Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Executive Director | Phone: (360) 407-6200 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Mark Clark has been the executive director of the Washington State Conservation Commission since December 2002. Prior to becoming executive director, Mark served as the agency’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) coordinator and field operation manager for conservation districts in the Puget Sound region. Mark is a Thurston County native and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University. He has been involved with the horticulture wholesale industry for 18 years and also was a research engineer for the Food and Agriculture Section of Battelle Pacific Laboratories. He currently lives in Olympia where he and his wife own and operate Bush Prairie Farm.

Mark’s areas of expertise...

  • Oversees and directs staff on the operations of the State Conservation Commission office.
Mike Baden

Mike Baden

Regional Manager, North Central and Northeast Washington | Phone: (509) 385-7510 | Fax: (509) 547-2007

Mike Baden started as the Southeast Regional Manager in January 2015. Mike serves the following conservation districts: Cascadia, Ferry, Foster Creek, Grant County, Lincoln County, Okanogan, South Douglas, Pend Oreille, Stevens County, and Spokane.

Full bio coming soon!

Mike’s areas of expertise

  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service relations and programs
  • State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) representation
  • Grant writing
  • Geographic Information Systems(GIS) and Conservation Practice Data System (CPDS)
  • Conservation planning
  • Technical employee training
  • Engineering area coordination
Larry Brewer

Larry Brewer

Special Project: Cultural Resources Program | Phone: (360) 701-7859

Larry is a project staff responsible for developing and implementing the Cultural Resources Program for the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) and conservation districts. Larry also assists the SCC and districts with technical development related to conservation planning and implementation of best management practices.

Larry’s areas of expertise...

  • Cultural resources
  • Conservation planning technical development
  • Implementation
Brian Cochrane

Brian Cochrane

Habitat and Monitoring Coordinator | Phone: (360) 407-7103
Cell: (360) 701-5749 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Brian Cochrane is the Habitat and Monitoring Coordinator for the Commission. He graduated from UC Davis with a Wildlife and Fisheries bachelor’s degree and has since worked in the natural resources field for Idaho Fish and Game, private consultants in California, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, US Army Yakima Training Center, and Yakima County’s Flood Control and Stormwater programs. Brian brings his habitat monitoring and restoration experience to the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and coordinates salmon restoration efforts, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and stormwater activities. In addition to playing music and tinkering with boatbuilding and old car projects, Brian enjoys getting outdoors hiking, snowshoeing, and sailing.

Brian’s areas of expertise...

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
  • Riparian habitat and salmon restoration
  • Stormwater management
  • Geographical Information System (GIS)
  • Monitoring design and data analysis
  • Hydraulics and hydrology
  • Floodplain management
  • Water quality
Jon Culp

Jon Culp

Water Resources Program Manager | Phone: (509) 385-7509

Jon Culp joined the Commission in 2001 and serves as the Water Resource Programs Manager. Previously, Jon worked for the Okanogan Conservation District where he was a Natural Resource Planner, and he spent four years in the US Army as a High Frequency Radio Direction Finder. He has a B.A. from Central Washington University. Jon has been a councilmember for the City of Okanogan from 1999 through 2013 and Mayor since January of 2014. He is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and enjoys the outdoors through camping, hiking, hunting, and raising organic chicken, eggs, and vegetables.

Jon’s areas of expertise...

Areas of expertise:

  • Irrigation Efficiency Program management
  • Drought coordination – Surface Water Advisory Committee
  • Office of Columbia River Policy Advisory Group
  • WA Prescribed Fire Council
  • Training on programmatic, irrigation water management planning, and basic irrigation water meters.
  • Irrigation water meters
  • WA Trust Water Rights Program
  • Grant writing
  • Open Public Meetings Act
  • Local governments
  • Conservation planning
Eleanor Dovey

Eleanor Dovey

Fiscal Manager | Phone: 360-407-6211 (desk)  360-790-3501 (cell)

Eleanor joined the Washington State Conservation Commission as our fiscal manager in June 2016. Biography coming soon!

