Ohio Water Development Authority - Serving Ohio Since 1968

Board Member List


JAMES (JIMMY) V. STEWART, CHAIRMAN


James Stewart Jimmy Stewart became the President of the Ohio Gas Association on June 30, 2011, after serving in the Ohio Senate and three terms in the Ohio House.  As a former State Representative, he has served on the House Finance and Appropriations, and Health and Public Utilities committees.  During his tenure in the Senate, Mr. Stewart served on the Health, Human Services, and Aging; Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources; Rules and Reference; and Energy and Public Utilities committees.  Prior to his term as Senator and State Representative, he served on the Athens City Council as Auditor for the City.  Mr. Stewart obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Marshall University and earned a Master's degree in Business Administration from Xavier University.  A resident in Southeast Ohio near Albany, Mr. Stewart was appointed to the OWDA Board in July 2011.

SAM E. GERHARDSTEIN, VICE-CHAIRMAN


Sam Gerhardstein Sam Gerhardstein founded Capitol Success Consulting, LLC, a governmental and legislative affairs consulting firm, specializing in energy, public utilities, regulatory policy, and taxation prior to his retirement in 2021.  Mr. Gerhardstein served for 20 years as Director of Governmental Affairs for Columbia Gas of Ohio, representing the company before the Ohio General Assembly and state executive agencies.  While with Columbia Gas, he initiated the introduction and successfully lobbied for the enactment of many major pieces of legislation to support the business needs of Columbia Gas.  A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Gerhardstein holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, both from Bowling Green State University.  A resident in Central Ohio near Marysville, Ohio, Mr. Gerhardstein  was appointed to the OWDA Board in July 2016.

CHRISTOPHER (CHRIS) A. WHISTLER, BOARD MEMBER


Christopher Whistler Chris Whistler has over 20 years of experience in management and public policy and has held roles in both the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as the private sector. Mr. Whistler holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Miami University. As a resident of Gahanna, Mr. Whistler was appointed to the OWDA Board in August 2017.


WILLIAM (BILL) G. STANLEY, BOARD MEMBER


William Stanley Bill Stanley is the state director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, where he sets strategy and leads a team that protects lands and water, helps to provide food and water sustainably, connects people and nature, builds healthy cities and works to address climate change. He believes that it is not only possible to have thriving economies, rich cultural opportunities and preserved natural communities, but that these are mutually supportive. The path to success includes taking more time to listen, and collaborating with businesses, governments, and communities. Mr. Stanley earned a Bachelor's degree in environmental science with a minor in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and a Master's degree in Forest Science from Yale University. Mr. Stanley has two children and enjoys fishing, biking, and other outdoor activities. A current resident of Grandview Heights, he was appointed to the OWDA Board in January 2018.

GORDON REIS, BOARD MEMBER


Gordon ReisGordon Reis had a forty-five year career in public finance investment banking. He advanced to Partner of Seasongood and Mayer in Cincinnati and then became Managing Principal for a period of twenty-two years until his retirement. Seasongood and Mayer became a dominate firm in Ohio Public Finance during his tenure, secured Senior Managerships and Co-Senior Managerships for OWDA as well as later serving as financial advisor to OWDA, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Turnpike Commission, the Ohio Public Facilities Commission, and the Treasurer's Office. Mr. Reis's firm contributed in its role of Financial Advisor to OWDA in elevating its bond rating from A to AAA during their tenure. He enjoys municipal debt with the unique and creative opportunities it offers and has a great appreciation for those who engage in public finance. Mr. Reis currently resides in Columbus and was appointed to the OWDA Board in December 2021.

LYDIA L. MIHALIK

Director, Ohio Development Services Agency
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MARY MERTZ

Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
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LAURIE A. STEVENSON

Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
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