Elsa Bowen- District Manager
Elsa joined the District in December 2001. Elsa grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in Lincoln County and graduated from Davenport High School. She attended Big Bend Community College and Eastern Washington University and graduated with an Associates of Arts & Science Degree along with a B.S. in Financial Business Administration & Economics. Elsa enjoys the outdoors and the variety of grant projects the District completes.
509-725-4181 ext 117
Dean White- Soil & Water Resource Technician
Dean grew up on a cattle ranch in south central Lincoln County and graduated from Ritzville High School. He attended Washington State University and graduated with separate B.S. degrees in Environmental Science and in Soils. Dean worked as a soil scientist with NRCS before coming to work for the District in December 2001. Dean enjoys working on outdoor projects that also involve some office work. Dean works with the annual tree and shrub sale, maintaining tree and shrub plantings, stream flow and well level measurements for watershed planning, gathering headquarters and landscape information to assist with EQIP Energy contracts, GIS and map making, and other task order work as needed.
509-725-4181 ext 114
Kristen Balko - Project Manager
Kristen is a Montana native and a graduate of Washington State University with a B.A. and M.A. in Sociology. She recently returned to the Northwest and is thrilled to be back to an eventual "forever" home area. Kristen has worked on and assisted with a range of grant -funded projects for school infrastructure improvement, historic preservation, and programs to support military families. She is excited to work with the community to learn about, plan, and coordinate District projects.
"I feel extremely fortunate to work with such a welcoming staff and community to help achieve the county 's conservation goals."
509-725-4181 ext 116
Valerie Vissia- Communication Coordinator
Val grew up in Idaho. She and her husband own timberland north of Davenport that they have in a Forest Stewardship Plan and consider themselves conservationist and good stewards of the land in beliefs and in lifestyle. Val spent 10 years at Gonzaga University in Marketing & Event Planning and will be celebrating her five year anniversary with the district in July.
Val is a nationally recognized presenter and advocacy volunteer – “Living a Balanced Life” and has extensive training in diversity awareness and diversity in the workplace. She is an avid Gardner and also a certified Yoga instructor.
509-725-4181 ext. 100
Connor Nikkola- Natural Resource Planner
Connor grew up in Spokane, WA. but attended and graduated from Reardan High School where his Dad is the Athletic Director and Vice-principal. Connor graduated from Colorado State University in May of 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation Biology. At CSU Connor was the president of the shooting team, an executive officer for Alpha Gamma Rho and belonged to the CSU's Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation student chapter. This past summer Connor worked with the Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter.
Connor will be working with the Voluntary Stewardship Program and will be available to work with producers creating their own stewardship plans. "I have always loved Eastern Washington and spend much of my free time in the outdoors either hunting, fishing, and/or hiking."
509-725-4181 ext 118