Staff & Board of Directors
Staff and Board of Directors:
Jay Yankey, District Manager
Linda Dunn, Administrative Assistant
Nicole Slazinski, Conservation Specialist
Mike Miller, Conservation Specialist
Duane Mohr, Conservation Technician
Veronica Tangiri, Water Quality Programs/Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator
Natali Walker, Water Quality Monitoring Assistant
Alice Markiewicz, Education & Outreach Specialist
Jim Gehlsen, Chairman
Will Lintner, Vice Chairman
Jay Yankey, District Manager email@example.com
Jay returned to the District in October 2011 after serving as the Education and Conservation Specialist from February 2002 through March 2005. Jay brings his expertise in agriculture production and natural resources conservation to the traditional farmers, small acreage/specialty crop producers, exotic livestock and horse operations.
Jay is a Prince William County native, growing up on the family farm in Nokesville. His family raised cattle, grain, and hay as part-time farmers. Jay graduated from Brentsville District High School and received his B.S. in Agribusiness and Environmental Science from Ferrum College. Jay is an active member of the Virginia Farm Bureau, and currently serves on the Prince William/Fairfax Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Jay has chaired the Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee.
Jay, his wife, Sonja and daughters Ali and Beth, and son Carter, own and operate Yankey Farms, a Community Supported Agriculture vegetable farm and market in Nokesville.
Linda Dunn, Administrative Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally hailing from Upstate NY, Linda recently relocated from Frederick MD to Haymarket. Linda quickly rose to the top of the massive resume pile. She’s very happy to be a part of our team and is looking forward to learning more about the district. She enjoys playing golf, tennis and enjoying nature while hiking and biking.
Nicole (Ethier) Slazinski, Conservation Specialist email@example.com
Nicole joined the District in September, 2006. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University. Her work with the District includes technical assistance to local farmers and horse owners by providing them with environmentally sensitive, efficient, affordable and practical methods in managing their operations. She also organizes educational seminars on topics such as Rain Barrel Workshops, Healthy Horses and a Healthier Chesapeake Bay, Guide to Setting up a Horse Farm, and other agriculture related seminars for county and area residents. Nicole also works on this website. :O
Nicole lives in Sterling with her husband, Chris, and 2 cats.
Mike Miller, Conservation Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike joined the District in November 2014. He is a Michigan native with a solid background and knowledge of both natural and agricultural systems. He earned his bachelor's degree from Goshen College with a concentration in Resource Management in 2011. He also holds certifications for herbicide application, wetland delineation, and prescribed burning.
Prior to joining our team Mike worked as a restoration biologist with Blue Heron Ministries, a small restoration company located in Northern Indiana that focuses primarily on early successional ecosystems. Mike worked for the University of Notre Dame as an aquatic research technician focusing on aquatic invasive species in the Midwest.
Prior to earning his degree, he worked for many years in the RV industry, which gave him a vast understanding of construction principles. Mike has volunteered with other conservation districts on multiple projects. In July 2014 he was awarded in special recognition by the St. Joseph County Conservation District, in Centreville, MI, for his efforts as river cleanup coordinator for the county's 150 miles of navigable waterways, along with other programs in which he participated. Mike has received his certification in Nutrient Management Planning, Revised Universal Loss Equation II, and Virginia Conservation Assistance Program. Mike, his wife, and son live in Leesburg.
Duane Mohr, Conservation Technician email@example.com
Duane has been volunteering with the Prince William SWCD since September 2017. He had volunteered more than 500 hours, working with county citizens on urban and suburban storm water management, conservation planning, nutrient management, grazing management, and youth education programs. Duane was recognized at the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts 2018 Annual Meeting as the state's Earth Team Volunteer of the Year. He also won the NRCS 2018 National (and Southeast Region) Earth Team Individual Volunteer Award.
As of July 2019, Duane has joined the team as a Conservation Technician He currently lives in Nokesville with his wife and 1 Horse and 8 Sheep.
Veronica Tangiri, Water Quality Programs Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica joined us as a staff member in February 2016. She is a Certified Save Our Streams Program Manager for biological citizen water monitoring in Prince William County.
Born and raised in Cameroon, Veronica has always had a keen interest in the earth's natural beauty. She wrote articles for environmental awareness-raising, and amongst them was "Empower the woman and save the environment". She later received a graduate program admission in Sweden where she pursued environmental sciences, and later on she began exploring the Geographic Information System (GIS) as a vital tool for the environment. When her family immigrated to the United States, Veronica joined them in Virginia in 2009.
Veronica believes the environment is a web and looks forward to learning even more about the connections through physical/data analyses and tools like the GIS. She has a certificate in Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate by the United Nation Environmental Program and Python Programming certificate from George Mason University. She is working on her master's research in GIS Ecosystem Analysis at the Lund University. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Sciences from the Mid-Sweden University, GIS Certificate from Umea University, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology (major) and a minor in Biology from the University of Buea in Cameroon.
Veronica worked as a team leader intern in natural resources management for the National Park Service at Prince William Forest Park. She also worked as a volunteer for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Environmental Services of Arlington County, and the Natural Resources Management of Fairfax County Parks Authority. As a certified stream monitor she helps with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, a board member of the Prince William Wildflower Society. She is also a member of the Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps, Society for Conservation GIS and the Ecological Society of America (ESA). She received a certificate for Community Stream Stewardship from Prince William Conservation Alliance (PWCA) and holds a Stadia Board Society honors from the National Map Corps of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Natali Walker, Water Quality Monitoring Assistant email@example.com
Alice Markiewicz, Education Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
Alice joined us in February 2016 to administer our Environmental Science and Natural Resources Conservation Capsule Program. Alice volunteered in our Education Department from October 2015 to February 2016.
