America's Inner Coast Summit -- June 22-24, 2010 -- St. Louis, MO

Summit Speakers

John O. Anfinson John Ehrmann Mark E. Gorman Terry Mulchay David L. Pope
Fred Stemme Alan H. Vicory MG Michael J. Walsh Ivan Zavadsky  

John O. Anfinson, PhD Historian
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
National Park Service

John O. AnfinsonJohn O. Anfinson is the historian and cultural resources program manager for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service.  He worked as historian for the St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1980 to 2000.  John is a founding board member of Friends of the Mississippi River, an organization that focuses on the environmental health of the Mississippi in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  He is also on the Minnesota Marine Art Museum board.  John holds a PhD in American History from the University of Minnesota.

John has been researching, writing and speaking about the upper Mississippi River for over 25 years.  He is the author of The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi (2003) and River of History: A Historic Resources Study of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (2003) and many articles about the Mississippi River.   In 2005 John was one of ten U.S. delegates to the joint U.S./Dutch symposium on water resources at The Hague, Netherlands sponsored by the Institute for Water Resources and the Rijkswaterstaat.  John has articles forthcoming in Engineering Earth: the Impacts of Megaengineering (University of Kentucky Press) and The City, the River, the Bridge: Before and After the Bridge Collapse (University of Minnesota Press).

Return to top


John Ehrmann, PhD
Senior Partner of the Meridian Institute

John EhrmannDr. Ehrmann is a founder and Senior Partner of the Meridian Institute.

Dr. Ehrmann has pioneered the use of collaborative decision making processes for over two decades at the local, national and international level. He has designed and implemented projects in national and international forums; in public policy arenas involving legislation, negotiated regulations and Federal Advisory Committees; in organizational management and strategic planning settings; in communities and site specific disputes; and with stakeholder groups advising NGOs and companies. His work has focused on environment, natural resources issues, energy and climate change, health policy, science and technology, and the economic and social challenges associated with developing sustainable practices for communities and industries.

In addition to his extensive involvement in convening and facilitating collaborative processes, Dr. Ehrmann also works to promote the use of collaborative decision-making. He lectures and has published numerous articles on collaborative decisions in public policy issues. He serves as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Wyoming and provides advice to the Ruckelshaus Institute and School of Environment and Natural Resources on the use of collaborative problem solving in natural resource decision-making.

Dr. Ehrmann received his undergraduate degree from Macalester College and his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Policy and Environmental Dispute Resolution from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources. His doctoral dissertation involved developing a practice-based model of the policy dialogue, which can be applied to both practice and research. Between 1983 and 1997, Dr. Ehrmann was executive vice president at the Keystone Center, Keystone, Colorado. In September 1997, he became one of the founders of the Meridian Institute.

Return to top


Mark E. Gorman
Northeast-Midwest Institute

Mark E. GormanMark Gorman serves as Policy Analyst for the Northeast-Midwest Institute, focusing on Water and Watershed issues.  For four years prior to joining the Institute in 2009, Gorman directed the Northwest Office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council's (PEC), based in Meadville.  While there, Gorman worked with numerous partners from the private sector, government, communities and individuals in the upper Allegheny River and Great Lakes basins to promote the sustainable use of built and natural landscapes, particularly by focusing on links between the environment, the economy and quality of life.

Before working for PEC, Gorman served for over 22 years with the Northwest Region of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).  There, he helped to launch PADEP’s new Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program statewide and directed that Program in PADEP’s Northwest Region.  He was co-leader of the a pilot PADEP regional watershed team effort (focused on the internationally-renowned French Creek watershed), and later co-chaired PADEP’s Lake Erie, French Creek and Oil Creek watershed team.

Mr. Gorman is a trained mediator and facilitator, and served in that capacity for seven years on the PADEP’s statewide Alternative Dispute Resolution team.  He worked in the water quality program of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh for two years before joining PADEP.  He also served a three-year term as a member of the Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program) Advisory Council (2006 to 2008), and two-year term on Pennsylvania’s Water Resources Planning Committee for the Lake Erie basin (2007-2008).

Mr. Gorman is an active supporter of many local, statewide and national civic and conservation organizations.  He holds a B.S. in Biology from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida, and an M.S. in Freshwater System's Ecology from Kent State University in Ohio.  Except for those brief periods out of state for graduate education, he was a life-long Pennsylvania resident before moving to the Washington, DC area in 2008.

