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Governance

The day-to-day operations and business of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District are primarily handled by full-time and part-time MWCD staff under the leadership of nine executives appointed by the Board of Directors.

Executives

  • Craig W. Butler

    Craig W. Butler

    Executive Director/Secretary

    Craig W. Butler was appointed as the Executive Director/Secretary of the MWCD on May 1, 2020. In 2014, Governor John Kasich appointed Butler as Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a position he held until 2019. He recently served as the executive director of the Power Siting Board for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Prior to serving as Director of the EPA, he served as the Assistant Policy Director for Energy, Agriculture and the Environment in Governor Kasich’s administration. Prior to his service in the Kasich Administration, Butler served in various positions in the Ohio EPA and is regarded as an innovator and national leader in balancing environmental protection, conservation, public health, and economic development issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Ohio University.

  • David Lautenschleger

    David Lautenschleger

    Chief Engineer

    David Lautenschleger began working with MWCD in 2009 and has served as Deputy Chief of Surveying/GIS since 2017.  Lautenschleger is a professionally licensed surveyor in the State of Ohio and certified GIS professional. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Surveying & Mapping and in Geography & Cartography from The University of Akron and a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from Penn State University. His career has also included time serving as a professor at the University of Akron and as a GIS Manager at Accurate Technologies/R.E. Warner, Inc.

  • James L. Crandall

    James L. Crandall

    Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer

    James L. Crandall was appointed Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of the MWCD by the MWCD Board of Directors in July of 2021. Crandall had previously served as Senior Staff Accountant for MWCD since 2012. A graduate of Kent State University, Crandall majored in business management and accounting. He manages and directs the finances of the MWCD, including planning and preparation of the annual budget, conducting audit functions and related items. Prior to joining MWCD, Crandall worked with a regional accounting firm.

  • J. Ryan McCleaster

    Peter Novotny

    Chief of Recreation

    Peter Novotny was named Chief of Recreation for the MWCD in February 2024. Novotny is an experienced natural resources leader with a strong background in recruiting and building effective teams and managing wildlife and public engagement efforts. He currently serves as the Assistant Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and is a recognized national advocate for the use of public lands as the chair of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunting and Shooting Sports Participation Committee.

  • Bradley P. Janssen

    Bradley P. Janssen

    Chief of Natural Resources and Land Management

    Bradley P. Janssen was named Chief of Natural Resources and Land Management for the MWCD in December 2020, previously serving as Chief of Conservation since 2018. Janssen began with the MWCD in 2015 as the Oil and Gas Operations Coordinator. He has extensive experience in the oil and gas field that spans over 16 years. Most recently, he worked for Ascent Resources and American Energy Partners as a Senior Landman/Land Coordinator of Field Land Operations. Janssen worked for Chesapeake Energy as a Land Manager, Prospect Coordinator, and Senior Land Man. Janssen has also worked for EnerVest Operating, Snyder Brothers, and Advanced Land and Water. Janssen holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Denison University and a Certificate of GIS from Pennsylvania State University.

  • Mary C. Burley

    Mary C. Burley

    Director of Human Resources

    Mary C. Burley was named Director of Human Resources in January 2015. Burley is responsible for overseeing hiring, employee benefits, policies, and safety for the MWCD staff. She began her career with the MWCD in 1997 as Human Resources Coordinator. Burley is a graduate of Florida Southern College with a B.S. degree in personnel administration and marketing. Her career also includes time spent working in human resources management and training at a national bank branch in Dover, Ohio, and the Roscoe Village Foundation in Coshocton, Ohio.

  • Jonathan C. Mizer

    Jonathan C. Mizer

    Chief Counsel

    Jonathan C. Mizer was named Chief Counsel in November 2020, after having served as associate counsel since May 2018. Previously, he was a partner with the firm Kyler, Pringle, Lundholm, and Durmann L.P.A in New Philadelphia. His areas of expertise include political subdivision law, real estate, contracts, and litigation.  Mizer holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Prelaw from Cedarville University and earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Akron School of Law. He was a member of the 2009 class of Leadership Tuscarawas and enjoys volunteering for free legal clinics sponsored by Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) and the Tuscarawas County Bar Association.   

