Established in 1946, the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District is one of the 88 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the State of Ohio. The District was established to address conservation needs in each county, providing local leadership for soil and water resources conservation and water quality enhancement.
Board of Supervisors
The programs of the Summit SWCD are overseen by a five-member Board of Supervisors who are publicly elected for three-year terms. They serve as volunteers and do not receive any financial compensation. Our current board members are:
- Michael Rorar – Chair
- Ana Burns – Vice Chair
- Catherine Perrow – Secretary
- Danny Ross - Fiscal Officer
- Rob Curtis – Member
Summit SWCD Board meetings are free and open to the public, and are held on the third Tuesday of every month. Please check the calendar for updates and changes in time and date including the annual meeting date. Additional information on the 2023 Board Meetings can be found here.
Brian Prunty - District Program Administrator
Brian Prunty is the District Program Administrator. He has over 20 years of experience in the natural resources and stormwater fields. Brian’s duties range from administrative responsibilities to technical work. He also co-instructs an inspection and maintenance certification course on maintaining stormwater control measures. Brian received his bachelor’s degree in Earth Science and Geology from Kent State University. When not leading his amazing and talented team, Brian loves to spend his time outdoors by hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking and brewing beer.
His favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is bioretention. It blends his passions of stormwater and landscaping. It is one of the best performing structural BMPs to mitigate our developmental impacts to the natural environment.
Bethany Fortune - Administrative Assistant
Bethany Fortune is the Administrative Assistant. She joined Summit SWCD in 2023 after 8 years at OSU as a lab manager for an agricultural soil research lab. Her background is Environmental Science with a BS from the University of Mount Union in 2014. Her position at SSWCD is a mix of clerical and financial duties. This includes processing accounts payable, receivable and payroll, and managing employee files and public records. Off the clock, Bethany enjoys hiking, birding, renovating houses with her husband, and spending time with family and friends.
Her favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is minimizing soil compaction and ensuring topsoil quality to help enhance, protect, and minimize damage to soil quality caused by land development.
Brandon Andresen - Stormwater Specialist
Brandon spent over 19 years at Jefferson SWCD overseeing the Jefferson County & Others MS4 Stormwater Group and 3 years at Allegheny County Conservation District in Pittsburgh, PA reviewing erosion and sediment control plans and doing site inspections. Brandon graduated from The Ohio State University ATI with an Associates Degree in Environmental Resource Management. In his free time, Brandon enjoys spending time with friends, watching sports, listening to podcasts, outdoor recreation, and craft beer.
Brandon's favorite BMPs are the ones that are installed correctly and maintained.
Sasha Mikheidze - Stormwater Specialist
Sasha recently joined Summit SWCD, coming over after spending 8 years at Franklin SWCD. As a Stormwater Specialist, Sasha’s duties include Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan reviews and construction site inspections, municipal facility good housekeeping and pollution prevention inspections, and assisting the public with riparian setback. Sasha Graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in biology with a minor in GIS. He also holds an associate’s degree in ecology from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada. Previously, he has spent several years performing raptor research in remote locations. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 4 cats and sculpting, drawing or playing one of his 8 Ovation guitars.
Sasha’s favorite BMPs are the ones that are installed and maintained properly.
Alex Weber - Stormwater Inspector
Alex Weber is the Stormwater Inspector. He conducts construction site stormwater inspections, holds preconstruction meetings with developers and performing contractors, monitors conservation easements, conducts good housekeeping/pollution prevention inspections for the NEORSD communities, and provides technical assistance for various communities in Summit County. He received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Akron in 2019. Alex is a Certified Erosion, Sediment, & Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI). Alex is a native of Summit county, an avid fisherman, and a new father to baby Emery!
Alex’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is bioretention basins. He believes they are aesthetically pleasing with many ecological benefits, and they provide a versatile solution to contain and treat stormwater runoff!
Zach Laughlin - Stormwater Inspector
Zach Laughlin is a Stormwater Inspector for Summit SWCD. Prior to his employment with Summit SWCD, Zach worked for Fond du Lac Land and Water in Wisconsin as a Watershed Outreach Coordinator. He previously interned for Stark SWCD back in 2014 and ran their cover crop program while doing a few site inspections on the side. Zach is a graduate of Walsh University. He is a native of Stark County. In his free time, Zach likes to play guitar, grow popcorn, and spend time with his family.
