In the 1930s when the original Soil & Water legislation was created, it was understood that the success of conservation programs relied on local input. The Wake County SWCD Board is charged with determining local priorities, and aligning those priorities with State and Federal mandates. Our Board is comprised of five members – three of which are elected to four year terms, the other two members appointed by the Board.
Appointed Supervisor/Board Chairman: Thomas Dean is a lifelong resident of Wake County. His family’s roots are deep in the county, going back more than 200 years. He was born and raised on a farm in Wake County and continues to live on a working farm. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children – Ashley, Katherine and Jesse.
Thomas has been a farmer for more than 30 years. He farmed tobacco most of his life but tended his last crop of the golden leaf in 2005. He continues to farm soybeans and small grain crops. He has found the need to diversify his livelihood, but he will always be a farmer of some type. His love for the land of Wake County makes him an excellent addition to the Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors.
Some other conservation-related activities that Thomas has been involved with include serving on the Wake County Extension Advisory Board, the Neuse River Management Board, and the Wake County Working Lands Task Force.
Elected Supervisor/Board Vice-Chairman: William (Bill) Cole has been a resident of Wake County for 20 years. He grew up on a Farm in rural Indiana, and graduated from
Indiana State University in Computer Engineering . In 1993 he founded a technology consulting business that he ran for 10 years. His free time devoted to working as a volunteer organizer and event planner for several local non-profit charities, along with tending his herd of pets and honeybees.
Bill believes that our recent droughts have been a wake-up call; that we can longer take our Land and Water resources for granted. We can’t wait for the next drought to raise our consciousness on water conservation. His focus is on Urban Conservation initiatives that conserve and protect water quality.
Elected Supervisor: Marshall Harvey has been a Raleigh Resident for over 42 years. He is married and has been married to his lovely wife Mildred Harvey who is a retired school teacher for 41 years. To this union, they have two daughters, Gretchen and Michaela Harvey and one granddaughter, Lauren. Marshall Harvey has had many endeavors to help make Wake County what it is today such as: He has served as Director of the Census 2000 complete Count for Wake County which ranged number two out of five top responding counties and raged number five in the responding for metro areas in the country. He has served six years on the Raleigh Planning Commission and two years as chair of the commission just to name a few.
Elected Supervisor: Jenna Wadsworth was raised on a family farm and has seen the impact of development on the withering away of that lifestyle. From an early age, she was interested in soil and water conservation and understood the importance of maintaining best management practices on the land. She became a Friend of the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District earlier this year, and has been actively engaged with issues affecting the District there since. Jenna has met with local farmers to discuss the issues facing them, talked with local vendors at the farmers markets about their concerns, and attended meetings on farmland preservation and local foods enhancement.
Appointed Supervisor: Laura H. Parker is an attorney with a background in lobbying, regulatory matters, and advocacy. Upon graduating from UNC School of Law in 1996, she worked as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Manufacturers & Chemical Industry Council of North Carolina (MCIC), a trade association of 70 chemical, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing companies focusing on the areas of environmental law and regulation. After years of legislative and regulatory representation of associations, Laura left the practice of Law in November 2009 when her first child was born. She now serves as a legal consultant for her husband’s produce sales and marketing company as well as for his farm operations in Wendell and Knightdale.