Board of Directors

Members of the OEC’s Board of Directors are volunteers from across Ohio committed to defending and protecting Ohio’s natural environment. They each serve as individuals and their work affiliations are for informational purposes only. They are all voting and independent members of the Board.

 

Rich Shank

Board President
Columbus

Rich has been active in management and administration of environmental programs and development of regulatory policy for the past 40 years. He has been employed within state government, private corporations, consulting and a non-profit conservation organization. Through it all, he has been with the OEC and has developed an appreciation for the organization’s ability to influence environmental policy in Ohio. As the Board President, Rich is committed to seeing the organization reach its full potential.

 

Jeniece Brock

Policy and Advocacy Director, Ohio Organizing Collaborative
Columbus

Jeniece LaTrece Brock was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and is currently the Policy and Advocacy Director at the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and the Chair of Ohio’s largest grassroots committee for redistricting where she founded the Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission. 

Jeniece is an advocate for the design and enactment of policies that improve and protect the well-being of underserved communities, and previously worked for Minority Behavioral Health Group where she built and managed the prevention department to address health disparities in Summit County. She earned a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis on Urban Health and Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Human Development from Bowling Green State University.

Jeniece actively works with national, state and local public servants, activists, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations to develop programs and policies that benefit all Ohioans and the members of her community.

 

Jade Davis

Vice President of External Affairs, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland)
Cleveland

As Vice President of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Jade manages legislative, regulatory and government affairs, communicates programming, engages community stakeholders, and develops strategic communications initiatives. Prior to his role at the Port of Cleveland, he served as the Senior Director of State Affairs and Outreach at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) in Washington DC.

 

 

 

Marianne Eppig

Trustee, Sears-Swetland Foundation
Cleveland

Marianne has worked with organizations dedicated to sustainable development for over a decade. These include the Urban Land Institute, where she is currently a director of advisory services related to sustainable development and resilience, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Greater Ohio Policy Center, GreenCityBlueLake Institute, and BrownFlynn, a corporate sustainability consulting firm. She also serves as on the boards of the Sears-Swetland Foundation and the Swetland Center for Environmental Health, both of which focus on the link between health and our environments, as well as the Nature Conservancy in Colorado. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Dartmouth College and master’s degrees in city and regional planning and in public administration from The Ohio State University.

 

Dan Gray 

Director of Regional Strategies, Citizens Utility Board
Cleveland

Daniel M. Gray serves as Director of Regional Strategies for Citizens Utility Board, a nationally recognized pro-clean energy consumer advocacy non-profit.  In that role, he manages the Consumer Advocacy HUB for CUB’s Consumer Education and Research Fund, leading the strategic development of HUB, managing the budget, and building and maintaining relationships with HUB partners and funders.  Prior to joining CUB, Mr. Gray co-founded and served as COO of EmpowerSaves a digitally-driven energy efficiency marketing and sales company and helped lead a team that grew the company to over $1,000,000 in sales.  In addition, he ran and consulted on over two dozen grassroots political campaigns including working at the Democratic National Committee.  Mr. Gray is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and received his MBA from The Ohio State University.

 

 

Peter R. Griesinger

Producer/Director, Griesinger Films
Gates Mills

In 1969, when the Cuyahoga River was burning and OEC was being born, Peter was on a 10,000 mile film and photo safari (no guns!) in Southern Africa. As a result, his budding environmentalism bloomed into a deep and abiding commitment to Mother Nature. After graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, (1972), Peter made two independent 16mm documentaries on the patriotic, self-reliant culture of West Virginia, one of which, “Small Business My Way”, was a national PBS primetime special in 1983. Peter continued to make contract and independent documentaries, including the “Lessons of the Vietnam War” and a series in the 1990’s,“Natural Capital Speaks”, on the newly emerging science of Ecological Economics. More recently, Peter was a community and environmental activist that helped win long and contentious battles over the preservation of Whiskey Island in Cleveland and the construction of a new library in his hometown. OEC’s commitment to taking on climate change – it is changing faster than we are – and OEC’s profound dedication to helping sustain a flourishing web of life for all who call Ohio home is what it is all about and why Peter is all in.