Bill Eller

Bill Eller

Voluntary Stewardship Program coordinator | Phone: (509) 385-7512 | Fax: (509) 454-5739

Bill Eller joined the State Conservation Commission in 2007. He became the Voluntary Stewardship Program coordinator in 2015 after previously serving as Technical Coordinator of the Columbia River Basin Water Management Program and Central Washington Regional Manager. Bill is also the Commission Elections Officer. Bill was born in North Dakota, but grew up in Alaska. He attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1990. In 1997, he graduated from the Gonzaga University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree and practiced both criminal and civil law while at the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for nine years. In 2010, he graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a M.A. in Security Studies.

Bill’s areas of expertise...

  • Voluntary Stewardship Program
  • Supervisor election and appointments
  • Emergency management coordination
  • District operations
  • Review of Contracts
  • Agreements and other legal issues
  • Public Records Requests (as needed) and review of contracts
Jillian Fishburn

Jillian Fishburn

Program Specialist | Phone: (360) 407-6202 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Jillian joined the Conservation Commission in November 2015 as a Fiscal Specialist. Jillian grew up in Grays Harbor County in the small town of Montesano and has called Olympia home for the last 10 years. Jillian is currently overseeing the Livestock, Irrigation Efficiencies and Professional Engineering grants. Jillian is also the assistant to the Policy Director and serves as the SCC Public Records Officer.

Jillian’s areas of expertise...

  • Livestock
  • Professional engineering
  • Irrigation efficiencies
  • Administrative support
  • Public Records Officer
  • Web Support
Josh Giuntoli

Josh Giuntoli

Office of Farmland Preservation Coordinator | Phone: (360) 407-7474 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Josh joins the Conservation Commission as the Project Coordinator for the Office of Farmland Preservation. Josh is a 4th generation Washingtonian and was born and raised in the Yakima Valley where he grew up farming mint and grapes. Josh graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2005. Prior to joining the Commission, Josh worked as a Legislative Assistant for the Washington State Senate, where he worked on issues related to land use, parks, and international trade. Josh also worked for the Walla Walla Community College under contract with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Walla Walla Conservation District to develop and implement a nationally recognized voluntary Fish Screen Program in the Walla Walla Basin. He enjoys spending time with his three kids outdoors and fishing in both salt and freshwater for salmon and steelhead.

Josh’s areas of expertise...

  • Agricultural conservation easements
  • Succession planning coordination
  • Policy/program development and implementation
  • Land use planning
  • Grant writing assistance
  • Habitat Lands Coordinating Group representative
  • WA Food System Roundtable representative
Lori Gonzalez

Lori Gonzalez

Executive Assistant | Phone: (360) 407-7417 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Lori Gonzalez joined the Commission in November 2007 as an Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining the Commission, she worked for the Department of Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program for five years. Lori assists with all aspects of administrative work and provides direct support to the Executive team and Commission members.

Lori’s areas of expertise...

  • Agency executive assistance
  • Commission meeting coordinator
  • Human resources liaison
  • Commissioner assistance and compensation
  • IT/agency needs
  • Regular meeting planning and coordination
  • Supervisor elections and appointments
  • Record keeping
Sarah Groth

Sarah Groth

Fiscal Analyst | Phone: (360) 407-6205 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Sarah Groth joined the Conservation Commission in January 2015 as a Fiscal Analyst. Prior to being hired on at the Commission, Sarah was a Fiscal Analyst for the Department of Enterprise Services, Small Agency Client Services division. Sarah provides financial support to District and Commission staff.

Sarah’s areas of expertise...

  • Agency accounting
  • Contracts payment
  • Agency budget
  • Office of Financial Management – finance assistance
  • Allotments
  • Payroll
Karla Heinitz

Karla Heinitz

Management Analyst | Phone: (360) 407-6212 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Karla Heinitz graduated from The Evergreen State College with a B.A. Degree in Pre-law/Political Science. She worked for the Washington State Senate as a Senate Intern during the 2001 Legislative Session. Karla then worked at the Washington State Dairy Federation as the Research Analyst for several years researching environmental issues, growth management issues, federal rules, and state statutes, and bill tracking during the legislative session. Karla joined the State Conservation Commission in 2005 as a contracts specialist. She works with the Livestock Program and Inter-Agency Contracts. Karla is also a licensed Notary Public.

