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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614

Staff

Management


Jennifer Fish

Director 
Jennifer Fish has been the Director at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District for 20 years, she has led the development of the organization into one of the largest districts in Ohio. She directs and supports a staff of 17 natural resource professionals with the mission of promoting responsible land use decisions for the conservation of soil and water resources. This is accomplished through conservation easement acquisition, storm water program planning, storm water pollution prevention, development plan reviews, construction site management, green infrastructure and stream restoration demonstration projects, stream resource and natural resource mapping, and education and outreach to county residents.

Jennifer has a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College. Jennifer has co-authored two published articles: “An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Residing Near a Rural and Recreational Greenway” in the Journal of the Community Development Society and “Perceptions of Landowners Toward Natural Resource Conservation in the Big Walnut Watershed” in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. She is also certified as a Certified Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Specialist through EnviroCert International, Inc. and serves on the board of the Ohio Stormwater Association.

Josh Garver

GIS & Special Projects Director
Josh Garver is the GIS & Special Projects Director at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. Previously he was GIS natural resources specialist and member of the geomatics team, where he provided technology guidance and support to staff, maintains GIS data layers, and was involved in a variety of projects providing GIS expertise and support. Josh also coordinates GIS-based projects with various Franklin County agencies and local municipalities, which focus on improving water quality and meeting requirements of the NPDES permit held by Franklin County and its townships.

Josh has a Master’s Certificate in GIS from North Carolina State University, a minor in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a BS in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Franklin Soil and Water, Josh worked several years in landscape architecture and planning firms as a project landscape architect, designing and managing a variety of urban, park and GIS-centric projects.

Kyle Wilson

Conservation Program Manager
Kyle Wilson is the Conservation Program Manager at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where he is responsible for the administration of Franklin Soil and Water’s conservation implementation programs. Kyle works to acquire new, and inspect current conservation easements, as well as organizing volunteer tree plantings and clean-ups on conservation lands. He also sits on the District 3 Natural Resources Assistance Council and is the incoming Chair of the Darby Accord Open Space Advisory Committee.

In addition to grant writing and managing conservation implementation projects, Kyle provides technical assistance in riparian land management, stream restoration, and agricultural best management practices. Kyle is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Aaron Hebert

GIS Manager
Aaron Hebert is the GIS specialist and a member of the geomatics team at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where his responsibilities include coordination with GIS staff in managing data related to current programs and projects.

Aaron graduated from Western State College of Colorado, with a BA in history with a geography minor. He has also completed a GIS-certificate program at Columbus State Community College. Prior to joining Franklin Soil and Water, Aaron interned with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, editing land parcel data in eastern Ohio.





Administration


Elizabeth Veljanoski

Finance and Payroll Specialist
Elizabeth Veljanoski (aka Liz) is the Financial & Payroll Specialist at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. She is responsible for account management, payroll, and vendor relations. Liz prepares financial reports while working closely with the board treasurer to ensure proper review and documentation.

Liz graduated cum laude from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in public affairs with dual concentrations in public administration and health administration, as well as a minor in business administration. She holds prior experience in accounts payable, HR, payroll, and grant reporting.



Kylie Davis

Administrative Specialist
Kylie is the newest team member to join our staff and will be filling the role of Administrative Specialist. She is responsible for general administrative office support, developing and maintaining office systems, and assisting the financial and payroll specialist, but more than that she will be the first friendly face you see as you enter our office.


Her background experience is focused on customer service, client needs, and building and growing professional relationships. Kylie has completed her prerequisites towards her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science through Columbus State Community College and looks forward to working alongside our staff and environmental partners for continued education experiences.


Outreach & Environmental Education


Kori Gasaway

Outreach Program Specialist
Kori Gasaway is responsible for developing and maintaining the District’s outreach programs including Get Grassy, PUP and Be the Change for Clean Water. Kori is also the primary writer of the District’s Update to Partner e-newsletter, and contributes many articles and program information for our other publications. She also helps design publications and other materials for programs. You may also see her representing the District at local events and trade shows.

Kori received her BS in Evolution & Ecology from The Ohio State University and worked as a Naturalist prior to joining the Franklin Soil and Water team. She is currently a volunteer at the Ohio Wildlife Center where she cares for and educates the public on birds of prey.


