Chagrin River Watershed Partners (CRWP) dedicated staff and board.

 

Questions or comments? Contact us at contact@crwp.org or 440-975-3870.

Staff

Heather Elmer joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners as Executive Director in 2014. Heather works with CRWP’s team, members, and a wide range of partners to plan, secure funding for, and execute complex projects to protect natural resources, solve environmental problems and enhance parks. She creates strategic organizational alliances, including the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative, a network of organizations working together for healthy streams and Lake Erie.  Heather previously led environmental education and collaborative research at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and managed a wetland wastewater treatment system at Oberlin College’s Lewis Center for Environmental Studies.  Heather earned a master’s degree in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English from Oberlin College with High Honors in Biology. Heather has presented at numerous conferences including the Coastal Zone Conference, National Adaptation Forum, and Ohio Stormwater Conference. She is a member of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Chagrin Scenic River Advisory Council and chair of the Oberlin Public Utilities Commission.
Heather Elmer joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners as Executive Director in 2014. Heather works with CRWP’s team, members, and a wide range of partners to plan, secure funding for, and execute complex projects to protect natural resources, solve environmental problems and enhance parks. She creates strategic organizational alliances, including the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative, a network of organizations working together for healthy streams and Lake Erie. Heather previously led environmental education and collaborative research at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and managed a wetland wastewater treatment system at Oberlin College’s Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. Heather earned a master’s degree in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English from Oberlin College with High Honors in Biology. Heather has presented at numerous conferences including the Coastal Zone Conference, National Adaptation Forum, and Ohio Stormwater Conference. She is a member of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Chagrin Scenic River Advisory Council and chair of the Oberlin Public Utilities Commission.

Heather Elmer

Executive Director

Kimberly Brewster Shefelton joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in September 2016. She works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on watershed protection, stormwater management, and restoration projects, including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Since joining CRWP in 2016, Kim has written or assisted with successful grants for $12,593,334 awarded to CRWP or its members, including grants from Ohio EPA’s Section 319 Grant Program and Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Assistance Grant Program and H2Ohio Program, the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program, and the national Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. Previously, Kimberly served as Captina Creek Watershed Coordinator with the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District in eastern Ohio. Kimberly earned her Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Kimberly’s prior research investigated the effects and remediation of acid mine drainage in southeast Ohio. Kimberly’s work is published in the journal of Environmental Earth Sciences.
Kimberly Brewster Shefelton joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in September 2016. She works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on watershed protection, stormwater management, and restoration projects, including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Since joining CRWP in 2016, Kim has written or assisted with successful grants for $12,593,334 awarded to CRWP or its members, including grants from Ohio EPA’s Section 319 Grant Program and Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Assistance Grant Program and H2Ohio Program, the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program, and the national Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. Previously, Kimberly served as Captina Creek Watershed Coordinator with the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District in eastern Ohio. Kimberly earned her Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Kimberly’s prior research investigated the effects and remediation of acid mine drainage in southeast Ohio. Kimberly’s work is published in the journal of Environmental Earth Sciences.

Kimberly Brewster Shefelton

Deputy Director

Keely Davidson-Bennett began working for Chagrin River Watershed Partners in 2012. Keely has written successful Ohio EPA 319, ODNR Coastal Management, NOOA Coastal Storms, Great Lakes Commission Great Lakes Basin Program, Ohio EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and Lake Erie Protection Fund grant applications. She has managed CRWP research, stream restoration, and planning projects worth $1.4 M and assisted members with many more stream and wetland restoration and stormwater infrastructure design and construction projects. Keely updates CRWP’s model comprehensive stormwater and erosion and sediment control codes. Keely regularly presents at the Ohio Stormwater Conference. Keely earned a Master of Science degree in environmental science from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Hiram College.
Keely Davidson-Bennett began working for Chagrin River Watershed Partners in 2012. Keely has written successful Ohio EPA 319, ODNR Coastal Management, NOOA Coastal Storms, Great Lakes Commission Great Lakes Basin Program, Ohio EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and Lake Erie Protection Fund grant applications. She has managed CRWP research, stream restoration, and planning projects worth $1.4 M and assisted members with many more stream and wetland restoration and stormwater infrastructure design and construction projects. Keely updates CRWP’s model comprehensive stormwater and erosion and sediment control codes. Keely regularly presents at the Ohio Stormwater Conference. Keely earned a Master of Science degree in environmental science from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Hiram College.