 

 

Andy Jones, MS, CPM

Board Member, Athens Hocking Recycling Center
Rockbridge

Andy Jones is a longtime advocate for water quality and solar power initiatives in Southeast Ohio. She spent the early half of her career as a Public Health Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian for the Ohio Department of Health. Later she worked in Public Health Care Policy for the Ohio Department of Medicaid . She holds a BS in human nutrition from Ohio State University and an MS in human nutrition from Ohio University. Now retired, she serves as a volunteer for a wealth of organizations including the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, Athens-Hocking Recycling Center, Hocking Hills Tourism Association, Bishop Educational Gardens, and the OSU Extension (Hocking County).

 

 

Rebecca Karason, CEM 

Director of Energy and Sustainability, Huntington Bank
Dayton

Rebecca Karason oversees energy and sustainability across Huntington’s eight state footprint. Environmental and social stewardship are critical elements in the business decisions that Huntington makes on a daily basis. An energy expert with over a decade of energy efficiency experience, Rebecca has a diverse background in sales, account management and program outreach. Prior to joining Huntington, she served in various capacities at American Electric Power including program manager for the Business Incentive Program. Throughout her career, Rebecca has worked with customers and contractors across the state of Ohio helping them develop and implement energy efficiency projects for their facilities. Committed to connecting colleagues to sustainability, Rebecca created the first-ever Huntington Green Team, a cross functional group of colleagues that generates, exchanges and evaluates ideas to increase Huntington’s environmental performance and to lower its carbon footprint. Rebecca earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati receiving a professional certificate in public opinion and survey research, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a certified energy manager and serves on the board for the Columbus Association of Energy Engineers.

 

 

William Katzin, MD, PhD

Pathologist, AmeriPath (Retired)
Cleveland

Willie Katzin is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pathology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where he also received his MD and a PhD in Biochemistry. He recently retired from a practice of surgical pathology at the Ameripath Cleveland Laboratory where he served as the laboratory medical director. His medical interests and expertise focus on gastrointestinal pathology and hematopathology. He continues to teach at the CWRU School of Medicine. For many years Willie has been an advocate for environmental health, recognizing the important connections between a healthy environment and human health and wellness. He has served on the board of directors of the Ohio Environmental Council since 2005 and is currently the chair of the board finance committee and treasurer of the organization.

 

 

 

Carol Kauffman

Lead Sustainability Strategist, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Carol Kauffman has devoted her career to environmental and social responsibility with a special focus on water quality, human rights, and equity of access. From 2013 to 2017 she was based in Cambodia, designing pro-poor development projects, helping businesses develop more responsible practices, and responding to natural disasters in the region. For the past several years, she has focused on environmental and social sustainability within the corporate sector, building programs and strategies, leading philanthropic efforts, and engaging in external relations with a wide range of stakeholders, from NGOs and government to customers and consultants. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Taylor University and Eastern University.

 

 

Ben Kessler

Mayor of Bexley
Bexley

Since 2012, Ben has served as mayor of the City of Bexley. In this role, Mayor Kessler has championed sustainability initiatives, including a bike rental program, a single-use plastic bag ban, and investments in electric vehicle infrastructure. Next, Mayor Kessler plans to expand the city’s recycling program, including the creation of a community drop-off point for recyclables not accepted by central Ohio processors. For his dedication to environmental initiatives, Mayor Kessler has been recognized by various civic organizations, including the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

 

 

Krista Magaw, MS

Former Executive Director, Tecumseh Land Trust 
Yellow Springs

With a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Duke University, Magaw’s work for Tecumseh Land Trust is a great fit with her values and interests, as well as skills. Exploring potential preservation projects and monitoring of priorities with conservation easements give her a chance to get out on the land and learn from land owners and naturalists, as well as TLT’s experienced board and staff. Historic preservation and restoration has long been an avocation for Krista and her husband, a history professor.

 

 

Graham Mitchell, MES

Chief, Office of Federal Facilities Oversight, Ohio EPA (Retired)
Cincinnati

Graham was born in Virginia and grew up in SW Ohio.  He received his education at Miami University with a B.S. in Zoology and a Masters in Environmental Science.  He worked for the Ohio EPA for 29 years where he started in Surface Water and then transitioned to the Superfund type of investigations and cleanups of federal facilities in Ohio. Notable sites include: DOE Fernald, Mound and Portsmouth; DOD Wright Patterson AFB, River Valley Schools (Marion).  Graham retired in 2006 and has since been involved with many non profits such as The Cincinnati Nature Center where he was a board member for nine years including three as Board Chair. He also was a Three Valley Conservation (Land Trust) board member for six years. Graham joined the OEC Board in 2012 and continues to be most impressed with their quality staff and the amazing work they do improving the environment in Ohio.

