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Ohio River Basin Alliance Steering Committee

Harry Stone, Ph.D., (Ohio), ORBA Steering Committee Chairperson and Working Group Leader for Sustainable Growth and Competitiveness

Dr. Harry Stone (Ohio) is a Certified Senior Ecologist who retired after a 38 year career in applied research, teaching, economic development, and business management. He serves as the Working Group Leader for Sustainable Growth and Competitiveness. He has contributed to the USACE Ohio River Basin climate change and adaptation study and the America’s Watershed Initiative Ohio River report card. Dr. Stone’s academic credentials include a Ph.D. (Miami University, multidisciplinary in ecology, political sci-ence, and economics), MBA (University of North Carolina - Greensboro), and an MS (Vanderbilt University, plant physiology).

Sarah Hippensteel Hall, Ph.D., Miami Conservancy District (Ohio), Working Group Leader for Restoration and Protection; State Government

Dr. Hippensteel Hall is the Manager of Watershed Partnerships. In this role she repre-sents a century-old watershed-based regional government agency that facilitates many watershed-wide coalitions. These coalitions include the protection of people and proper-ty from floods, preservation of ground and surface waters, and promotion of river and riverfront recreation.

Kari Mackenbach, ms consultants, inc. (Ohio), Working Group Leader for Enter-prise and Infrastructure; Industry

Ms. Mackenbach is the Director of Sustainability for ms consultants. Ms. Mackenbach leads all sustainability efforts for the company. Ms. Mackenbach has over 20 years of experience in many facets of sustainability. In particular her expertise in green infra-structure (GI) applications is well-known. One of Ms. Mackenbach’s key responsibilities’ is to leverage lessons learned from other cities across the County whether its GI design innovations or new O&M strategies and work to standardize these approaches within our overall deliverables. Mackenbach’s background as a Board Certified Environmental Scientist (BCES), Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), ENVISION SP Certified Profes-sional and as an American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) ac-credited professional provides her with unique capabilities to work with communities and other professionals on multiple levels as it relates to sustainability and more specifically green infrastructure initiatives.

Ted Lozier, PE, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (Ohio), Working Group Leader for Water Management and Availability; State Government

Ted Lozier is the Chief of Conservation at the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Dis-trict (MWCD) where he leads the MWCD’s conservation operations — which includes forestry management, agricultural activities, water quality testing and water resources management, mineral resources management and building and maintaining partner-ships with other agencies and organizations involved in flood damage reduction and conservation objectives. Prior to MWCD, Ted worked for two major oil companies, a regional engineering consulting company and has 10 years of self-employment experi-ence. He has also worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for over 27 years where he served in many capacities including Chief of the Division of Soil and Water Resources.  He has a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from The Ohio State University, and he is a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio. 

Laurel Cornell, Ph.D., Ohio River Parks Project and Indiana University (Indiana); NGO/Academia

Dr. Laurel Cornell is the principal of the Ohio River Parks Project, an organization that introduces people to the Ohio River by identifying the parks where they can encounter it. In Indiana, for example, there are four State parks that abut the Ohio, but there are more than 60 other parks, including town parks and Army Corps of Engineers locks and dam parks. This project is presented in images, text, maps, photographs, and videos at the website https://ohioriverparksproject.com. Professor Cornell holds graduate de-grees in demography (The Johns Hopkins University) and in landscape architecture (University of Virginia). As a faculty member at Indiana University in the Departments of Sociology, Studio Art, and East Asian Languages and Cultures she did research first on the population of Japan and later on the history of road design in the United States. She has been involved in many nonprofit organizations in Bloomington, Indiana, including the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Tree Commission for the City of Bloomington, and the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market.

Brian Farkas, West Virginia Conservation Agency; State Government

Brian Farkas is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Conservation Agency. Addi-tional government service includes West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and De-partment of Environmental Protection.