Return to top


Mr. Terry Mulcahy, P.E.
Director, Sand County Foundation Board

terrymulcahy.jpg With more than 50 years of experience, Mr. Terry Mulcahy, P.E. currently is a Director on the Sand County Foundation Board and is enjoying the good life. He retired in 2002 as Wisconsin’s Secretary of Transportation, following 46 years of service. Mr. Mulcahy began his time with the State of Wisconsin as a draftsman at the beginning of the IH system construction and concluded it with 11 years in the Secretary’s office as Deputy Secretary or Secretary. During this period, he served in a number of key leadership positions for transportation, both in Wisconsin and nationally. In another role, Mr. Mulcahy achieved the rank of Major General in the U.S. Army Reserves and served as the ranking Army Reserve General Officer and senior engineer for the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf War. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin [BS Civil Engineering]; University of Shippensburg {MS Public Administration], U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and of the U.S. Army War College.

Return to top


David L. Pope, Executive Director
Missouri River Association of States and Tribes (MoRAST)

David L. PopeDavid L. Pope of Topeka, Kansas is Executive Director of the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes (MoRAST), an association of representatives of the Governors of seven States and many of the twenty-eight Indian Nations in the Missouri River Basin.  Mr. Pope implements programs of the Board of Directors, which primarily relate to resolution of water and natural resources issues of interest to the member States and Tribes.  He coordinates activities with various agencies and organizations and provides information related to MoRAST programs and priorities to federal agencies that operate projects or programs in the Basin, as well as to staff and members of Congress. 

Mr. Pope comes to this position with extensive experience related to water and natural resources management.  He has a long history of involvement with the Missouri River and interstate water issues.  He served as Chief Engineer and Director of the Kansas Division of Water Resources from 1983 to 2007, where he administered laws related to surface water and groundwater appropriation and management, dam safety, stream obstructions, floodplain management and other programs related to the conservation and management of water.  He represented the Governor for Missouri River issues, served as the lead Kansas member on four interstate river compact commissions and was extensively involved in resolving many water disputes in Kansas, as well as two U.S. Supreme Court cases to enforce interstate river compacts.  Earlier in his career, he was Manager of the Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District and carried out water related educational programs as an Extension Irrigation Engineer for Kansas State University.

Mr. Pope also represented the State of Kansas on the Interstate Council on Water Policy, the Western States Water Council and the Association of Western State Engineers.  He also served on the Kansas Water Authority, the State Conservation Commission and several other boards and commissions.  He is a member of the Kansas and National Societies of Professional Engineers and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and has held leadership positions in most of these organizations.  He has received numerous awards from his peers and various professional organizations.  

David is a native of Oklahoma.  He attended Oklahoma State University where he received BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Engineering and specialized in water resources engineering.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Kansas.  David is married and has two daughters.

Return to top


Fred Stemme, Vice President of Marketing
National Corn Growers Association

Fred StemmeFred Stemme serves as Vice President of Marketing for the National Corn Growers Association. Fred and his thirteen-member team are responsible for NCGA communications, fundraising, industry relations, leadership training, membership services, organization meetings and state relations. During Fred’s tenure at NCGA, the organization hit an all-time membership high of 36,088, the Commodity Classic event has grown to over 4,500 attendees annually and NCGA publications have received numerous awards from the National Agri-Marketing Association.

Prior to joining NCGA in 2005, Fred was on staff with the Missouri Corn Growers, and as such he has over 12 years of service to corn growers. He also spent time with American Cyanamid Company as a Sales Representative in Iowa, Georgia and Texas. Fred has been an active member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, serving as the Allied Industry chairman and representative on the NAFB Board of Directors in 2006 and received the NAFB President’s Award in 2007.

Fred grew up working on his family farm near Hermann, Missouri, where they raised registered Polled Hereford cattle and grew corn, as well as other crops and livestock. He has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and he served as Missouri State FFA President while at Mizzou. Fred currently resides in St. Charles County, Missouri with his wife Julie and their three children.

Return to top


Alan H. Vicory, Jr., P.E., BCEE, Executive Director and Chief Engineer
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO)

Alan H. VicoryMr. Vicory serves as Executive Director and Chief Engineer for the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).  Appointed to the position in May 1987 after previous responsibilities with the Commission staff as Environmental Engineer and Manager of Technical Services, Mr. Vicory directs the programs of the Commission, which include establishment of regulatory requirements for discharges, water quality and biological monitoring systems, detection and response to spills, applied research, coordination of states and federal programs and public education and involvement.

Mr. Vicory received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1974.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer and Board Certified in environmental engineering (water and wastewater) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.  He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), a former Chairman of the International Water Association’s (IWA) Watershed and River Basin Management Specialist Group, and is currently a member of the Association’s Strategic Council.  He also is a Past President of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) and the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA).

Mr. Vicory has provided contributions to published texts, published and presented numerous professional papers, has provided keynote remarks at technical and professional conferences nationally and internationally, and has served on many expert panels. 