 

Francisco “Paco” Ollervides, PhD

Director of Ocean Climate Justice, Ocean Conservancy
Caledonia

Dr. Ollervides’s portfolio focuses on the equity and justice aspects of Ocean Conservancy’s climate work and the plastics-climate nexus, as well as a nascent Shipping & Ports/ Justice initiative to aid the decarbonization of the sector. He serves as co-chair to the JEDI Task Force and is a member of the Equity Advisory and Action Committee within the Healing our Waters Coalition. He has been an advisor to the Ohio Environmental Leaders Initiative for the 2022 cohort.

Dr. Ollervides is better known as “Paco,” a common nickname in Mexico where he was born and raised. For over 22 years, Paco has worked in the nonprofit world, specifically developing leadership, and building capacity of individuals in environmental and conservation organizations in USA and throughout Latin America. He served as the first Executive Director for Green Leadership Trust. This is a network of people of color and Indigenous people who serve on environmental boards and proactively build the environmental movement’s power. Prior he worked for River Network as Leadership Development Manager helping leaders in the Great Lakes region think and act strategically, equitably, and inclusively by improving their efficiency and efficacy.  Paco served as Senior Latin America and Canada Field Coordinator with the Waterkeeper Alliance advising numerous nonprofit advocacy groups throughout the region. He has also served as Field Director at the Center for Coastal Studies in San Carlos, Mexico. He has been a resident lecturer and adviser in the areas of Economic and Ethical Issues in Sustainable Development, Coastal Ecology, and Resource Ecology and Management (Boston University).

Paco’s main interest is marine conservation, equity, and strengthening individuals to ensure organizations’ continuity and success in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, board development, and succession planning. He has participated in and presented at numerous professional and academic conferences, both in the U.S. and internationally. Paco is a biochemical engineer and marine bio-acoustician by training. He has conducted field work assessing the impacts of boat noise on gray whale behavior. Paco holds both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department at Texas A&M University. Paco lives outside Marion, Ohio. In his free time, he likes to go on long walks in the woods with his entire family, travel, and savor local cuisine and history.

 

William M. Ondrey Gruber

Attorney, Director of Law, City of Shaker Heights
Shaker Heights

An attorney-at-law who has served as in-house counsel for the City of Shaker Heights since 2002, and as Director of Law since 2012. He previously served as an attorney for the City of Cleveland for 16 years, including as Chief of the Environment, Health and Regulatory Compliance Section. Bill has also served as legal counsel to a variety of non-profit organizations such as the Ohio Environmental Council, AARP, Edgemont Neighborhood Coalition (Dayton, Ohio), and Citizen Power, Inc., in utility and energy matters before the PUCO, U.S. Department of Energy and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He has helped several cities form electric or natural gas aggregation programs. He also has served in extensive grassroots organizing and leadership roles with non-profit neighborhood, environmental and waterfront planning organizations. For the past 16 years he has volunteered with the grassroots Dike 14 Nature Preserve Committee in Cleveland. Previously he served as a member of the Cleveland Industrial Air Pollution Advisory Committee and the Neighborhood Environmental Coalition, as a board member of the non-profit Cleveland Recycling Center, Inc., and as an Executive Committee member of both the Ohio and Northeast Ohio Group of the Sierra Club. He was also a prior member of the Task Force for Lake Erie Coastal Zone Management sponsored by the Ohio Coastal Resource Management Project.

 

Sam Schwab

Implementation Specialist, CropZilla Software
Reynoldsburg

Sam earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to that he grew up on his family’s specialty crop farm in Northern Ohio where he still plays an active role as a managing partner. In his professional career, Sam works for the agricultural technology startup CropZilla. He is also the owner and manager of Hetuck Homes, a real estate investment company. Sam also serves on the board for the Central Ohio chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and is a volunteer naturalist for the Columbus MetroParks. In his spare time, Sam is a state record holding powerlifter and enjoys riding his motorcycle around Ohio.