His favorite BMP is to use a High-Boy seeder to interseed cover crops into a growing cash crop
Diane Kavalchek - Stormwater Inspector
Diane Kavalchek has worked for over 25 years in private industry and as a business owner. She holds a BA of Environmental Studies with a focus on stormwater, and land restoration. She worked as a seasonal biologist for Summit Metro Parks. She joined the Summit SWCD team in 2023 as a Stormwater Inspector. With her knowledge from the Erosion, Sediment and Stormwater Inspector certification she will provide MS4 services such as site inspections, providing storm sewer outfall dry weather screening, and pollution prevention programs. In her free time, she restores her property with native plants and has earned an expert level Wild Back Yard through Summit Metro Parks. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and mountain biking.
Diane’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) are Public Education and Involvement. Knowledge and participation produce meaningful and sustainable changes to improve local watersheds.
Sandy Barbic - Outreach Coordinator
Sandy Barbic is an Outreach Coordinator and has been with the District since 2007. Sandy assists the “Summit County Communities for Clean Storm Water” with Public Involvement and Educational Outreach requirements for the Phase I and Phase II NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) stormwater management permits held by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA). The 30 communities participate in bi-monthly PIPE (Public Involvement Public Education) meetings where they share ideas and attend presentations and workshops given by stormwater professionals. Sandy also gives school and community presentations on rain barrels, soils, rain gardens and native plants, watershed issues, composting and healthy landscaping, storm drain marking, and stream monitoring. Sandy graduated from Kent State University with a B.S. in Conservation Biology. Sandy’s interests include animal activism, gardening, and the outdoors.
Sandy’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is urban tree canopy restoration. This green infrastructure absorbs storm water runoff, reduces air pollution, decreases our carbon footprint, and cuts urban energy needs.
Natalie Schroder - Outreach Coordinator
Natalie joined the team in August of 2023 after spending 15 years as a naturalist. She spent the last 8 ½ years with Cleveland Metroparks with a heavy focus of native plants, pollinators and working with residents to help their piece of the planet. Natalie provides education and outreach to the residents of her service area about how they can improve the soil and water by making small changes. She is also in charge of the SWCD mini grant program. In her spare time, she loves hiking, camping, and birding with her kids.
Natalie’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) are natural vegetated buffers. These areas protect waterways and the plants and animals that need them for habitat.
Stephanie Deibel - Watershed Coordinator
Stephanie joined the Summit SWCD in 2015 as a Stormwater Specialist and is currently the District’s Watershed Coordinator for the Tuscarawas River Watersheds. Stephanie works with local watershed groups and communities to implement innovative stormwater and watershed management. She also coordinates the District's volunteer stream monitoring program and watershed outreach activities. She holds a BS in Conservation Biology, with a minor in Geography, from Kent State University. Stephanie enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with her family.
Her favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is stream buffers- a low cost, low maintenance, high-impact solution to a variety of water quality issues!!
Sarah Barrow - Watershed Coordinator
Sarah joined SWCD in the Fall of 2023 as a Watershed Coordinator. Prior to this, she spent 8 years as a biology department lab manager and adjunct professor at Stark State College. Sarah has a BA in Biology from the University of Akron and completed her river conservation focused Master’s degree from Miami of Ohio in 2022. She works with local communities and organizations in Summit County developing and implementing watershed management solutions. When not working, Sarah enjoys spending time with her wife and dogs, hiking, reading and mindfulness activities. You can often find her out on the water kayaking or participating in local conservation events.
Sarah’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is the use of pervious pavement systems – which have a variety of applications and drastically reduce stormwater runoff.
Zachary Randolph - AmeriCorps Service Member
Zachary is an AmeriCorps Member serving as the Watershed Outreach Specialist for Summit SWCD. Throughout his service year, Zachary will be developing a variety of outreach content, such as the Streamside Chats Podcast, the Portage Lakes Branch Library Corner, and much more! He will also be assisting with the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program. Zachary currently holds a B.A. in Public History from Baldwin Wallace University with minors in Communication Studies and English and is presently working on a B.S. in Environmental Science at Southern New Hampshire University. In his free time, Zachary is passionate about hiking, camping, reading, and writing!
Zachary’s favorite Best Management Practice (BMP) is riparian buffer zones, which naturally diminish runoff and foster water quality improvement!
Lynette Harmon, District Conservationist. Please contact her at (216) 503 - 9230.