Our Board

Become involved in KWA’s organization development and strategic direction.

KWA Officers

Gordon Garner, President

Gordon is a registered Professional Engineer in Kentucky and Arizona. Gordon received both bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. He was formerly Executive Director of the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District. He is an advocate for the watershed approach to clean water, and believes KWA is the most effective voice for protecting and improving our streams, lakes and rivers in Kentucky. He believes that climate change and natural resource exploitation are the greatest threats we currently face to protect and preserve our water resources.

Kay Harker, Vice President

Kay worked in the Department for Environmental Protection from January of 1985 until her retirement in 2007.  She worked in the Division of Waste Management, Division of Water and Commissioner’s office.  Prior to working in the Department for environmental protection, she taught high school in Kentucky, Florida, and Michigan, worked on a dude ranch in Arizona.  She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Austin Peay State University and did post graduate work in ecology at the University of Kentucky.  She grew up on a large family farm in Tennessee and in retirement lives on a small farm in Franklin County.

Her retirement activities include birding, reading, rescuing standard poodles, spoiling her three grandchildren and working on environmental issues.

Pamla Wood, Treasurer

Pam has been a member with KWA since its infancy, serving intermittently as a board member and occasional contractor. She moved to Kentucky after two years at Boston University, graduating from UK with a BS in Agronomy. Pamla has worked with nonprofits since 1974, alongside her career in federal and state government. Although natural resource management has been her primary focus, with water in particular, she also has decades of nonprofit planning and management experience. She is best known for her group facilitation skills, but provides services in all aspects of organizational development, program management, and accounting. In “retirement,” she continues her consulting activities, intensively studies modern and classical dance, and raises sheep and goats on a farm in Mercer County.

Hugh Archer, Secretary

Hugh has served as board Secretary since 2006. He helped establish the Kentucky River Watershed Watch, serves on the board for the Kentucky Conservation Committee, the Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, the Pine Mountain Settlement School, the Kentucky Heritage Fund Board and serves as Executive Director of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust. Hugh is an attorney who began his natural resources career as Director of The Nature Conservancy, and has worked in both the public and private sector. Some of his positions include Commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Natural Resources, Executive Director of the Kentucky River Authority, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, and General Counsel/Executive Consultant at PlanGraphics.

Board Members

Scott Vander Ploeg, Lower Green River (below Woodbury Dam)

Scott is a professor of English at Madisonville Community College, where he is the English Department Coordinator, and Coordinator for Global Studies and International Awareness.  He received the Acorn Award for top teaching at the collegiate level in the state in 2009.  He became engaged in water issues in the late ‘80s when Hopkins Co. sought to open a 100-acre municipal landfill.  He volunteered with KFTC for several years, and then became Chair of the Steering Committee of the Tradewater/Lower Green Rivers Watershed Watch.  He has served on the Interbasin Coordinating Committee, and is involved in several Sierra Club and ‘green’ activities.  He is an advisor to the XH Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year schools, which also encourages an “Operation Green” initiative.  He is currently teaching a course in Peace Studies and a writing/research course that focuses on sustainability issues.

Tom Vierheller, Big Sandy River (includes Little Sandy and Tygarts Creek)

Tom has served as KWA President, on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President, and as the Big Sandy River Basin Representative in recent years. Tom teaches biology at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Tom  serves on the advisory board of the East Kentucky Science Center.  In addition, he has offered numerous water quality programs to both youth and adults in the Big Sandy region.  For recreation, Tom enjoys time in his kayak on Dewy Lake and the Big Sandy River.

Bob Johnson, Jackson Purchase

Bob has served as either a basin representative or the Governing Council Treasurer for a number of years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a minor in Political Science from Murray State University. Currently, Bob serves as the grant specialist for NonProfit Dynamics, Inc., providing technical assistance in project development, grant writing, and grant management.

Marcia Boone, Salt River

Marcia is a Leadership and Management Professor at Bellarmine University and has been a trainer and consultant for business operations in corporate and higher education institutions. She has supervised staff and programs in a variety of social service agencies and nonprofit organizations. Marcia has been a member of KWA for many years and is a strong supporter; she joined the Board in 2016. She served as Process Manager of the Executive Search Committee in 2016-2017 and continues to serve on the KWA Resource Development Committee.

Linda Cowan, Salt River

Martin Hjalm, Salt River

Caitlin Johnson, Salt River

Emeritus Board Member

Frank Elsen

Bev Juett