Return to top

Major General Michael J. Walsh
Commander, Mississippi Valley Division
Commander, Task Force Hope
President-designee, Mississippi River Commission

MG WalshMajor General Michael J. Walsh assumed command of the Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, Miss., Feb. 20, 2008.   He also serves as President-designee of the Mississippi River Commission.  General Walsh came to MVD from Baghdad, Iraq, where he was the Commander for the Corps Gulf Region Division.  

As MVD Commander, Walsh is responsible for a $7.5 billion civil works program.  In addition, he plays a vital role in managing the Corps water resources program in the Mississippi River Valley.  The boundaries of the Mississippi Valley Division extend from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, include portions of 12 states, and encompass 370,000 square miles.  The programs and activities overseen by the MVD and MRC are conducted by six district offices located in St. Paul, Minn., Rock Island, Ill., St. Louis, Mo., Memphis, Tenn., Vicksburg, Miss., and New Orleans, La.  He also serves as Commander of Task Force Hope.  Established in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Task Force Hope is responsible to deliver the nearly $15 billion construction program that will provide the 100-year level of storm surge risk reduction to the greater New Orleans area in 2011.

Previous assignments include:  Commander of the South Atlantic Division, Atlanta, Ga., from June 2004 to September 2006, Chief of Staff at headquarters, Washington, D.C., from May 2003 to June 2004, Executive Director of Civil Works at headquarters, Washington, D.C., from August 2001 to May 2003, District Commander of the Sacramento District, Sacramento, Calif., from 1998 to 2001, and District Commander of the San Francisco District, San Francisco, Calif., from 1994 to 1996.

Maj. Gen. Walsh has held a wide variety of Army command and staff assignments, to include:  project management officer for Engineer Branch, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE); Environmental Task Force Leader, Fort Stewart, Ga.; Executive Officer, 92nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Stewart, Ga., and Saudi Arabia; Project Engineer and Assistant Area Engineer, Baltimore District; Construction Officer, 18th Engineer Brigade, Darmstadt, Germany; and Commander, Company B, 94th Engineer Battalion, Darmstadt, Germany.

His awards include two Bronze Stars, four Legions of Merit, and numerous lesser awards.  He is parachute and Ranger qualified.

Maj. Gen. Walsh was graduated from Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.  He also earned a master's degree in construction management from the University of Florida.  His military education includes the Engineer Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.

Walsh was born in Brooklyn, NY, and is married with two adult sons.         

Return to top


Ivan Zavadsky, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist
Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Ivan ZavadskyMr. Ivan Zavadsky works as Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat in Washington, DC in International Waters (IW) Focal Area. The GEF IW program helps countries work together on shared oceans, rivers, lakes, and groundwater systems towards sustainable management of these shared resources.

Until 2007 he served as Regional Director for the UNDP/GEF Danube/Black Sea Regional Programme. In 2001 he joined, as Project Manager, the UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project assisting Danube countries in implementation of the Danube River Protection Convention. The Danube Regional Project closely worked with the International Commission on the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and complemented its activities required to strengthen a regional approach for solving transboundary problems, including nutrient pollution and achieving of sustainable ecological conditions within the Danube River and Black Sea Basins area.

Since 1992 he served as Director General at the Ministry of Environment of Slovakia responsible for policy and regulation of water, waste and air sectors. He has extensive experience in managing and coordinating environmental programmes and projects of large geographical and policy scope both within and outside of GEF International Waters area. In 1999-2001 he led the negotiations of the accession of the Slovakia to European Union (EU) for entire sector environment, including all EU water regulations and policies. During his more than 15 years long government service career he represented Czechoslovak and Slovak governments to number of international bodies or organisations, such as ICPDR, Environmental Policy Committee OECD, Committee on Environmental Policy UN ECE, etc. Before joining the Government he worked for the City of Bratislava water utility on large water supply projects. Mr. Zavadsky holds degrees in water management (1981) and economics in water management (1986) from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava.

Return to top

Social Media
    Be part of the conversation

Bookmark and Share

Summit Background


Summit Need

Geographic Scope

Potential Outcomes

Foundation Documents
    & Efforts

Midwest Natural Resources Group — Opportunity for Action Letter

Mississippi River Commission Vision Statement

Monsanto Commitment

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) Watershed Visions Conference

The Nature Conservancy Great Rivers Program

Nature Conservancy MOU

Sand County Foundation - Partnering for Ecosystem Sustainability

Sand County Foundation MOU

Vision for a Sustainable Mississippi River Watershed: Meridian Institute Interviews Findings and Recommendations

Executive Summary: Great Rivers Partnership - June 2010

Mississippi River Network: Headwaters to Gulf