The EMSWCD Board of Directors is the governing body of the District. The Board of Directors set policy, adopt the budget, set program and strategic priorities, supervise the Executive Director and oversee the management of the EMSWCD’s affairs to ensure legal compliance and fiscal responsibility.
Read on to learn about our five Directors and two Associate Directors. You can also learn about recent and upcoming Board meetings, find out about the eligibility requirements for Board candidacy, and explore the 3 Board Zones that comprise our District.
Learn more about the Associate Board Director position and how to apply.
Nellie McAdams received her J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. She grew up part-time on her family's farm in Gaston, Oregon, where she continues to farm with her family. Nellie's agricultural background helped inspire her commitment to the preservation of working lands and prime soils.
Nellie is Rogue Farm Corps' Farm Preservation Program Director, where she helps gather and share information about ways to help Oregon farmers with succession planning and to get the next generation of farmers on the land. She is also a private consultant on food systems and agricultural matters.
Nellie was elected as a Board Director in 2016, and had previously served by appointment as an Associate Director since 2015. Nellie serves on the Budget, Land Legacy, Personnel, Grants and Partners in Conservation (PIC) Grant Review Committees.
Laura Masterson received her B.S. in cellular biology from Reed College and is now a widely respected organic vegetable farmer. Described in the local press as an "Urban Über-farmer," she manages farms in East Multnomah, Clackamas and Yamhill counties for a community supported agriculture (CSA) operation that feeds over 200 families year-round. She advocates on behalf of sustainable agriculture by serving on a variety of committees and citizen advisory groups, and on the Oregon State Board of Agriculture. Cultivating with a team of horses and an electric tractor, making use of rotational grazing, beneficial insect conservation, cover cropping, and utilizing a wide variety of other innovative or re-discovered techniques, Laura is a much-sought-after speaker and local expert.
Laura was elected as Director with EMSWCD in 2004. She has served as Board Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. Laura currently serves on the Budget, Land Legacy and Personnel Committees.
Mike Guebert earned his B.A. degree in geology from Humboldt State University and currently works for Metro as a Program Manager at the former St. Johns Landfill in North Portland. There, he works with a small staff to monitor and improve environmental quality, operate and maintain a landfill gas extraction and re-use system, and make habitat improvements on the reclaimed grassland that makes up the cap of the landfill. When not at his day job, Mike and his wife own and operate a small farm in Corbett, where they raise a variety of pasture-based livestock including dairy cows, goats, chickens, and turkeys. Their goal is to improve soil and water quality by practicing intensive rotational grazing, using chicken tractors (a portable chicken coop structure without a floor) to spread their fertility around the property, and excluding livestock from riparian areas.
Mike is very active in the small farm community, serving on several committees and panels, often testifying to the state legislature in support of bills to help family farmers, and is always willing to offer assistance and advice to beginning farmers.
Mike was appointed as an Associate Director in 2012, and became the Zone 3 Director in 2015. Mike is currently the Treasurer and serves on the Budget, Land Legacy, Personnel, Grants, and Small Projects and Community Events (SPACE) Grant Review Committees.
Rick Till received his B.A. in Philosophy from Washington State University and his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. Rick has several years of experience with land management issues, including working as a wilderness ranger in the North Cascades of Washington. Rick currently works on the legal staff at Friends of the Columbia Gorge. When not advocating for protection of the Columbia River Gorge, Rick enjoys planting trees, hiking, and wilderness river trips. Rick lives in Southeast Portland with his wife Katie and their two cats, Burta Reynolds and Klaus Daimler.
Rick was elected as Director with EMSWCD in 2008 and again in 2012. Rick serves as Board Chair, and previously also served as Treasurer and Vice-Chair. He currently serves on the Budget, Land Legacy, Grants, and Partners in Conservation (PIC) Grant Review Committees.
Allison Hensey is the Director of the Willamette River Initiative of the Meyer Memorial Trust. The Willamette River Initiative works to achieve meaningful, measurable improvements in the health of the Willamette River and its tributaries by 2018 and to create a national model for effective philanthropic involvement in the restoration of large, complex ecological systems.
In prior positions, Allison served as the Food and Farms Program Director at the Oregon Environmental Council where she worked to support the environmental stewardship and economic vitality of Oregon's farmers and ranchers, and as a Policy Specialist in the Director’s Office of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board where she helped provide funding and policy support to agricultural producers, forestland owners, and others for watershed restoration and salmon recovery projects. Allison received her B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and her J.D. from the University of Oregon.
Allison was appointed as an Associate Director in 2013, then became an At-Large Director in 2017. Allison currently serves as Vice Chair, and serves on the Budget and Land Legacy Committees.
Dianna received her nursing degree from the Emanuel Hospital School of Nursing, Oregon Health Sciences University Division of Continuing Education, and has worked as a nurse in hospital, educational, and home care settings. Dianna served on the Oregon Soil and Water Commission from 1989 to 1999 and has served on EMSWCD's board since 1984. During that time she has filled nearly every office and served on numerous committees as well as represented the District in various national, regional conservation and inter-agency coordination efforts. She is dedicated to the principle that conservation districts are local people working together to achieve consensus on natural resource issues, ensuring that all viewpoints are considered.
Dianna was elected as Director with EMSWCD in 1982 and was re-elected every four years until the end of her last term at 2014. Dianna became an Associate Director in 2015, and is now a Director Emeritus. Dianna has served as Board Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, and has served on the Grants Committee. She currently serves on the Budget Committee.