Meet our board
Each Conservation District is governed by a seven-member Board of Supervisors elected by the registered voters within that district. These Supervisors serve terms of four years. District Supervisors cannot hold any other elective office and serve without pay.
A native of Eastern Kentucky, and residing with his family in Boone County for nearly 20 years, Matt is an Aquatic Ecologist with a professional career spanning more than two decades. Holding both BS and MS degrees in biology from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, he spent time with the US Geological Survey in West Virginia and ORSANCO in Cincinnati, OH as a biologist before coming to the Northern Kentucky Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) 2006, where he remains today as an Environmental Program Manager. An avid outdoorsman as well, he is passionate both professionally and personally about conservation, preservation and water resource protection.
Rebecca has always been involved with the outdoors, from fishing in Alaska after school, to training children and horses in 4-H in Kentucky - her life has been rooted in nature. A B.A. in Biology with an Environmental minor from NKU, she is determined to grow stewardship among the youth in our community, from 5-75. She works for ORSANCO's F.O.R.E., leads Boy Scout Troop 727, and also Venture Crew 727!
Mike grew up in Boone County, Kentucky and has always had a passion for the outdoors. Upon graduate from Conner High School, Mike attended Northern Kentucky University and obtained his degree in Aviation Administration. After spending time in the Army as an Engineer Officer he returned to Boone County to continue his career in public service. He previously worked as the Purchasing Agent for Boone County Schools and is now the Supervisor of Boone County Solid Waste Division. When he’s not helping coach his kids’ wrestling team, he can be found exploring the trails, woods, and waterways of Kentucky!
Debra Waller grew up in Boone County on a farm raising tobacco and cattle! She has a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Plant Physiology. She worked at UK for a few years in plant physiology and continued her teaching experience in Boone County. Her passion is conservation and she loves being a liaison for the Conservation District. She has been involved with the Board for 14 years and loves the direction it is going in! Fun fact: she has been every position on the Board at least once!
Jeff has been a northern Kentucky resident his whole life except for the two years spent at Eastern Kentucky University getting his Master’s Degree in Aquatic Biology after earning his undergraduate degree in Biology from Thomas More University. After graduate school he immediately launched into an 18-year career at the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) which culminated as a manager of biological and water quality programs. More recently, he has been leading the water quality research program at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) which includes helping to lead their Ohio River Basin Water Quality Trading Project and their Ohio River Basin Ecological Research Interest Group. Jeff is also currently a steering committee member of the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership and the Ohio River Basin Alliance. In his spare time, Jeff loves exploring the incredible natural areas of Boone County and the rest of Kentucky with his wife and three young kids.
Shannon Galbraith-Kent, Ph.D.
Shannon is in her twelfth year at Thomas More University (TMU), where she is a Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution from Rutgers University, her M.S. from Eastern Kentucky University, and her undergraduate degree from TMU (1998). Her ecological training began in the Boone County, KY, forests of her hometown, then continued to the old-growth forests in eastern Kentucky and the suburban and urban landscapes in the NJ/NYC Metro area. Shannon coordinates seasonal community walks and tree plantings at the TMU William S. Bryant Arboretum and has recently taught a study abroad course on environmental sustainability in Scotland. She has served in volunteer leadership capacities both on-campus (e.g., Vice Chair TMU Faculty General Assembly) and off-campus (e.g., Treasurer, The Kenton Conservancy; Board Member, Florence Christian Church; youth soccer coach) and was nominated as a new board member for the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund.
Kathy grew up on an island in the middle of the Detroit River. Her family had a large garden that fed them year-round. As an adult, she grew vegetables for her family for several years, as well. Kathy believes our environmental health is consequential to our well-being and the well-being of future generations. Kathy attended Western Michigan University as an undergraduate. She received her Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University. In the past, Kathy taught at Northern Kentucky University in The Chase College of Law. She also sat on the bench as a magistrate in Ohio for 29 years. Currently, Kathy is an attorney with The Farrish Law Firm.
Board Committees 2020-2021
Chair: Matt Wooten
Vice Chair: Becky Ortwein
Treasurer: Mike Wilson
Chair: Shannon Galbraith-Kent
Chair: Mike Wilson
HR Policy Committee
Chair: Matt Wooten
Land Use Committee
Chair: Jeff Thomas
Government Affairs Committee
Chair: Kathy King