Development Advisory Committee

The Development Advisory Committee was created by the MWCD Board of Directors in 1992 to provide advice and guidance to the Board and staff. It consists of 18 members who volunteer their time and provides an organized public support system for responsive and effective economic development, conservation and recreation programs.

DAC members are appointed by the Board of Directors and serve staggered three-year terms. The Committee meets quarterly, and is updated about MWCD projects and operations. Members present numerous items for discussion and possible action by the MWCD Board of Directors.

Current members of the DAC and their terms of service are the following:

  • Jon Elsasser - Tuscarawas County - 2014 - Elsasser is a retired executive from  The Timken Co. and currently serves as the president of the Zoar Community Association, where he resides. He also serves as treasurere of the Ohio Historical Society, is board member of the Ohio and Erie Canalway Association, and sites on the boards of several private companies. Elsasser and his wife Cindy own the Canal Tavern restaurant at Zoar.
  • Joseph C. Gies - Richland County - 2014 - Gies is the city project coordinator for the City of Shelby in Richland County. He has been a participant in the Shelby Floodplain Commission, which successfully petitioned the MWCD for reactivation of the Black Fork Subdistrict.
  • Mike Gunther - Tuscarawas County - 2016 - Gunther is a retired teacher from Dover City Schools and is an instructor at Walsh University in North Canton; A Tuscarawas County native, he also served as an assistant boys' basketball coach at Dover High School, earned awards for his work in student-produced books about area veterans and has visited numerous MWCD lakes for outdoor recreation since his childhood.
  • Bryan Haviland - Franklin County - 2016 - Haviland is the executive vice president of FrazierHeiby Inc. of Columbus, and owns property near Tappan Lake where he spends time for outdoor recreation. A graduate of Ohio University, Haviland held previous positions with Nationwide Insurance Co. and the Dow Chemical Co.
  • JoEllen Hayes - Guernsey County - 2016 - Hayes is a former schoolteacher and attorney, who also assisted in her family's veterinarian practice. A former elected member of the East Muskingum Board of Education, Hayes also owns farms in Noble County that are managed according to forestry plans.
  • Jeff Heacock - Muskingum County - 2014 - Heacock is a resident of New Concord and an MWCD cottage site lessee at Seneca Lake. The assistant vice president for student affairs for external relations at Muskingum University, Heacock served as head football coach at Muskingum for many years.
  • Marty Larsen - Richland County - 2016 - Larsen, an account manager for Clear Channel Communications in the Richland County area, has been an MWCD cottage site lessee for many years at Charles Mill Lake.
  • Douglas E. McLarnan - Knox County - 2014 - McLarnan has had a long career in public service, currently serving as the operations director for the Knox County Park District. He leads several programs for the district, including weekly canoe trips during the recreation season.
  • Rich Milleson - Harrison County - 2016 - Milleson, an insurance agent for Nationwide Insurance with offices in Freeport and Scio, is a former assistant director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
  • Marilyn Ortt - Washington County - 2015 - Ortt is president of Friends of Lower Muskingum River, a citizens' group committed to the health of the Muskingum River and the region it serves.
  • Joy Padgett - Coshocton County - 2015 - Padgett is a former elected state legislator and the former director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia, where she returned in 2013 as the assistant director. A former schoolteacher, she also operated a business for many years in Coshocton.
  • John M. Prelac - Stark County - 2015 - (Chairman of the DAC for 2014) - An avid fisherman and boater who frequently visits the MWCD lakes, Prelac is an attorney associated with the Day Ketterer firm in Canton.
  • Robert C. Prince - Carroll County - 2015 - A resident of Carrollton, Prince retired from the U.S. Postal Service. He is a trustee of the Rockwood Propery Owners Association at Leesville Lake, where he owns a home on 23 acres.
  • George Romanoski - Summit County - 2016 - (Vice chairman of the DAC for 2014) - Romanowski is a boater at Piedmont Lake who retired after a long and distinguished career in public service for the City of Akron, including service as deputy mayor.
  • Chasity Schmelzenbach - Noble County - 2015 - Schmelzenbach is the director of the Noble County Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security.
  • James Schoch - Tuscarawas County - 2014 - Schoch is a retired bank executive who serves on the boards of several community and economic development groups and organizations. He also serves as president for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation.
  • Dirck W. TenBroeck - Harrison County - 2015 - TenBroeck, a retired insurance company executive, resides on a farm located less than five acres away from Tappan Lake. He is a member of numerous Harrison County civic and social organizations.
  • David White - Summit County - 2014 - White is a deputy engineer in the office of the Summit County Engineer.