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Bea Covington joined KCD as its Executive Director in October, 2016. Bea is an agricultural and natural resource economist with over 25 years of experience in public policy, project and nonprofit management, impact analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and participatory community development.
A native of Virginia, Bea fell in love with the Pacific Northwest as a result of frequent trips to ride in the Seattle to Portland (STP) cycling event while in graduate school at the University of Florida. She’s been working her way westward ever since and finally arrived in Seattle in 2012.
Bea has developed and facilitated numerous stakeholder-driven processes to foster constructive engagement, proactive planning and collaboration to address sensitive environmental issues and allow for sustainable business development. The goal of these efforts are approaches that address the “triple bottom line.”
Bea has led efforts focused on public process design, civic engagement, conflict management, consensus building, and collaborative problem solving for professionals from municipal governments, state and federal regulatory agencies, private sector and citizen and conservation organizations. She specializes in the use of participatory research methods and has developed stakeholder engagement and community relations plans for extractive industries both domestically and abroad.
Bea’s work as a natural resource economist has focused on regulatory impact assessment, natural resource and ecosystems services valuation and farming systems analyses. Before joining KCD, Bea served as a Senior Stabilization Advisor and Team Lead with USAID- Afghanistan. There, she developed and applied a methodology to track the impact of over $200 million in stabilization spending and created a tool that was used to assess stability conditions and gauge the impact of program interventions across 35 districts.
As an advisor to the US Army and US Marine Corps, Bea provided training and mentoring to military units on communication, stakeholder engagement, and the design and effective use of program interventions to stabilize communities in conflict environments.
Closer to home, Bea has worked on projects in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Bea holds Masters degrees in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics and Agricultural Education and Communication and is proficient in both French and Modern Standard Arabic. When she’s not leading the team at KCD, Bea can be found learning to fly fish with her husband John and searching for an adorable Corgi puppy to bring home.
Landowner Incentive Program Assistant
Alex joined KCD in the fall of 2016 to assist Rachel Konrady, Landowner Incentive Program Manager, with increased demand for cost-share funding to implement stewardship practices. Alex grew up in the Midwest and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Political Science & History. He moved to Seattle in 2010 and earned an MPA from the UW Evans School of Public Affairs with a focus on environmental policy. Outside of the KCD office, Alex enjoys rock climbing, skiing, and backpacking throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Shoreline and Riparian Habitat Improvement Program Assistant
Ashley joined KCD in December 2017 with a background in stream restoration and environmental education. Native to Washington, Ashley grew up in Kent and later moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in marine ecology. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, and caring for her pets.
Chief Operating Officer
Ava Souza joined the King Conservation District in 2011. Serving as a member of the senior management team, Ava is charged with the creation, refinement, and implementation of policies, strategies, and programs to enhance and stimulate District Operations. She oversees logistical and operational duties in a wide variety of program areas including human resources, budgeting, information technology, property management, procurement, grants and projects. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the district, and operations staff, as well as manages a robust budget that spans over multiple programs, while developing and directing programs designed to meet the needs of the district, constituents, staff, Board and as well as upholding federal laws and related initiatives. In addition, she serves as the Public Information and Elections Officer for the district. With over 18 years of experience her professional career includes leadership and management roles in large and international companies, Ava has a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a graduate level certifications in Project Management, is a Lean Six Sigma Certified Green Belt, and most recently a received her Certified Public Manager accreditations all from the University of Washington. She is known best for her enthusiastic can-do attitude and passion for sharing best practices with like minded individuals, she most recently broadened her scope of work by partnering with the Washington State Conservation Commission as well as other Conservation Districts in the areas of Human Resources Initiatives and training curriculums.
Brandy Reed joined the King Conservation District in 1996. She serves as the District’s Senior Program Manager for Intergovernmental Coordination and oversees the Natural Resource Management Implementation and Education programs. Brandy offers nearly three decades of dedication and experience in natural resource management and education, as well as a deep commitment to management of financial and staff resources in fiscally challenging environments. Brandy is an experienced habitat enhancement practitioner with professional experience in botany; forest health monitoring, inventory and analysis; and environmental education for adult and youth audiences. As part of the District’s management team, Brandy supervises and coordinates the duties and activities of the District’s talented and committed education and field staff who assist land managers with protecting and enhancing soil and water resources and fish and wildlife habitat. Her education includes a BS in Outdoor Education and Environmental Interpretation and a Masters in Environmental and Science Education, both from Western Washington University.
