Ohio Water Development Authority - Serving Ohio Since 1968

Board Member List


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 Gerhardstein Sam Gerhardstein is founder and President of Capitol Success Consulting, LLC, a governmental and legislative affairs consulting firm, specializing in energy, public utilities, regulatory policy, and taxation.  Prior to forming CSC, 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 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.


Michael Reese Mike Reese was Director of Local Government Affairs at Ice Miller Whiteboard from 2016 through 2020. Prior to joining Ice Miller in 2016, Mr. Reese worked for the City of Columbus for nearly 19 years.  He was Chief of Staff for Mayor Michael Coleman from 2007 to 2015 and worked in other management and policy roles for Mayor Coleman from 1997 to 2006.  Before this, he was a Legislative Aide in the Ohio Senate in the mid-1990’s.  Mr. Reese earned a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Government from Ohio Wesleyan and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Bowling Green State University.  Mr. Reese has been a resident of central Ohio for the last 27 years and was appointed to the OWDA Board in October 2017.


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.


Director, Ohio Development Services Agency


Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources


Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
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