Martin (Marty) T. Hettel, American Commercial Barge (Indiana); Industry

Marty Hettel started in the inland waterways industry as a deckhand in 1980. He knows the industry profoundly, having held positions in logistics, purchasing, operations, insur-ance/claims, personnel, shipping & receiving, freight sales, and regulatory. The last 19 years he served with AEP River Operations in the capacity of logistics, sales, and regu-latory. American Commercial Barge Lines (ACBL) recently purchased AEP River Op-erations and ACBL named Mr. Hettel to Vice President of Government Affairs where he currently serves. Mr. Hettel served as Past President of the Illinois River Carriers Asso-ciation, Ohio River Basin Alliance Steering Committee Member since 2010, Board and Executive Committee Member of Waterways Council, Inc., Chair of the Inland Water-ways User Board, and Board Member of the River Industry Executive Task Force. He also serves on the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Inland Water Transportation and Member of the US Chamber of Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation, Infrastructure, and Logistics.

John King, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection; State Gov-ernment

John King is an Environmental Resource Analyst with West Virginia Department of Envi-ronmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Office of Environmental Advocate (OEA). In 2010, WVDEP created two new positions within the advocate office due to an increased public awareness of environmental issues. John serves the northern region of the state and provides special assistance to communities and individuals who need help resolving en-vironmental issues or finding pertinent information. John graduated from Marshall Uni-versity in 2002 with a BA in Criminal Justice and earned an MS in Physical Science in 2007.  Prior experience includes serving as an Environmental Inspector within the Divi-sion of Water and Waste Management. He is a founding member of the Morris Creek Watershed Association (MCWA) located in the Upper Kanawha Valley.

Chris Lorentz, Thomas More College (Kentucky); Academia

Dr. Chris Lorentz is a Professor of Biology at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, KY. He teaches a variety of classes including Aquatic Biology, Genetics and Evolution, among others. He has been awarded several teaching grants focusing on the improve-ment of K-12 STEM education throughout the region. Alongside his teaching, he serves as the Director of the Center for Ohio River Research and Education at the College’s Biology Field Station. Through the Center, he and his students conduct research pro-jects related to the ecology of the Ohio River, particularly with fish and mussel populations. In addition, he works closely with the USEPA and US Fish & Wildlife Services in the areas of aquatic toxicology and water quality issues. 

Chuck Somerville, Marshall University (West Virginia); Academia

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Somerville served as Chairperson of the Ohio River Basin Alliance (2014-2015) and is an Ex Officio member of the Steering Committee (2016-2017). He is Dean of the College of Science at Marshall University and an aquatic microbial ecologist with research experiences ranging from hydrocarbon bioremediation through surface water microbial communities to use of satellite imagery to detect and predict the distri-bution of phytoplankton in large rivers. Dr. Somerville serves as a Member of the US Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board and on the Steering Committee of America’s Watershed Initiative.

John Stark, The Nature Conservancy (Ohio); Nonprofit

John Stark has been employed as the Ohio Freshwater Conservation Director for the Nature Conservancy for the past 9 years. During this time he has been integral in ef-forts to restore stream flows, contain invasive fish species, develop a statewide stream and wetland mitigation program, and more recently improve water quality through the expansion of the 4R nutrient stewardship certification in Ohio. On a broader scale, John has served as the chair of ORBA’s Restoration and Protection Workgroup, contributed to the IWR Ohio River Basin Climate Change Adaptation Pilot Report and the Appala-chian LCC, is the current Chair of the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, and is a core member of TNC’s newly minted Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin Nutrient Re-duction Project.

Mike Steinmaus, Appalachian Energy and Environment Partnership (Ohio); Non-profit

Mike is a member and past president of the Appalachian Energy and Environment Partnership (formerly known as the Eastern Coal Regional Roundtable). Mike brings the perspective of this non-profit organization that serves mine-scarred watersheds through training, capacity building and providing a collective voice for under-served communi-ties. Mike is retired after 42 years as an environmental planner (having been employed by an international consulting firm, founded and managed an environmental consulting firm and worked for a non-profit organization as a watershed coordinator). He is an emeritus member of the Ecological Society of America. He has served on the ORBA Board since 2012. He currently resides in Ohio where he operates a bed and breakfast and llama farm.