Forest Stewardship Planner
Courtney joined the KCD Resource Planning Team in June, 2016. She is a graduate of Colorado State University, with a Natural Resources Bachelor of Science degree and a concentration in Environmental Communication, with minors in Ecological Restoration and International Development. Courtney spent each summer in farming communities in northern Montana, giving her a love for open space and working landscapes. Prior to joining KCD, she worked with The Nature Conservancy, Warner College of Natural Resources, Center for Collaborative Conservation, the City of Fort Collins, and multiple non-profit organizations. Outside of conservation work and navigating winding King County roads, Courtney enjoys avidly reading, climbing, finding her favorite ethnic restaurants, trying her hand at tasks that get her hands and boots muddy, and exploring the nooks and crannies of Seattle by following her natural inclination to get lost, always.
Senior Resource Specialist – Shorelines and Riparian Habitat
Debbie Meisinger is a returning veteran of the King Conservation District, having served as a Project Specialist from 2001-2008. She rejoins the district in 2016 after a whirlwind series of adventures took her to faraway lands and recently back to Washington. Debbie’s current position at the District involves working as an Aquatic Areas Specialist, planning and implementing marine and freshwater shoreline enhancement projects. In addition to her career at KCD, Debbie has also worked as a microbiologist, chemist, a restoration ecologist for a private forestry company, a residential gardener, and apprenticed in blacksmithing and medicinal herb farming. Her education includes a BS degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Ohio University, certification in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington, River Restoration Professional Certification from Portland State University and has obtained ISA Certified Arborist credentials. When not trampling through fields and forests for work, Debbie enjoys quality indoor time, designing quilt patterns and making medicinal herb potions while binge-watching television programs.
Director of Engagement
Deirdre Grace joined the King Conservation District in May of 2013. Deirdre has worked with northwest stakeholders to improve community and natural environments for over 20 years. Her experience spans ensuring diverse voices were included in research at the US DOE Hanford Nuclear Reservation, delivering on the City of Seattle’s commitments to neighborhood improvements while meeting Growth Management mandates, and helping Puget Sound cities increase their recycling rates. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and a Bachelors in Writing from the University of New Mexico. When Deirdre is not collaborating with KCD’s partners in natural resource conservation, she enjoys being entertained by the chickens on her Vashon Island farm, cooking, and road trips with her husband and son
Operations Project Coordinator
Emily first joined the District in 2015 as the Education Individual Placement; today Emily uses her passion for Washington’s native plants and wildlife as a member of both the Operations and Implementation teams. She assists with the Board of Supervisors annual elections processes, leads records retention processes, and supports educational programming for the District. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Gonzaga University, Emily served two terms with the Washington Conservation Corps. She brings on-the-ground restoration experience, a passion for communicating about science, and data management skills to her position. When she’s not in the office, Emily enjoys adventuring and backpacking throughout our beautiful state. She has a passion for invertebrate conservation and uses her field guides to identify insects and spiders along her hikes.
Farm Services Program Manager
Emily grew up in Duvall, but traveled the world before returning to join the KCD Farm Services Team as Program Manager. She graduated from UC Davis with dual MSc degrees in International Agricultural Development and Horticulture & Agronomy. Emily has extensive experience in natural resource conservation and project management, including four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with smallholder farmers and ranchers in Central America, focusing primarily on agroforestry systems and soil restoration. As KCD Farm Services Manager, Emily will focus on supporting the farm services team and leading our farm planning and technical assistance programs.
Senior Resource Planner, Dairy Planner, Equipment Loan Program Manager
Emmett Wild joined KCD in August 2015 as a Resource Planner. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in Environmental Policy from Western Washington University. Emmett primarily works with dairies, commercial farms, and on special projects. He is an advocate for farmers and for inter-agency collaboration. His prior work includes wildlife rehabilitation, plant restoration, and endangered waterfowl breeding biology studies. Emmett has been involved in 4-H since 1998, first as a member and later as a leader. He is a licensed poultry judge and mentors youth raising livestock throughout the state.
Grace has been an administrative assistant for over 20 years, providing support to a variety of companies including architectural companies and the Ross Dress For Less corporate office. She and her son both recently graduated from college while her daughter prepares to begin her college career in 2018. Recently moved from the San Francisco bay area, Grace loves travelling, photography, scrapbooking, refinishing old furniture, and spending time with her kids. “Live each day to the fullest” is her motto as she dives into new projects and adventures with enthusiasm and determination.