Karla’s areas of expertise...

  • Inter-agency contracts
  • Special projects
  • Agency ‘Lean’ coordinator
  • Shellfish program
  • Cost-share
Alison picture

Alison Halpern, Ph.D.

Puget Sound Regional Manager | Office: (360) 407-6209 | Cell: 360-280-5556

Alison joined the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) in July 2018. She came to the SCC after working for the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board for thirteen years, first as its Education Specialist and then its Executive Secretary. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY, where she studied the ecology of a freshwater invasive plant. Although Alison and her husband Curt are New England natives, they have lived in the Midwest, Southern California, and Upstate New York before calling the Pacific Northwest home.

Areas of expertise coming soon!

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Communications Coordinator | Phone: (360) 407-6936
Cell: (360) 701-9455 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Laura holds a Master’s degree in environmental communication from Prescott College and a BA in film and video from Grand Valley State University. Her graduate research explored how to design conservation campaigns that foster stewardship behavior, particularly in rural, low-income communities. Laura grew up in a small, rural town in northeast Michigan along the shores of Lake Huron. She moved to Washington in 2006 and enjoys the activities, beauty, and food afforded by the state’s diverse landscapes.

Laura’s areas of expertise...

  • Annual Report publication
  • Adobe Creative Suite (publication layout and design)
  • Community-based social marketing
  • Editing/proofreading
  • Facebook/social media
  • Grant writing
  • Messaging / talking points
  • Presentation design
  • Program fact sheets
  • Targeted/persuasive communication design
  • Web content and design (WordPress)
Shana Joy

Shana Joy

South Central Regional Manager | Phone: (360) 480-2078 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Shana Joy joined the Conservation Commission in July 2014. Prior to joining the Commission she worked for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources as the Executive Director of the Natural Resource Conservation and Development Board, a position she held for five years. In this role Shana worked closely with 12 diverse conservation districts statewide as well as state and federal agency leaders to advance conservation districts in Alaska. Shana graduated with honors from Oregon State University with a B.S. in natural resource management focusing on fish and wildlife conservation. A native of Pend Oreille County, Shana enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, fishing, and birding. Shana provides service and support as a regional manager to these conservation districts: Benton, Central Klickitat, Eastern Klickitat, Franklin, Kittitas County, North Yakima, South Yakima, and Walla Walla County.

Shana’s areas of expertise...

  • Policy/program development and implementation
  • Puget Sound District Caucus liaison
  • Puget Sound programs
  • Partnership development
  • National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) National Officer
Ray Ledgerwood

Ray Ledgerwood

Regional Manager Coordinator/Program Facilitator | Phone: (208) 301-4728 | Fax: (509) 397-5096

Ray Ledgerwood has been the Program Facilitator since 2003, providing training and facilitating a wide variety of sessions for the Commission and districts. Ray is a native of Eastern Washington and graduate of WSU with a B.S. Degree in Agricultural Mechanization and minor in Business Administration. He has worked with conservation districts and their associations since 1979 including working as SCC’s Eastern Washington regional manager and working for the National Association of Conservation Districts as the Pacific Region Representative, the Director of Capacity Building Services and the Director of Leadership Services. Ray provides service and support to these conservation districts along with managing the Regional Manager staff: Asotin County, Palouse, Palouse Rock Lake, Pine Creek, Pomeroy, and Whitman.

Ray’s areas of expertise...

  • Regional manager supervision and coordination
  • Coordinating outreach to conservation districts
  • District operations, planning, and reporting
  • Good Governance coordination
  • Commission budget development and long-range planning
  • Coordinated Resource Management
  • Facilitation
  • Liaison with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and local work groups
Alicia McClendon

Alicia McClendon

Administrative Assistant | Phone: (360) 407-6200 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Alicia joined the Conservation Commission in May 2014 as an Administrative Assistant. Alicia grew up in the Olympia area, with stints of time spent in Germany and Alaska due to being part of a military family. She graduated from Tumwater High School in Tumwater, WA in June 2009 and went to work at Krazan & Associates, Inc., an Engineering and Consulting firm in Puyallup, WA as an Administrative Assistant. Prior to being hired on at the Commission, Alicia was an Intermittent at the Department of Ecology, filling in and helping out at reception desks all over the building. Alicia provides agency administrative support to District and Commission staff, and she oversees inventory and archiving. She is also the agency Safety Officer and Service Coordinator.