Kristin Hilson

Marketing and Public Outreach Coordinator
Kristin Hilson is the Marketing and Public Outreach Coordinator where her responsibilities include PR to local communities and partners, coordination of public outreach and events, website & social media updates, and administration & coordination of the Community Backyards rebate program. She also coordinates any special events like our annual meeting held in our office.

Kristin graduated from ITT Technical Institute with an associates degree in multimedia design and is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Marketing. She manages our public newsletter Frankly Speaking and the monthly outreach Backyard Conversation articles sent to the public, coordinates the availability of our public outreach handouts and brochures, and assists with document design and graphics. If you are looking for any information on soil and water handouts that Franklin Soil and Water offers to the public, contact Kristin.


Linda Pettit

Environmental Education Specialist
Linda Pettit is the Environmental Education Specialist at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. She has held this role since 1994, providing presentations about soil and water resources to school classes, after school, scout and summer camp groups, as well as in-service and pre-service trainings for formal and non-formal educators. Linda coordinates TREE, Terrific Resources for Environmental Education, which is a consortium of agencies that provide environmental education in central Ohio. Linda is also the Region 1 Director for the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO) and serves on the board for the School Gardens of Ohio (S-GO) and Project Learning Tree Ohio (PLT).

Linda earned a BA in Nature Interpretation from the University of Findlay and a biology teacher certification and MS in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Linda received the award as Facilitator of the Year from Project WILD Ohio in 2017, the Outstanding Educator of the Year from Project Learning Tree-Ohio in 2018 and Educator of the Year from the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation District, Area 5. She has worked with students of all ages and truly enjoys educating people from all walks of life about the importance of our soil and water resources.

Amy Tressler

Environmental Education Assistant
Amy joined Franklin Soil and Water Conservation district in April 2019 as the Environmental Education Assistant. Teaching school/scout/camp programs, facilitating teacher workshops and assisting with the development with the development of educational resources. Amy is also responsibile for helping put together the SWIFT e-newsletters and our new SWIFTlet's.

Amy graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Wildlife Management and from the University of South Carolina with a MAT Elementary Education. She has worked as both a classroom teacher and nonformal educator with environmental education and stewawardship at the forefront of her teaching. Amy is a state certified teacher and is passionate about facilitaing engaging learning experiences that encourages students to make meaningful connections between classroom content and the community/environment in which they live.



Conservation Assistance


Sara Ernst

Conservation Implementation Specialist
Sara Ernst is the Conservation Implementation Specialist at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where she leads backyard conservation programs with a focus on rain gardens and other storm water management practices. Sara has worked as a field botanist in Florida and Pennsylvania, performed environmental education in various parts of Ohio and Central America, and led several Greater Cincinnati schools and communities in the installation of rain gardens.

Sara earned her BA in botany from Miami University, studied environmental education at Antioch University, and received her Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. In addition, Sara has served as a volunteer with Americorps and Peace Corps. Sara is particularly interested in creating and preserving habitats so kids everywhere have a creek to play in, and to return to when they’re big and in need of reminding.

Brooke Frusher

Urban Conservation Specialist
Brooke Frusher is a Urban Conservation Specialist at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where she works with county, township and municipal partners to manage and maintain the technical aspects of the NPDES stormwater permit requirements and issues within their community and with their residents. Brooke is involved with the review of construction plans, ordinance reviews, and comprehensive plan and master plan development for the inclusion of sustainable development practices that will protect the existing ecosystem services our natural resources provide.

Brooke graduated from Hocking College with an AAS in GeoEnvironmental Science, where she focused on subsurface processes and the procedures for monitoring and remediating soil and water resources impacted by hazardous substances and petroleum products. Brooke is a Certified Erosion, Sediment and Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI) and is a member of the International Erosion Control Association.

Kurt Keljo

Watershed Resource Specialist
Kurt Keljo is a Watershed Implementation Coordinator at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where his responsibilities include implementing water quality protection and improvement projects in Franklin County. He works with jurisdictions, agencies and private landowners to identify both potential projects and funding options. As part of his work, he coordinates the District’s volunteer program, including volunteer sampling work in Franklin County’s creeks.