Senior Resource Specialist – Conservation Projects and Native Plant Sale
Jacobus Saperstein, Resource Specialist II, has been with the King Conservation District since April 2008. Jacobus brings thirteen years of experience and effort towards restoring healthy rivers and forests of the Puget Sound. His primary responsibilities at the District are planning and implementing restoration projects and managing the annual bareroot plant sale. Degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of Oregon kick-started his call towards improving the land we live and depend on. At the District, Jacobus enjoys running volunteer planting projects and inspiring landowners to protect and enhance their streams almost as much as throwing his boomerangs or backpacking through the Cascade Mountains.
Senior Resource Planner
Jay Mirro has served the people and resources of King County as a resource planner since 2000. He has visited thousands of farms and has written over 500 farm plans. Jay has practical and academic expertise on conservation practices and enjoys helping landowners meet their goals while protecting the environment — “saving the world, one farm at a time.” He grew up in rural New Jersey, working on horse and llama farms, and then studied Livestock and Range Management at the University of Idaho. Jay and his family own a 34-acre farm in Maple Valley. He looks forward to sharing with you what he has done around his farm on his next farm tour. When not working on his own or other farms, Jay enjoys remodeling his home, reading, travel, gardening hiking and helping his two boys grow up into young men.
Grant Program Manager – Member Jurisdiction and WRIA Forum Grant Programs
Jessica has managed the Member Jurisdiction and WRIA Grant Programs at KCD since March 2007. Jessica has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish and graduate level education in the fields of Public Administration, Urban Planning, and Facilitation and Negotiation. She is an experienced program manager responsible for tracking millions of dollars in grant funding with a successful track record of liaising with local governments, nonprofits, and watershed groups on natural resource conservation issues.
Director of Programs
Joshua Monaghan has been with the King Conservation District for over 17 years and currently serves as Senior Program Manager for Planning and Strategic Initiative Programs. He is an experienced conservation planner, leads a team of talented conservation planners who assist farmers and landowners in their efforts to understand natural resource issues and get conservation solutions on the ground to steward their natural resources – water, soils, fish and wildlife and more, and works with partners to balance natural resources protection with economic viability of local, working lands. Josh maintains several professional certifications, including Certified Crop Adviser (ASA), Conservation Planner, and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan Writer Certification (ISU). He holds a BA in Sustainable Agriculture from Hampshire College, and was recognized as Northwest Employee of the year in 2009 by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. In recent years, Josh has worked on several successful statewide efforts to improve training coordination and overall professionalism of District employees, and has supported some significant District-level projects, including an administrative staff restructuring, project-based budgeting overhaul, and implementation of a Rates and Charges funding system.
Resource Specialist, Discovery Farms
Dr. Awole has several years of agricultural research experience, including serving as the Head of the Department at the Holeta Agricultural Research Center in Ethiopia, where she worked with farmers on agronomic research and promoted better crop management methods through field days, on-farm research, and educational symposiums. She is assisting with development of KCD’s new Discovery Farm Project, which is one of our four Working Land Initiatives.
Farm Services Equipment Project Coordinator – Mt. Adams Insititue VetsWork AmeriCorps Individual Placement
Kevin joined KCD in February of 2018, starting a 45-week term of service as an AmeriCorps member through Mt. Adam Institute’s VetsWork program. Kevin comes to us most recently from Los Angeles, CA. after spending the last five years working in executive protection/high-profile security for celebrities and billionaires. He has a wide variety of skills based off his background. He served five years in U.S. Navy as a Navigation Electronics Technician on a ballistic missile submarine. His farming experience comes from growing up homesteading in rural Minnesota. His Hobbies include Skiing, Backpacking and Genealogy. He will be managing our Equipment Loan Program, providing support to landowners by assisting with check-ins/check-outs, delivering equipment to properties, leading educational events, writing SOPs, and creating how-to videos for landowners among other farm service related tasks.
Education Team and Programs Coordinator
Kristen joined KCD in October 2014. Her work centers mostly on coordinating and delivering K-12 youth stormwater curriculum throughout King County and providing education to freshwater shoreline landowners on the topics of sustainable land management. She is also the King County ECONet Coordinator. In 2012, she received a B.S. in Environmental Management & Protection with a minor in Anthropology and Geography from Cal Poly State University in California. In her free time, Kristen tries to stay in the mountains as much as possible, whether mountain biking, trail running or skiing.
