Who We Are

Meet the team behind Mountain States Chapter IECA

Opal Forbes

Opal Forbes

Opal Forbes, President

Ms. Opal Forbes has worked in the Construction and Transportation fields for the past 34 years. She graduated from Mankato State University in Minnesota, with a BS Degree in Business Administration Construction Management. She is employed by the Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the US Department of Transportation. She spent 16 years moving throughout 14 western states to provide contract administration on highway projects in our National Parks and National Forests. While working on construction sites, she became very interested in the Sediment and Erosion Control field and pursued education and experience to broaden her knowledge. She originally joined the IECA in 2000. She is a standing member of the IECA Standards and Practices Committee and served on the MSC annual conference committee in 2013 and is chairing that committee for the 2014 conference. She is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control and a Qualified SWPPP Developer and Practitioner for projects in California. She is currently the Stormwater Permits Specialist in the CFLHD office overseeing stormwater permits on projects in 14 states from scoping to completion.

Todd Croke

Todd Croke

Todd Croke, Vice-President

Todd Croke has worked within the erosion and sediment control industry for 21 years. He is a Certified Professional of Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC). Todd has worked for manufacturers and distributors of erosion and sediment control products in the United States and Canada providing product development, technical assistance, business development and sales service.

Todd obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University where he studied soil science and energy resource management. He has been an IECA member for 15 years and serves as VP of Administration for the Mountain States Chapter.

Ron Whiteman

Ron Whiteman

Ron Whiteman, Treasurer

Ron Whiteman has been in the erosion control business since 2005. He works for Bowman Construction Supply Inc. as a Technical Sales Representative and Account Executive. He has served on Committees for the Colorado Contractors Association, Home Builders Association of Greater Denver and the High Altitude and Revegetation Program at Colorado State University. He has been on the Board at MSC since 2007.

Kathy Kaiser

Kathy Kaiser

Kathy Kaiser, Secretary

Ms. Kathy Kaiser is an environmental specialist with over 20 years experience working in environmental consulting and the construction industry. She has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a paralegal certificate along with many other environmental related certificates. She is currently the environmental specialist for GE Johnson Construction Company where she supports the company’s construction teams in all aspects of stormwater permitting and environmental compliance. She has worked with the EPA, legal firms and various environmental consulting firms dealing with many environmental issues. Her consulting clients included commercial and home builders, utility contractors, oil and gas companies and industrial companies. Environmental concerns she has worked on include: stormwater management, construction dewatering, hazardous waste remediation, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, mold and indoor air investigations, underground storage tank removals and other issues.

Sam Stribling

Sam Stribling

Sam Stribling, New Mexico Representative

Sam Stribling takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development and enabling his teams to collaborate effectively. Sam strives to provide a work environment for his team that makes them all feel like they are family. Key to his success has been the ability to assist employees in improving their skill sets and developing into a more productive team. He intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together into a coherent whole, helps others extend their thinking, and drives material business advantage. He is an inspirational leader who tells stories that inspire action while at the same time is grounded in financial information that levers the business. Respected as a credible voice in decision making, finding strategic financing partners, and establishing governance boundaries, Sam earns a seat at the table wherever he serves.Sam currently serves as Founder and CEO at 814 Solutions, LLC, a privately-held erosion and sediment control company based out of Albuquerque NM that specializes in Seeding, Rip Rap/Gabion/Hard Armoring, Fencing, and providing environmental planning and inspection services.

Sam has lead 814 Solutions to be a prominent company in the Southwest with national recognition for their work including an Excellence in Reclamation award from the Department of the Interior for the work completed on the Dutchman Canyon/Swastika Coal Mine using geomorphic designs and use of local materials during the reclamation (an article can be seen in the IECA publication Environmental Connection from January 2013, Volume 7 Issue 1). Sam has actively participated in Association (AGC, ACNM, NUCA, Home Builders Association) meetings involving all areas of construction in New Mexico to move the industry standards forward and help others understand the added benefit to looking at new methods and means for completing work and accelerating the time for projects to achieve environmental compliance standards. Sam’s association participation has also led to various modifications to how the membership retention and acquisition has shifted to engage a younger audience with new technology and how the associations communicate to a younger workforce.

Sam holds BBAs from the University of New Mexico with concentrations in Productions & Operations, Entrepreneurial Studies, and Marketing. He serves on several Boards of Directors including the Construction Leadership Council of both the Building Branch and the Heavy Civil Branch of the Association of General Contractors and the Board of Directors of AdWallet, a Nationwide, digital direct to consumer advertising platform.