  • Adria L. Bergeron

    Adria L. Bergeron

    Director of Marketing and Communications

    Adria L. Bergeron was named Director of Marketing and Communications in November 2020. She began her time with the MWCD in 2014 as the Recreation Marketing Coordinator. Her experience also includes Director of Marketing for New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia, and Director of Marketing for the San Diego Air and Space Museum in San Diego, CA. In her current role, Bergeron is responsible for directing and managing a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy that includes promoting and maintaining the MWCD branding, advertising, and public relations initiatives that utilize various media and strategies such as corporate and other sponsorships to encourage use of MWCD recreational facilities. Bergeron is a graduate of the University of Akron, with a business degree in marketing management.

  • Matt A. Thomas

    Matt A. Thomas

    Chief of Conservation

    Matt A. Thomas was named Chief of Conservation in September of 2021 after serving as the Water Quality Coordinator for the MWCD since January 2019. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology with an aquatic focus from The Ohio State University. In this position, Thomas manages and directs the conservation, sustainability, and water quality programs within the MWCD. He brings with him over 20 years of experience working on a diverse array of environmental issues within the Great Lakes and throughout Ohio. His career includes serving as the Laboratory Manager for the biological field station, F. T. Stone Laboratory, in Lake Erie and most recently as the Farm Production Manager for the Route 9 Cooperative in Carroll County.


Board of Directors

The five-member Board of Directors is appointed by the Conservancy Court. The Board is empowered to handle all items necessary or incident to the fulfillment of the purposes for which the Conservancy District was established and for executing the powers with which it is invested, including all the powers of a corporation. Meetings of the Board are open public sessions, and are routinely held on the third Friday of each month at 9:00 am.

CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORSTERM EXPIRES
James M. Gresh, President (Canton, Stark County)
July 18, 2027
Jennifer Ponchak (McConnelsville, Morgan County)
July 12, 2028
Gordon T. Maupin (Orrville, Wayne County)
July 18, 2024
Robert S. Moorehead, Jr. (Senecaville, Guernsey County)
August 26, 2026
Ronald E. Dziedzicki (Medina, Medina County)
June 3, 2025
  • James M. Gresh

    James M. Gresh

    President

    James M. Gresh was appointed to the Board of Directors on June 1, 2018. Owner of Boone Road Enterprises LLC, James Gresh is engaged in timber investment, forestry management research, and creative wood products. Previously, Gresh has served as the Executive Director of the Timken Foundation of Canton following his retirement from the Timken Company, where he worked for 33 years. During his time at the Timken Company, Gresh served in several capacities including Financial Controller of Timken’s global bearing business, President of Timken China, and Vice President of Strategy of Marketing at Timken Steel. He brings numerous years of experience regarding operations, business, strategy, marketing, and international business. In addition to his extensive work experience, Gresh has also served on numerous nonprofit board positions including: Timken Foundation (Secretary), Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Western Academy of Beijing, CommQuest Recovery Services (Chairman – 2 years), and the Stark County Board of MRDD (Chairman – 2 years). Currently, Gresh serves on the board of Stark Education Partnership, where he is the Chairman. Gresh earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.

  • Jennifer Ponchak

    Jennifer Ponchak

    Jennifer Ponchak was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2023. She is the founder of Follow the River Environmental, a specialty company that performs clearing and grubbing, erosion control, seeding landscaping and environmental consulting services on private commercial, heavy highway, and municipal projects. Ponchak holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University, CPESC and CPSWQ certifications and is a Licensed Underground Storage Tank Installer. 

  • Gordon T. Maupin

    Gordon T. Maupin

    Gordon T. Maupin was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2014. Retired after 32 years of leading The Wilderness Center, located near Wilmot in Stark County, he is also a former member from 1996-2002 of the MWCD’s Development Advisory Committee. Maupin is a graduate of Missouri State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. He previously served as the Naturalist Program Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation, was an Information Specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, a Graduate Assistant in Forestry for the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an Interpretative Aide for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Maupin has served on the Association of Nature Center Administrators Board of Trustees, including as its President from 2001-03, and as part of the Land Trust Alliance, American Association of Museums, Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation and national and local chapters of the Audubon Society.

  • Robert S. Moorehead, Jr.

    Robert S. Moorehead, Jr.

