Saturday, April 13, 2013

Introducing our new Board of Managers Members

Jen Oknich (left) and Marj Ebensteiner (right) come in to meet the staff.

The Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District would like to welcome two new Board of Managers members to our organization. Jen Oknich and Marj Ebensteiner were sworn in at our last Board meeting on April 3. We are excited to be able to draw on their wealth of experience, skills, ideas, and new perspectives. We asked each of them to tell us why they were interested in serving on our board and to share some things about their background, the experiences they bring to this position and their interests and hobbies. Both of these managers live in the District in the City of St. Paul. Here’s what they had to say:

Jen Oknich

“I am very excited to be a part of Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District's Board of Managers. I believe that sound public policy enables us to protect and improve our community and environment. Over the past twelve years, I have worked in water resources management at various levels of government (federal, state, county and watershed) and the private sector. I've administered wetland, shoreland, floodplain and water quality programs, and have experience in environmental permitting, environmental engineering, conflict resolution, prairie restoration, shoreland restoration, stream morphology, GIS, erosion control/best management practices, website development, and data and project management.

For fun, I love anything outdoors: native landscaping, canoeing, camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and inline skating. I volunteer with the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (you should too!), and on the Wetland Professionals Association Board. I'm also a member of the Minnesota Native Plant Society, Society of Wetland Scientists, Association of State Floodplain Managers and Minnesota Association of Floodplain Managers.

RWMWD staff has done amazing things in our community, and I'm happy to contribute my service and expertise.”


Marj Ebensteiner

Marj’s experience in the field includes 34 years working with Mn/DOT as a Management Consultant and Project Manager, as a Supervisor at the Ramsey County Conservation District, as a Chair at Eastside Seniors (50+) and as the longest serving member on the Sales Tax Advisory Board (STAR). She has been appointed by 4 mayors of St. Paul for the position on the STAR Board and will review $17 million in projects for this coming year.

“I enjoy things of beauty – gardens, streams, farms, trees and backyards. The position of Manager on the Washington/Ramsey Watershed District Board affords me the opportunity to work with others preserving what we now have while creating new initiatives to clean our water and also improve the aesthetics of the land that surrounds us.”

Marj concluded her introduction with this poem:

Water creates music as it tickles over my feet
Water feeds the vegetables that we eat
It is crystalline, pure and so not concrete
Protecting it is quite a feat

We are excited to have them aboard!

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