Keely Davidson-Bennett

Director of Special Projects

Josh Myers joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in February 2018. He works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on stream and wetland restoration, watershed protection, and stormwater management projects including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Since joining CRWP in 2018, Josh has managed projects throughout the Chagrin River and surrounding watersheds worth $2.9 M. Previously, Josh worked as an Environmental Scientist with a consulting firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also served as a Big Sky Watershed Corps Member with Cascade Conservation District and Sun River Watershed Group in Great Falls, Montana. Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy and Analysis with a Specialization in Restoration Ecology from Bowling Green State University. 

Josh grew up in Lake County and can often be found with his partner and dog exploring local parks or growing native plants at his home.
Josh Myers joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in February 2018. He works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on stream and wetland restoration, watershed protection, and stormwater management projects including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Since joining CRWP in 2018, Josh has managed projects throughout the Chagrin River and surrounding watersheds worth $2.9 M. Previously, Josh worked as an Environmental Scientist with a consulting firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also served as a Big Sky Watershed Corps Member with Cascade Conservation District and Sun River Watershed Group in Great Falls, Montana. Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy and Analysis with a Specialization in Restoration Ecology from Bowling Green State University. Josh grew up in Lake County and can often be found with his partner and dog exploring local parks or growing native plants at his home.

Josh Myers

Associate Director

Laura Bonnell joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in November of 2018. She led the development and launch of the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener program and continues to lead its implementation and instruction. Laura also manages several Ohio EPA Section 319(h) and Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program stream and wetland restoration projects for CRWP’s member communities and partners, which includes grant writing, project management, complex multi-stakeholder engagement and coordination, and habitat assessments. She is a Level 2 Qualified Data Collector (QDC) for use of the Qualitative Habitat Field Evaluation Index (QHEI). Before joining CRWP, she spent 8 years working for the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC doing scientific research, grant writing, and international program expansion and development. Laura has a graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Laura grew up in Cleveland, and now resides in Eastlake with her husband, three kids, two dogs, and two cats. Before starting her family, Laura enjoyed traveling around the world, but now enjoys spending her summers at the beach and winters crocheting by the fire. She is a Board Member of the Port Authority of Eastlake Ohio.
Laura Bonnell joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in November of 2018. She led the development and launch of the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener program and continues to lead its implementation and instruction. Laura also manages several Ohio EPA Section 319(h) and Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program stream and wetland restoration projects for CRWP’s member communities and partners, which includes grant writing, project management, complex multi-stakeholder engagement and coordination, and habitat assessments. She is a Level 2 Qualified Data Collector (QDC) for use of the Qualitative Habitat Field Evaluation Index (QHEI). Before joining CRWP, she spent 8 years working for the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC doing scientific research, grant writing, and international program expansion and development. Laura has a graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Laura grew up in Cleveland, and now resides in Eastlake with her husband, three kids, two dogs, and two cats. Before starting her family, Laura enjoyed traveling around the world, but now enjoys spending her summers at the beach and winters crocheting by the fire. She is a Board Member of the Port Authority of Eastlake Ohio.

Laura Bonnell

Associate Director

Kevin Saracino served in AmeriCorps at Chagrin River Watershed Partners for two years as a Watershed Steward before joining the CRWP team as a Watershed Stewardship Specialist in October 2021 and has since moved into a Project Manager position. He works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on stream and wetland restoration, watershed protection, and stormwater management projects including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kent State University. He grew up in the Chagrin River Watershed and is proud to be able to devote his work to protecting and improving his community. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys backpacking through various national parks as well as playing the guitar and coaching youth lacrosse teams.
Kevin Saracino served in AmeriCorps at Chagrin River Watershed Partners for two years as a Watershed Steward before joining the CRWP team as a Watershed Stewardship Specialist in October 2021 and has since moved into a Project Manager position. He works with communities and Central Lake Erie Basin watershed partners on stream and wetland restoration, watershed protection, and stormwater management projects including project development, habitat assessments, watershed plan development, grant writing, and assisting communities with incorporating natural resource protections into their codes. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kent State University. He grew up in the Chagrin River Watershed and is proud to be able to devote his work to protecting and improving his community. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys backpacking through various national parks as well as playing the guitar and coaching youth lacrosse teams.

