Our People


Ward Wilson, Executive Director  ward@kwalliance.org

Ward Wilson became Executive Director of Kentucky Waterways Alliance in February 2017. Ward previously served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and has been an active member of KWA for over 20 years. Ward is a Kentucky native, who grew  up in Shelbyville and earned his B.S. in Biology from the University of Kentucky and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in four states and Board Certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Ward has always been fascinated with water and wildlife, enjoying waterways for recreation, serving on nonprofit boards such as the Soil & Water Conservation District, and as an engineer specializing in water quality improvement.

Judy Petersen, Consultant/Executive Director  judy@kwalliance.org


Judith Petersen served as executive director for Kentucky Waterways Alliance from 1997 to 2017 and is still an invaluable resource for the organization as a consultant. Judy is a national leader in clean water policy and respected voice for Kentucky waterways. She holds a B.S in aerospace engineering from Pennsylvania State University


 Jeffrey Jewel, Development Director  jeffrey@kwalliance.org

JJ Head Shot 110615Jeffrey Jewel serves as Development Director for KWA, joining the team in January 2016. Jeff was born and raised in historic Vincennes, Indiana on the banks of the Wabash River. His professional experience includes extensive development, administrative, and community relations work with 501(c)3 organizations in Texas, Colorado, and Oregon. Jeff’s governmental experience in Ohio and Indiana includes extensive grant writing and project management, notably working with the Wabash River Heritage Corridor program to preserve endangered wetlands. Jeff holds an A.S. in Earth Science from Vincennes University, a B.G.S from Indiana University, and a Certificate in Public Management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Tim Joice, Watershed Program Director  tim@kwalliance.org


Tim Joice serves as Watershed Program Director for KWA.  He first joined the team as Water Policy Director in October 2011. A born-and-raised Kentuckian, Tim spent time during and after his education working in private practice offices and government. He leads our watershed program working full-time out of our Louisville office. Tim holds two degrees in Landscape Architecture: a Masters from Penn State, and a B.S. from the University of Kentucky.


Bijaya Shrestha,  Water Policy Director  bijaya@kwalliance.org

Bijaya Shrestha serves as Water Policy Director for KWA, joining the team in June 2016.  Her passion for environmental protection began as a child growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, and has continued since immigrating to Kentucky in 1999.  Bijaya received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Louisville and a J.D. from NKU Salmon P. Chase College of Law.  She is licensed to practice law in Kentucky.   


Aaron Sole, Communications Director aaron@kwalliance.org

Aaron Sole joined our team as Communications Director in February of 2016. Originally from Frankfort, Kentucky, Aaron graduated with a B.A from Eastern Kentucky University in Broadcast & Electronic Communications. Aaron has provided graphics arts, communications, and social outreach services for organizations in both the for profit and NPO worlds and will be taking on KWA’s visual design and public outreach needs.


Jessica Kane, Community Engagement Director jessica@kwalliance.org

Jessica jesskaneKane serves as Community Engagement Director, joining the KWA team in September 2012.  Born and raised in Kentucky, she has spent most of her life on Kentucky’s waterways and has a true love and passion for the water.  She comes to KWA after being a stay at home mom of 3 children for 13 years.  Jessica holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and spearheads community outreach endeavors including river cleanups, membership campaigns and special events for KWA.

Doris Holland, Book Keeper doris@kwalliance.org

Doris SquareDoris serves as Bookkeeper for KWA, joining the team in August 2016. Doris was born and raised in Louisville and has worked with, and volunteered for non-profits businesses for several years. She is committed to keeping the environment clean for future generations and is excited to be a part of Kentucky Waterways Alliance efforts to protect our waterways. Doris attended Bellarmine University and has 25 years of experience in the field of accounting and finance.

Mark Howell, Bacon Creek Agricultural Coordinator mark.howell416@gmail.com

mark howell picMark Howell began working with KWA in 2011 as the Agricultural Coordinator for the Bacon Creek project.  In this role, he talks to farmers about Best Management Practices that can benefit their farms as well as Bacon Creek.

A Kentucky farmer since 1979, Mark has spent his career learning about the land.  He has grown tobacco, raised cattle, and now mostly concentrates on alfalfa hay.  He is an elected Supervisor of the LaRue County Conservation District, and he has implemented several agricultural best management practices on his own farm through the years.  He and his wife and their two dogs live near Hodgenville, KY.