Greg M. Baptist

Greg M. Baptist

Greg M. Baptist, Utah Representative

Greg M. Baptist is employed by The Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District (formally Salt Lake County) for 26 years in the Planning and Development Services Division. Greg is currently employed as the StormWater Construction Supervisor. Where his duties include but are not limited to, the review of site grading and drainage plans for the development of subdivisions and commercial sites, review and implementation of Geotechnical recommendations, review and implementation of natural hazard mitigations, the review of the SWPPP documents and erosion control plans for construction. Greg has also developed the Industrial and Commercial and post construction programs for the MS4. During an Audit by the Environmental protection agency which identified violations in these programs Greg was tasked to resolve the violations and implement a complaint program to protect the MS4. Greg is licensed by the International Code Council as a Building Inspector, by the State of Utah as a Registered Stormwater Reviewer (RSR) & Registered Stormwater Inspector (RSI)  Greg is also a Certified Inspector of Sediment and Erosion Control (CISEC), and is an approved instructor for both the State of Utah programs and the CISEC training program. Greg worked in the Geotechnical and materials testing business in Northern California for 11 years at LRA Engineering in Sacramento. During his time in California he worked on many projects from highway construction and airport runway construction to large hydroelectric dam projects which created his interest in sediment and erosion control. Greg is a current member of the Utah Chapter of the ICC and has been a member of the IECA since 2013. Greg is currently a member of the Board of Directors for both the IECA and CISEC.

John Whittingham

John Whittingham

John Whittingham, Montana Representative

John Whittingham has over 25 years of experience in soil and water conservation practices. He joined the IECA and MSC in 2002, became a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control in 2006, and a Professional Wetland Scientist in 2011.

John is a graduate of the University of Montana (1985, B.A. Geology) and Montana State University (1995, M.Sc. Earth Sciences). He has worked as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist and soil scientist for State and Federal agencies, as an environmental consultant and independent contractor, and co-founded Basic Biological Services LLC (BBS) in 1999. BBS is located in Dillon, Montana. They provide land rehabilitation, vegetation management, habitat enhancement, and scientific investigations for mining, agriculture, forestry, construction, recreation industries, Conservation Districts, City and County governments, and Montana State agencies.

Leewood Oakley

Leewood Oakley

Leewood Oakley, Wyoming Representative

Leewood Oakley is an environmental specialist with SWCA based out of Casper, Wyoming. She moved to Wyoming in 2014 and has been working as a consultant for a wide array of clientele. Having experience with avian, game species, small mammal and wetland surveys, Leewood found storm water to be a new challenge which combines field work experience and active work within the community. Protecting waterways from sediment runoff and other pollution point sources allows for further development while keeping natural resources safe for future generations. Leewood completed her bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Unity College in 2012. She then went on to obtain a master’s degree from Montana State University in land resources and environmental sciences (2018). Her current storm water work focuses on right of way and other energy based construction projects in regards to compliance. She also works closely with other agencies during the permitting and management of storm water plans. Her goals include working with the community to bring a larger understanding of storm water management and how it pertains to the community as a whole.

Lucille Snowden

Lucille Snowden

Lucille Snowden, North Dakota Representative

Lucille Snowden is an Environmental Manager for Knife River Corporation in Bismarck, North Dakota and serves as the North Dakota Representative for the IECA’s Mountain States Chapter

Jon Healy

Jon Healy

Jon Healy, South Dakota Representative

Jon Healy is a Commercial and Turf Specialist at Millborn Seeds with locations in Brookings and Rapid City, South Dakota. In his role, Jon works closely with contractors, designers, and project/property owners across the great plains and upper mountain states to find the right seed mixes and erosion control solutions for projects ranging from residential to DOT and large site reclamation projects. Jon has a B.S. in Construction Management from South Dakota State University and has worked in a variety of roles in the construction industry for over 25 years. Jon is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) and has been the South Dakota Representative on the MSC board since 2018. Jon enjoys the challenges and ever-changing conditions that are found on a construction site and working closely with the design and construction team during all phases of a project.

Ross Bruno

Ross Bruno

Ross Bruno, Member At Large

Ross is responsible for marketing, corporate development and distributor recruitment for East Coast Erosion Control. Relatively new to the erosion control industry, he also has a great breadth of experience in environmental sciences, agricultural and manufacturing industries and has since been active with erosion control organizations including ECTC and IECA. Ross joined the Mountain States IECA board in 2019.