    Robert S. Moorehead, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2016. Moorehead was elected to serve as a Probate and Juvenile Court Judge in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2002 and 2008, and retired from that position in 2013. Born and raised in Guernsey County, he is a 1961 graduate of Cambridge High School, graduated from Ohio University in 1965 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Moorehead flew F-4 fighter aircraft in the Vietnam conflict from May of 1968 to May of 1969 with 220 combat missions, 85 of those being in North Vietnam. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force Reserve as a Judge Advocate General on July 4, 1993. His military decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal with an Oak Leaf cluster; the Bronze Star Medal; the Air Medal with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters; the Meritorious Service Medal; and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is a member of the American Legion and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Moorehead attended law school at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and was licensed to practice law in 1974.  He practiced private law in the City of Cambridge; is a former Guernsey County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney; and has served as the General Counsel of Cambridge Savings Bank and Camco Financial Corporation where he also served as the President of Camco Title Agency. As a longtime resident of Seneca Lake, he has been active with the MWCD serving as an advisor during the MWCD cottage site lease updates and as a member of the MWCD Development Advisory Committee.

  • Ronald E. Dziedzicki

    Ronald E. Dziedzicki

    Ronald E. Dziedzicki was appointed to the Board of Directors in June of 2022. Dziedzicki is a cottage site lessee at Atwood Lake and is a member of MWCD’s Development Advisory Committee. He graduated from Ursuline College with a BS degree in Nursing in 1981. He received his MBA from John Carroll University in 1992, and graduated from the U.S. Air Force War College in 2003. Dziedzicki also received his master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2010. Dziedzicki came to University Hospitals of Cleveland (now University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center) as the Vice President of Medical Surgical Nursing in 2001. After numerous promotions, Dziedzicki became the Chief Operating Officer at UHCMC in January 2013. In November of 2014, he also assumed the position of Chief Operating Officer of University Hospitals Physician Services. He retired from his position at the end of 2019. Prior to coming to UH he was the Regional Vice President of Operations for CIGNA Health Care, Midwest Region. Dziedzicki served in the United States Army Reserve for 32 years attaining the rank of Major General and retired in 2016. His last duty position was as the Commanding General for the 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support). His military awards include the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal; U.S. Army Legion of Merit (LOM); Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC); and U.S. Army Commendation Medals (4 OLC). In addition, he is a Member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.


Conservancy Court

The Ohio Revised Code provides that the Conservancy Court, comprised of one common pleas court judge from each of the counties in the Conservancy District, shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred by Chapter 6101 of the Ohio Revised Code (also known as the Conservancy Act). The Conservancy Court appoints the members of the Board of Directors and the Board of Appraisers (upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors).

Current Court:County:
Honorable David R. Stimpert
Ashland County
Honorable John A. Vavra
Belmont County
Honorable Michael V. Repella, II
Carroll County
Honorable Robert J. Batchelor
Coshocton County
Honorable Daniel G. Padden
Guernsey County
Honorable T. Shawn Hervey
Harrison County
Honorable Sean M. Warner
Holmes County
Honorable Richard D. Wetzel
Knox County
Honorable Thomas M. Marcelain
Licking County
Honorable John A. Wells
Morgan County
Honorable Mark Fleegle
Muskingum County
Honorable Kelly A. Riddle
Noble County
Honorable W. Steve McKinley
Richland County
Honorable Jim D. James
Stark County
Honorable Kathryn Michael
Summit County
Honorable Michael J. Ernest
Tuscarawas County
Honorable Mark Kerenyi
Washington County
Honorable Latecia E. Wiles
Wayne County

Board of Appraisers

The MWCD Board of Appraisers is a three-member panel that approves the methodology for determining assessments of the MWCD based on the benefits to property owners. The Board also makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on property sales and acquisitions based on presentations by MWCD staff.

Board members are appointed by the Conservancy Court and serve staggered terms.

Mark J. Waltz

Mark J. Waltz

Chairman

(Dover, Tuscarawas County)

TERM EXPIRES
July 14, 2028

Gary Barker

Gary Barker

(Green, Summit County)

TERM EXPIRES
June 7, 2024

John F. Ginikos

John F. Ginikos

(Zanesville, Muskingum County)

TERM EXPIRES
September 1, 2025

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