 

Jennifer Sconyers

President and Founder of Abundance Leadership Consulting, LLC
Columbus

Jennifer Sconyers is the President & Founder of Abundance Leadership Consulting, a training organization that focuses on culture shift, diversity, and inclusion in the modern workplace. Based in Columbus, OH, Ms. Sconyers brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience to her work with her extensive background working with teams in advertising, television, marketing, and politics. It was in these high pressure, results-driven environments that she learned what it takes to create a high-performing team and make it thrive in a short period of time. Ms. Sconyers has had the privilege of working with teams in national and statewide non-profits such as the A.C.L.U. and Wellstone Action in addition to working with such for-profit companies as Fox and Lee Wayne Corporation. Her expertise in this field is a vehicle for teams and individuals to make a significant impact in their organization and their community. Ms. Sconyers earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communications & Political Science from the University of Illinois Springfield. She currently volunteers on the board of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio as the Vice Chair and as an Executive Committee Board Member at the Ohio Environmental Council.

 

Mike Shelton

Associate Director, Office of Energy and Environment, The Ohio State University
Columbus

Mike Shelton is associate director for the Sustainability Institute, leading the development of a tracking and reporting system for the university’s sustainability goals; managing the Ohio State Sustainability Fund; helping to manage the work of the President and Provost’s Council on Sustainability; and serving as a project manager for a number of sustainability related projects on campus. Prior to joining Ohio State, Mike was at ScottsMiracle-Gro where he was the manager for Corporate Social Responsibility. He has worked in state government, at the Ohio Legislature, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Governor’s Office, as well as at The Nature Conservancy’s Ohio Chapter, as Assistant Director of Government Relations.

 

 

Alex Slaymaker

Smart Columbus Smart Mobility Adoption Manager, The Columbus Partnership
Columbus

Alex Slaymaker is passionate about co-creating more sustainable and equitable communities where people want to live, work, and play. Over the last 10 years she worked on a diverse range of cross-sector projects across the United States related to smart cities, mobility, urban agriculture, climate resilience, and circular economies. In her current role as a Strategic Advisory Consultant at Black & Veatch Management Consulting, she provides transportation electrification strategy guidance to companies and utilities across the country. Previously, she led sustainability efforts at Smart Columbus as their Head of Sustainability Initiatives. Smart Columbus is Central Ohio’s smart city initiative focused on community-based clean technology and digital equity initiatives. In this role, she coached over 60 large and influential employers in Central Ohio on creating and executing strategies to increase competitiveness and reduce emissions by transforming employee commutes and fleet electrification. She also managed the Smart Columbus Experience Center- a cutting-edge smart cities public education center. She earned a bachelor’s in Environmental Planning and Policy from Ohio University and Master’s in Sustainable Solutions from Arizona State University.

 

Bruce Underwood

Executive Director, Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers, Inc.
Athens

Bruce holds a B.A in Environmental Biology and a Masters in Environmental Science. He was born and grew up in Hocking County where he currently resides with his family. He serves on the board of directors for the Hocking River Commission, a local nonprofit focused on the preservation of the Hocking River, and enjoys hiking the Buckeye Trail, camping, and kayaking in his spare time.

 

 

Andrew Watterson

President and Founder, Blue CSR Strategies
Cleveland

Andrew is President and Founder of Blue CSR Strategies, a corporate responsibility consulting firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. Andrew is an experienced sustainability and corporate responsibility practitioner who leverages his expertise in corporate responsibility and organizational development to guide organizations toward creating a positive impact on society, people, and the planet, while creating positive financial returns. Previously Andrew served as Sustainable Value VP at GOJO Industries, Senior Vice President and Head of Sustainability for KeyBank, Senior Consultant at BrownFlynn, and the First Chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland.

 

Tom Winston, PE

Consultant, Longenecker & Associates
West Chester

For 28 years, Mr. Winston served as head of the Ohio EPA’s Southwest District Office. During his tenure, he coordinated all of the agency’s environmental programs, across 16 counties, including the Cincinnati and Dayton metro areas as well as the surrounding rural communities. Additionally, he represented four Ohio governors to the federal level, on the cleanup of federal nuclear and defense facilities located across the state. Since retiring, Mr. Winston has stayed busy, providing expert technical and regulatory advice on the cleanup of mixed radioactive and hazardous tank waste at the nation’s largest environmental cleanup, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State.