Kevin Saracino

Project Manager

Kaylee Acres served for one year with Chagrin River Watershed Partners as the AmeriCorps Education & Outreach member before joining CRWP as the Watershed Education & Outreach Specialist in October 2021 and has since moved into a Project Manager position. She works on a variety of projects and areas including the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener program, social media and educational outreach, grant-writing, and stream restoration and reforestation projects. Outside of CRWP, Kaylee volunteers with Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Volunteer Program. Kaylee holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Kentucky University. She relocated from Kentucky to Northeast Ohio with her fiancé, their two pups, and cat. She loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and nature photography. She’s inspired by nature and is dedicated to protecting the natural world around us.
Kaylee Acres served for one year with Chagrin River Watershed Partners as the AmeriCorps Education & Outreach member before joining CRWP as the Watershed Education & Outreach Specialist in October 2021 and has since moved into a Project Manager position. She works on a variety of projects and areas including the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener program, social media and educational outreach, grant-writing, and stream restoration and reforestation projects. Outside of CRWP, Kaylee volunteers with Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Volunteer Program. Kaylee holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Kentucky University. She relocated from Kentucky to Northeast Ohio with her fiancé, their two pups, and cat. She loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and nature photography. She’s inspired by nature and is dedicated to protecting the natural world around us.

Kaylee Acres

Project Manager

Nicole Hildebrand is an Americorps member and has been serving at Chagrin River Watershed Partners as an Education and Outreach Specialist since October 2023. She assists with the Master Rain Gardener program, social media, and monthly newsletter. Nicole has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation from Bowling Green State University.  In her free time, she loves to spend time outside, making art, or with her partner caring for their many houseplants.
Nicole Hildebrand is an Americorps member and has been serving at Chagrin River Watershed Partners as an Education and Outreach Specialist since October 2023. She assists with the Master Rain Gardener program, social media, and monthly newsletter. Nicole has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation from Bowling Green State University. In her free time, she loves to spend time outside, making art, or with her partner caring for their many houseplants.

Nicole Hildebrand

Education & Outreach Specialist, AmeriCorps Member

Chris Feighan is a member of AmeriCorps and has been serving as the Watershed Steward for Chagrin River Watershed Partners since October 2023. He provides technical assistance to landowners within member communities and assists with education and outreach and planning stewardship events. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Cleveland State University. In his spare time, he likes to attend beach clean-ups, learn Spanish, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the outdoors.
Chris Feighan is a member of AmeriCorps and has been serving as the Watershed Steward for Chagrin River Watershed Partners since October 2023. He provides technical assistance to landowners within member communities and assists with education and outreach and planning stewardship events. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Cleveland State University. In his spare time, he likes to attend beach clean-ups, learn Spanish, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the outdoors.

Chris Feighan

Watershed Steward, AmeriCorps Member

Linda Moran has provided support to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners’ team since 1999. She is like a Swiss army knife who works in many areas including accounting, payroll, employee benefits, information technology, and outreach to our Board of Directors, donors, and grant funders.  Linda also assists the team with grant applications and grant administration. Linda is a native Northeast Ohioan and lives in Mentor.  She is a graduate of Cleveland State University and has been interested in environmental protection since she was 10 years old.  She enjoys going outside to play and is grateful to the people who made possible the region’s many public natural areas.
Linda Moran has provided support to the Chagrin River Watershed Partners’ team since 1999. She is like a Swiss army knife who works in many areas including accounting, payroll, employee benefits, information technology, and outreach to our Board of Directors, donors, and grant funders. Linda also assists the team with grant applications and grant administration. Linda is a native Northeast Ohioan and lives in Mentor. She is a graduate of Cleveland State University and has been interested in environmental protection since she was 10 years old. She enjoys going outside to play and is grateful to the people who made possible the region’s many public natural areas.