Landowner Incentive Program Coordinator
Laura Redmond joined KCD as the Landowner Incentive Program Coordinator in July. She has a background in wildlife and natural resource conservation, management and research. With a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, Missoula, she’s an experienced field biologist and most recently coordinated a national cost-share conservation program for The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Having spent the past decade living between Montana and Colorado, Laura is excited to be living near the ocean again and to explore new mountain ranges and rivers in Washington.
Lindsey Davidson joined the KCD Finance Team in the spring of 2017 and currently serves as an Accounting Coordinator. Previously, Lindsey worked in the film industry in Los Angeles for six years as a freelance coordinator and accountant, handling all the paperwork and budgeting for projects such as music videos, movies, and commercials. Having earned her Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in Journalism and Broadcast Studies in 2009, Lindsey decided to move back to the Pacific Northwest in 2016 after missing the fresh air and friendly people.
Farm Program Educational Outreach Project Coordinator
Liz works with the farm services team. In 2014, she served as an Educational Outreach Assistant on the Boise Creek Community Project on educating landowners in the Boise Creek Watershed area of southeast King County where she worked with former KCD employee Sofia Gidlund to launch the Stream Steward program. A true Washington native, Liz grew up in Normandy Park and attended Western Washington University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Art with a concentration on Graphic Design and Illustration. Liz and her husband and son own horses, goats, sheep and poultry, and grow hay on their 10 acre farm in Enumclaw. Liz has been a strong advocate for KCD programs and also has worked closely with Alayne Blickle of Horses For Clean Water for over 20 years doing web site management, documentation publishing and social networking.
Agricultural Drainage Program Coordinator
Liz Stockton joined KCD recently as the new Agricultural Drainage Program Assistant. She has over a decade of farming experience that began in the Snoqualmie Valley at Full Circle Farm. Since then, she has farmed in several parts of Washington including Thurston, Whatcom, Pierce and Spokane counties. Through these experiences, Liz has gained a broad understanding of the challenges for farmers in this region. Originally a native of Virginia, Liz spent most of her childhood hiking in the Appalachian Mountains and pleading with her grandfather to let her drive the tractor by herself. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in biology with a focus on entomology.
Mark joined KCD in the spring of 2018 as Outreach Coordinator. A transplant from Montana, Mark brings with him a decade of experience in conservation and land-use issues. After graduating from the University of Montana, Mark spent several years teaching natural history in and around Glacier National Park. He also completed two terms of service as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with the Montana Conservation Corps. Most recently, Mark channeled his passion for the outdoors working to engage communities on wildlife and conservation issues while working for the Montana Wildlife Federation. When not developing KCD’s outreach program, Mark can be found hiking in the mountains with his wife Tia and their dog River.
Senior Program Manager, Regional Food System Program
Mary joined KCD in late 2015 and currently serves as Senior Manager for the Regional Food System Program. Mary came to KCD from Cascade Harvest Coalition, a non-profit which she founded and directed since 1999. Mary brings more than three decades of passion, experience and expertise in natural resource management, agricultural economics, and food system development. Mary coordinates the KCD Regional Food System Program, including Strategic Initiatives and Food System Grants, with the goals of making an enduring contribution toward strengthening King County’s food economy. Mary’s education includes a BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from Montana State University, Bozeman. Outside of work, Mary enjoys hiking the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her two labs, Libby and Wiley, and photography.
Project Assistant II
Matt joined the King Conservation District in December of 2016 to coordinate projects as needed for District Operations. Matt graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s in Political Science focusing on communications and the environment. He then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer supporting sustainable agriculture and community based resource management in Tanzania and The Gambia. In the Peace Corps Matt managed and collaborated on grants for a youth fruit tree nursery, improved animal husbandry, and HIV/AIDS education. He coordinated program operations for the UW Department of Laboratory Medicine and worked with Principal Investigators to secure and implement both Federal and non-Federal grants. During this time he earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, where he studied agricultural ecology. The cultural resonance and fantastic ecosystems of Cascadia drive Matt to improve the relationship between people and their environments.
Megan grew up on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Biology, and a minor in Political Science. She also holds a Master of Environmental Studies degree, with a concentration in Environmental Biology, from the University of Pennsylvania. Megan has worked on many wildlife research projects, including her first adventure studying parrots and macaws at remote locations in the Amazon Basin in Peru. Prior to joining KCD, she worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and served as a board member for the Bucks County Audubon Society.