Alicia’s areas of expertise...

  • Agency administrative support
  • Travel planning
  • Meeting coordination
  • Inventory
  • Archiving
  • Receipt books
  • Agency Safety Officer
  • Agency Transportation Coordinator
  • Agency Service Coordinator
  • Web assistance
  • Friday Updates
Jack Myrick

Jack Myrick

Irrigation Efficiencies | Phone: (509) 301-2498 | Fax: (509) 301-2498

Jack Myrick comes to the SCC from Walla Walla Community College where he was an instructor in the Irrigation Technology/Water Management Program. He brings 40 years of experience in large scale agricultural irrigation system design, construction and management, and has worked in several states and foreign countries.

Jack’s areas of expertise...

  • Water rights investigation
  • Irrigation system design and evaluation
  • Fish screen design for pumped systems
  • Pump station design
  • Training sessions on irrigation water management and pump and irrigation system design
Ron Shultz

Ron Shultz

Director of Policy and Inter-governmental Relations | Phone: (360) 407-7507 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Ron Shultz is the Director of Policy and Inter-governmental Relations. He is the agency lead on the Puget Sound Partnership, wetland mitigation issues, and he also supports the Office of Farmland Preservation. Ron was formerly the Director of Programs and the Acting Executive Director at the Puget Sound Partnership and was the Natural Resources Advisor to Governor Gary Locke. He was also Policy Director for Audubon Washington from 1995 to 2001. Ron is an attorney and a fourth generation Washingtonian.

Ron’s areas of expertise...

  • Lead policy director for all programs implemented at the SCC, including:
    • Voluntary Stewardship Program
    • Puget Sound District Caucus
    • Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
  • Agency Tribal Liaison
  • Shellfish project implementation
Stu Trefry

Stu Trefry

Conservation District Development and Capacity Manager / Southwest Regional Manager | Phone: (360) 407-6531 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Stu Trefry is a graduate of WSU. He has worked in the agricultural and natural resource policy arena since 1981, providing guidance on water quantity and quality, wetlands, endangered species, energy, forest practices, growth management, and related congressional and legislative issues. He represents the National Association of State Conservation Agencies on the National Association of Conservation Districts Urban and Community Resource Policy Group and is a 1992 graduate of and seminar coordinator for the Washington AgForestry Leadership Program. Stu provides direct service and support to these conservation districts: Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis County, Pacific, and Wahkiakum. As the Conservation District Development and Capacity Manager, Stu also develops and implements ongoing agency leadership and training curriculum for district supervisors and staff.

Stu’s areas of expertise...

  • Conservation district capacity building
  • District supervisor orientation and training
  • District employee training
  • Assisting regional managers on capacity building
  • District special assessments, rates and charges, long-range planning
  • Washington Association of District Employees (WADE) liaison
  • Urban and Community Conservation Committees (Washington Association of Conservation Districts and National Association of Conservation Districts)
  • National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) Policy Committee
Melissa Vander Linden

Melissa Vander Linden

Program Specialist | Phone: (360) 407-7617 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Melissa grew up in Thurston County and has been with the Conservation Commission since November 2013. As a Fiscal Analyst, she works with the financial team to administer programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Melissa also works closely with the Conservation Practice Data System (CPDS).

Melissa’s areas of expertise...

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
  • Conservation Practice Data System (CPDS) coordinator
Courtney Woods

Courtney Woods

Grants / Programs | Phone: (360) 407-6114 | Fax: (360) 407-6215

Courtney graduated from Saint Martin’s University with a bachelors degree in Business Administration. As a program specialist, she works with all programs, which include the Implementation, Puget Sound, Engineering, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).

Courtney’s areas of expertise...

  • Shellfish Program
  • Non-Shellfish Program
  • Implementation Program
  • Technical Service Providers Program
  • Irrigation Efficiencies
  • Cost-share
  • Agency ‘Lean’ coordinator