Growing up on Long Island, Alice always had a great love for animals and nature. She was the president of her high school ecology club. Her strong interest in nature, science, and animals led Alice to receive her associates' degree in agriculture. She worked in a duck hatchery for a few years before starting a family. Later she worked in the commercial textile industry for twenty plus years, leaving a few years ago to work from home and support her husband in his career. Accepting the opportunity to work with the District has brought her full circle.
Alice has been a resident of Prince William County since 2002. She is an avid spinner and weaver, spending a good deal of her free time with local fiber groups. She lives in Manassas with her husband and youngest son.
Jim Gehlsen, Vice Chairman
Jim joined the District as the appointed Director in February 2012. He has served as treasurer, chairman and now Vice Chariman. He was elected Area II Chairman in December 2016. He earned his B.S. in Building Construction from Clemson University. He and his wife, Jean, raised their 5 children on a 100 acre farm in Nokesville he bought in 1983 and named Evergreen Acres. He planted his first christmas trees in March, 1984 and has been selling them since 1991. He also grows hay and pumpkins. Jim operated as a masonry contractor from 1979 to 2010 and still maintains his class A contracto'rs license. He grew certified organic produce from 2010 to 2017 and was the first grower in PW county to be certified organic and GAP certified. In 2017 he began construction of Cedar Run Brewery on his farm.
Jim serves on all District Committees and is our Alternate Representative to the Potomac Watershed Council and Roundtable. Jim serves as the Vice Chairman of our 501(C)3 non-profit organization affiiliate, Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation.
Will Lintner, Vice Chair
Mansimran Kahlon, Treasurer
Paige Thacker, Secretary
Paige is the Horticulture Agent and Unit Coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. She has a BS in Ornamental Horticulture and a MS in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her work experience includes 11 years as Propagation Manager for a large wholesale perennial nursery in Southwest Virginia. She has been with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) since 2002 and in the Prince William Unit since 2003.
The Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) program at VCE-Prince William provides environmental and pesticide safety education for homeowners, volunteers and the green industry. Over 150 Master Gardener volunteers assist ENR program staff with providing sustainable landscape management practices that homeowners can implement in their landscape. Paige grew up in Prince William County. She enjoys gardening and time with friends and family.
Tiziana Bottino, Director
Steve served on the District Board for 14 years. Steve is a Senior Program Manager of Technology Diversification for BAE Systems in Manassas and the former Director of Operations for Micron Technology in Manassas. Steve has a BS in Physics from Queens College, City University of New York and a MS in Physics from Pennsylvania State University. Steve is a member of Virginia Joint Commission Science and Technology (Nanotechnology), the Prince William Service Authority Board of Directors, Didlake Foundation Executive Board, and the IEEE Science/Technology Public Policy Subcommittee. He is a former member of the Prince William Park Authority, member of United Way of American's Public Policy Board, President of United Way of Virginia, Chairman of Prince William United Way Executive Board. Steve holds over thirty patents and co-authored publications on technical and management topics. He enjoys swimming, tennis, reading and travel. Steve is married and lives in Bristow.
Deb has worked with the Prince William County Department of Public Works for 23 years as a public outreach and education coordinator. Over the years, she has worked closely with a number of agencies on environmental topics. Specifically, she has worked with Watershed Management and our Soil and Water Conservation District to help promote water quality and stream protection. She also facilitates a partnership of agencies dedicated to environmental protection and assists in leading the "go green" initiative for the Prince William County government.
Deb serves on the Education Committee, assists with our Farm Field Days, and supports our mission and goals in many ways
Harry comes to us from Fairfax County. He has served the Northern Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District since 2005. He is a member of the Fairfax County Park Authority board from 2005 through 2012. He is a member of the Fairfax Chesapeake Bay Exceptions Committee 2003-2012, and the Fairfax County Tree Commission member since 2006 and serves as chair since 2008.
Harry is a member of the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, 1990 to present; member of Fairfax County "Friends" Groups: Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Meadowood Farms, Archeology, Riverbend Nature Center, and Lake Accotink Park. He received the Fairfax County "Lord Fairfax Award" in 1993, the Fairfax County Federation of Citizen Association's "Citizen of Merit Award" in 2009, and is a member of the Prince William Conservation Alliance 2009 to present, and Chair of the Alliance Conservation Committee.
Harry was born and raised in Northern Illinois, educated in Illinois public schools and the University of Illinois. He served three years in the U. S. Army, joined the faculty of the U. S. Army Intelligence School at Ft. Devens, MA in 1966 as a civilian instructor. While living in MA he became increasingly interested in conservation matters and projects. He became a volunteer naturalist with the Mass. Audubon Society. He chaired his community's Wetland Conservation Commission which administers the state Wetlands Preservation laws. In 1989 he relocated in Northern VA working as an analyst with the Army's Intelligence Agency. He retired from Federal Service in 2001 and since then has devoted his time volunteering for conservation of his community's natural resources.
Harry states "I can think of nothing quite so simple to understand as the need to conserve the resources of our planet. If for no other reason than the health and well being of our family and ourselves, we should devote what is necessary to this end. The Soil and Water Conservation District program is one of the few direct 'cause and effect' organizations that aims exclusively for that goal. My experience with the Northern Virginia SWCD has been one of the most satisfying volunteer pursuits I have had. The Prince William SWCD offers another facet of that experience that I would like to explore." Harry serves the District on the Education, Technical Review and Finance Committees, and chairs the Districts Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Harry is an enthusiastic participant with our Farm Field Days, Arbor Day, Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for third grade students, and science fair events.