Community Agriculture Program Coordinator
Melissa joined KCD staff in 2014 as Outreach Coordinator and worked to communicate KCD’s programs and services. Her passion for gardening and her desire to ensure that all have access to fresh, healthy food make her an ideal Community Agriculture Coordinator. Using the garden as a platform, Melissa facilitates, educates and empowers community groups around growing fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables while learning how to steward natural resources, improve soil fertility and improve water quality. After 30 years of home gardening, Melissa bought a small hobby farm in rural Kent where she raises 21 chickens, 6 American Guinea Hog pigs, cultivates a small orchard, a large blueberry patch and an even larger vegetable and flower garden. Melissa spent 12 years working for Highline School District as an educator and later a project manager facilitating trainings for state and federal student testing requirements. When not farming, Melissa loves to re-purpose found objects and has developed quick driving reflexes in order to stop when she finds a vintage treasure along the side of the road.
Rural Forest Health Management Interim Program Manager
A transplant from the Midwest, Mike joined KCD in 2015 after serving as a forest ranger in Kentucky where he led a wildland fire crew and helped landowners steward their private forests. He has varied professional experiences in vegetable farming, ecological restoration, and forestry. Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2010 with a BA in Conservation Biology and History. He has been a dedicated public servant and community volunteer since high school and is excited to put down roots in and serve the communities of King County.
Forestry Projects Coordinator – Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork AmeriCorps Individual Placement
Michael joined KCD in February of 2018, starting a 45-week term of service as an AmeriCorps member of the VetsWork program run by the Mt. Adams Institute and will be working as a forestry projects coordinator. Michael’s experience includes geography, cartography, remote sensing, and GIS. Michael graduated from Texas State University with a B.S. in GIS and before attending Texas State University, he served 4 years in the army. Michael is a born and raised Washingtonian so when the opportunity came to work for the KCD, he knew it was the perfect fit. Michael loves being outdoors and on his free time, can usually be found hiking trails, kayaking, or fishing.
Volunteer Program Coordinator
Nikki Wolf has worked with KCD since October 2012. Her first year was spent restoring riparian areas with the KCD Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) Restoration Crew. The next year, Nikki stayed on as the WCC Education Programs Coordinator Intern coordinating the WA State Envirothon, Climate Change & Horse Keeping Conference, Land & Water Stewardship Workshop Series, farm tours, and special topic classes. Nikki is currently working as the Volunteer Programs and Stream Stewards Coordinator. In 2012, she received a B.S in Environmental Science and a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. When not working at KCD, Nikki enjoys volunteering with other local environmental groups and spending time outdoors with her dog.
Engineering Services Program Manager
Peter joined KCD as Engineering Services Program Manager in April 2018. Peter is licensed in Washington State as both a civil engineer and geologist, and has over 20 years’ experience in public and private practice, specializing in natural hazard assessment and resource engineering. Peter attended Western Washington University, and has degrees in engineering, earth science, and education. As part of the District’s management team, Peter provides technical support and guidance to KCD staff, and partners.
Resource Specialist II, Urban Shorelines Program Coordinator
Rachel Konrady joined KCD as its Landowner Incentive Program Coordinator and a Volunteer Program Administer in the Fall of 2012. She now coordinates the Urban Shorelines Program, which provides education, on-site technical assistance and project installation services to landowners living in member cities. She began her career in the environmental restoration field with the Washington Conservation Corps and has a B.S. from the University of Washington in Conservation Biology. When not working on conservation, Rachel enjoys biking, hiking, and putting food by during summer’s bounty.
Education Programs Transition Coordinator
Stacie joined KCD in the fall of 2016 as a Washington Conservation Corps Individual Placement intern. Stacie currently assists with coordination of the K-12 Stormwater Education Program and Freshwater Shoreline Program. Stacie graduated from University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation & Sustainability. In the past she has conducted forest inventories for the Forest Service and monitored invasive species for the Nature Conservancy. Prior to joining KCD, Stacie worked with the Okanogan Conservation District as a soil health technician.
Education Program Coordinator – Washington Conservation Corps/AmeriCorps Intern
In October 2017, Stevie started a year of service with KCD as a Washington Conservation Corps Individual Placement. She graduated from The Evergreen State College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Marine Science. Stevie has a background working in aquariums and teaching science to youth. As KCD Education Program Coordinator, her priorities for the year will include KCD Land and Water Stewardship workshop series, Envirothon competition, farm tours, special topic classes, marine shorelines workshops and Water on Wheels classroom sessions.
Yuliy Makhovitskiy joined KCD’s finance team in January and currently serves as a finance coordinator. Yuliy graduated from the University of Washington – Tacoma in 2017 with a BA in Business Administration. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. When not working, he enjoys traveling, running and spending time outside.