Prior to joining Franklin Soil and Water, Kurt was a watershed coordinator for Blacklick Creek at Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and was the volunteer Chair of the Friends of Blacklick Creek for 12 years. He also worked for fifteen years as the University Pastor at Capital University. His educational background includes a BS in zoology from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on limnology, a MDiv from Luther Seminary, a PhD from Emory University in theology and personality, and a MS in environmental science from The Ohio State University.

Ryan Pilewski

Watershed Resource Specialist
Ryan Pilewski is one of our Watershed Resource Specialists at Franklin Soil and Water and is responsible for identifying conservation opportunities, engaging conservation partners, developing watershed data and supporting stormwater program management with the end goal of improving stream resources and water quality in watersheds throughout Franklin County with a special emphasis on the Olentangy River and Alum Creek watersheds.

Ryan graduated with honors from Slippery Rock University, with a BS in Park and Resource Management, with a concentration in open space planning, and a MCRP with a concentration in watershed management from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Franklin Soil and Water, he conducted behavioral surveys of the gray wolf and common loon in Wisconsin and Michigan at Northland College. Ryan has also worked as a Recreation Planning Associate, evaluating federal recreation lands within the Allegheny National Forest.

David Reutter

Urban Conservation Specialist
David Reutter is an Urban Conservation Specialist at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, where he works with with county, township and municipal partners to manage and maintain the technical aspects of the NPDES storm water permit requirements and issues within their community and with their residents. David is involved with the review of construction plans, ordinance reviews, and comprehensive plan and master plan development for the inclusion of sustainable development practices that will protect the existing ecosystem services our natural resources provide.

David is a Certified Erosion, Sediment and Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI) and is a member of the International Erosion Control Association, the Water Management Association of Ohio and the Water Environment Federation.


Erika Towne

Stormwater Program Coordinator
Erika Rowland joined our team in 2016 and kept our district organized and running smoothly as our Administrative Specialist, all while finishing her degree in Natural Resources. Recently, Erika accepted the role of Stormwater Program Coordinator, where her primary responsibilities will now include assisting with the urban conservation program development and implementation, and planning and reporting activities with the urban conservation team. She will be leading the expansion of the Water Quality Partnership program, planning and reporting activities for MS4 communities, and assisting managment with working agreements and mid and end-of-year reporting.

Erika has a Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from The Ohio State University and a GIS certificate from Columbus State Community College.



Stream Resource and Watershed Mapping and Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination



John Bailey

Geomatics Field Coordinator
John Bailey is a Geomatics Field Coordinator and a member of the geomatics team at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District where he works with local municipalities on the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination portion of the NPDES Phase II permit. John is involved with dry weather screening, pollution investigations, and numerous mapping projects.

John received a BS in Natural Resources Management with a specialization in Fisheries Management from The Ohio State University and an AS in Fish and Wildlife Management from Hocking Technical College. Prior to working with Franklin Soil and Water, John worked in the environmental consulting field, landscape industry, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



Sacha Mkheidze

Geomatics Field Coordinator
Sacha Mkheidze is a Geomatics Field Coordinator and a member of the geomatics team at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. Sacha has earned an associates degree in ecology from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada and a BS in biology from the University of Wisconsin. He also minored in GIS while at UWS.

Sacha has spent over ten years working with a variety of bird species from all around the US. He has assisted in research efforts with the Smithsonian Institution throughout the east coast and has spent several years heading up a raptor research station in Duluth, MN.



Jeff Pierce

GIS Natural Resources Coordinator
Jeff Pierce is the GIS Natural Resources Coordinator and a member of the geomatics team at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. Jeff graduated from Wilmington College (OH) with a BA in English and Communications and also holds a MS in Educational Leadership and a Master of Environmental Sciences in Applied Ecology and Resource Analysis from Miami University.

Jeff is a past member of the NRCS statewide GIS committee, a former Chair of the Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program’s statewide hydrology committee, and a former voting member of the Heart of Ohio RC&D Council. He has been with Franklin Soil and Water since 1995 and founded the first soil and water conservation district GIS program in Ohio.