Linda Moran

Director of Finance & Administration

Mackenzie Snyder joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in January 2019 as Marketing Specialist and Administrative Assistant and has since moved into the Manager of Outreach and Communications position. Marketing tasks include the graphic design and content development of annual reports, flyers, project profiles, advertisements, websites, e-Newsletters, and social media. Publishing press releases. Administrative support includes assisting with maintenance of accounting system, fundraising, Board and Executive Committee support, grant writing, project administration, development of policies and procedures, database management, financial planning, budgeting, and information technology. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in marketing and supply chain management from John Carroll University. She enjoys exploring with her family outdoors at the many local park systems.
Mackenzie Snyder joined Chagrin River Watershed Partners in January 2019 as Marketing Specialist and Administrative Assistant and has since moved into the Manager of Outreach and Communications position. Marketing tasks include the graphic design and content development of annual reports, flyers, project profiles, advertisements, websites, e-Newsletters, and social media. Publishing press releases. Administrative support includes assisting with maintenance of accounting system, fundraising, Board and Executive Committee support, grant writing, project administration, development of policies and procedures, database management, financial planning, budgeting, and information technology. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in marketing and supply chain management from John Carroll University. She enjoys exploring with her family outdoors at the many local park systems.

Mackenzie Snyder

Manager of Outreach & Communications

Craig Walker holds an MBA from Cleveland State University and a B.S. in Aerospace Studies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He has worked in finance and accounting in the following industries: corporate aviation, technology, and most recently higher education. Craig loves windsurfing and is passionate about doing it in clean water! He just had a solar array system installed in his house in Shaker Heights that he shares with his wife, Hilary, and two children, Oliver and Bennett.
Craig Walker holds an MBA from Cleveland State University and a B.S. in Aerospace Studies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He has worked in finance and accounting in the following industries: corporate aviation, technology, and most recently higher education. Craig loves windsurfing and is passionate about doing it in clean water! He just had a solar array system installed in his house in Shaker Heights that he shares with his wife, Hilary, and two children, Oliver and Bennett.

Craig Walker

Manager of Finance & Administration

Board

Executive Committee

 

William Tomko, Mayor, Village of Chagrin Falls • President
Mary E. Samide, Munson Township • Vice President
Christopher Horn, Bainbridge Township • Secretary
Greg E. Studen, South Russell Village • Treasurer
Jason Kasunick, Councilman, City of Eastlake
Matthew McCue, Deputy Director, Geauga Park District
Irene McMullen, Munson Township
Rebecah Troutman, Biologist, Holden Forest & Gardens

 

 

Directors

 

Auburn • Patrick J. Cavanagh
Aurora • Denise J. Januska
Bainbridge • Kristina O'Brien
Beachwood • Chris Vild
Bentleyville • Kathleen Hale
Chagrin Falls Township • John Finley
Chagrin Falls Village • Ann Gasser
Chardon City • Randal Sharpe
Chardon Township • Michael Brown
Cleveland Metroparks • Jennifer M. Grieser
Eastlake • Jason Kasunick
Gates Mills • Sandra Turner
Geauga Park District • Matthew McCue
Hunting Valley • Steve O'Neill
Kirtland • Joseph Fornaro
Kirtland Hills • John F. Turben
Lake County • John Plecnik
Lake Metroparks • Vince Urbanski
Mantua Township • John Festa
Mayfield Heights • Susan Sabetta
Mayfield Village • Scott Sipos
Mentor • Matthew Bennett
Moreland Hills • Ted DeWater
Munson • Nate McDonald
Newbury Township • Bill Skomrock
Orange Village • Judson Kline
Pepper Pike • Richard Bain
Russell Township • Kristina Port
Solon • Dan Driscoll
South Russell • William Koons
Waite Hill • Chris Sherwin
Wickliffe • Ron Strauser
Willoughby • John Crislip
Willoughby Hills • Jim Garrett
Woodmere • Benjamin Holbert

 

At Large Directors

 

Alison Ball
Fran Buchholzer
Mark Cain
Aleksa Cyvas
Alex Czayka
James Dickinson
James R. Gills
Christopher Horn
Donna Klements
Timothy A. Miller
Mary E. Samide
Greg E. Studen
William A. Tomko
Rebecah Troutman
Daniel P. Troy
Peter J. Whiting