD OF DIRECTORS
From the President
I want to extend my personal thanks to everyone that has helped make In River Or Ocean a reality. I wish all of you could have known Clay. For those of you who never had a chance to meet Clay, he was the type of person that cared more for others than for himself. He also had great respect for God’s creations around him. His passion for our waterways came at an early age. Once we lost Clay, I knew his passion had to be shared with others.
Many people devote countless hours to make In River Or Ocean’s community activities a success. The following people are instrumental in the continued success of In River Or Ocean. Thank you again for making the Clay Roberts Slam Fishing Tournament and the Memorial Scholarship a reality. May all of you find the “magic” that Clay found in our rivers and oceans.
Terry and Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts is President of In River Or Ocean, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. He and his wife Terry Roberts are also members of Costal Conservation Association and St. Johns Riverkeeper. They are local business owners owning Roberts’ South Bank Pharmacy and Terry’s Kitchen. Gary is a native of Jacksonville growing up on the city’s west side. Terry moved to Jacksonville as a child from High Point North Carolina. Gary and Terry have two children Clay and Casey. Clay, the oldest, was a talented athlete participating in community and school athletics most of his life. Having always lived on the water, Clay had a lifelong love for the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman and he loved boating. Clay once wrote, “Being in a boat is one of my absolute favorite things to do…” He often talked of having a career revolving around boating, fishing and conservation. His email address “InRiverOrOcean” best expressed his passion for our waterways. Unfortunately, Clay passed away in 2007 as a senior at Bishop Kenny. To honor Clay, the family formed a non-profit organization and called it “In River Or Ocean” (IROO). IROO is dedicated to promoting the protection and rational management of all river and ocean resources by providing education to our youth. IROO achieves their mission through participation in local and global conservation programs, formal and informal education programs and grassroots actions to improve and maintain the health of our waters. Part of the program includes an annual memorial fishing tournament which funds a four year renewable college scholarship. In River Or Ocean’s vision is to enhance personal and family growth; promote community participation and awareness; increase understanding and appreciation of the value and benefits of our natural waterways. The Roberts family wants to make sure that our children’s children will have the opportunity to discover the “magic” that Clay found in our rivers and oceans.
Tournament Co-Director and Treasurer, has been on the Board of Directors since the inception of IROO. A seventh generation Jacksonville native, Bill grew up literally and figuratively on the river.
“Some of my fondest memories on the river were crabbing off the dock during the day and throwing a cast net for shrimp at night. Dad and I used to fish on our little boat and I can still remember many of the fish I pulled over the side. I still fish many of the same spots, 50 years later, and there are still plenty of fish still there.”
Gary and the Roberts family have been friends of mine for years. “Shortly after Clay’s death, I can remember sitting with a small group of friends as Gary laid out the plans for the foundation, the scholarship, the tournament, and the community giving. When asked if I would be part of the vision, one word said all I needed to say: YES!” Both of Bill’s kids are avid fisherman. Bill and daughter Emily are both Coast Guard licensed Captains. Bill’s son Brad is on the water every week, anywhere from downtown Jax to the edge of the Gulfstream.
Captain Rick Ryals
My name is Michael Atlee and I am extremely blessed to have spent four fabulous years at Bishop Kenny with Clay Roberts. In our earlier years as kids, we were on competing t-ball teams at NOL and were reunited at Kenny, where we played football together. Clay grew up across the river from where I was raised, which enabled us to be on the river all the time. Over the years at Kenny we would take trips to my families St. Augustine house and spend the weekends with friends, boating and fishing. In our senior year of high school, we applied to Alabama and were both accepted where we had planned to room together in an apartment on the banks of the Tuscaloosa River. Over the years working with the tournament has kept Clay close to all of our hearts and has enabled his name to continue to inspire many more throughout Jacksonville and surrounding areas. My role in the tournament is to promote our brand, bring in sponsors and donations from local and surrounding companies, as well as participate in board meetings, seminars, and the Clay Roberts Scholarship voting. Outside of the tournament, I work as an Assistant Project Manager for Miller Electric. Outside of work, I will either be Fishing, Surfing or spending time outside with friends doing what Clay loved most, love life to its fullest potential.
Matt was born and raised in Jacksonville. He first met Clay in Pre-K class at Riverside Presbyterian Day School. He and Clay developed a lifelong friendship that continued through high school at Bishop Kenny, where they both played wide receiver and defensive back for two State playoff teams. After graduating from Bishop Kenny, Matt attended Florida State University. There, he was accepted into the prestigious Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, leading the Fraternity to numerous intramural championships while also serving as Rush Captain to recruit the best and brightest. Matt also made his presence on campus known by joining the Seminole Student Boosters. Participating in the many Fraternity sponsored charitable events, Matt discovered his love for philanthropy. He continues to volunteer for non-profit organizations and is always looking to expand upon his faith at Riverside Presbyterian Church. After graduating from Florida State, Matt joined the family business with his father and became a financial advisor. Much like Clay, Matt loves the outdoors and preserving it for future generations to come.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She went to Bishop Kenny High School where she met Clay. Her favorite memory with Clay was spending the summer going into senior year on his boat with all of their friends. She went onto FSU where she graduated in 2011 with a major in Exercise Science. She is currently applying to get her masters and working for her father. She also has an internship as a Social Media Manager for a new up and coming company called Monthly Express. On her off time she enjoys singing, playing guitar, and Zumba. She can always be found at the weigh-in table at the IROO tournament!!