Meet the District

2016 Staff


District Manager – Andrew Gilmer

Andrews Website Pic 2As a native to Russell County, Andrew has a background in agriculture, geography, environmental studies, and soil sciences. A geography graduate from Radford University, Andrew was first employed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources where he used Geographic Information Systems to track habitat restoration projects in central Utah. After moving to Washington State, Andrew began working as an Environmental Specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). After several years of traveling with FEMA, Andrew finally made his way back to the farm in his hometown of Lebanon, VA.
Andrew’s true passion is being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. A conservationist by heart, Andrew serves as a director on the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and enjoys promoting conservation through his work at the conservation district and being active in the community. Andrew serves as a fundraising committee member for the Education Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation Districts and is the area representative for Virginia Conservation District Employees. Andrew is also Virginia’s representative for district employees for the Southeast Conservation District Employees Association for conservation districts in the southeast United States.

Andrew is also our acting FOIA Officer.

Conservation Specialist/Equipment Manager – Brandon Blevins

Brandon joins our team as the Conservation Specialist and Equipment Manager for Clinch Valley. A native to Russell County and Department of Geology graduate from Radford University, he has worked in the private engineering and surveying industry primarily in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. There, he has been an Environmental Scientist studying everything from geology to wetlands and the “wee-beasties” that live in Virginia’s freshwater streams.  He is proud to call Southwest Virginia home as well as his new office. He looks forward to helping the people and places of this beloved region and being part of the community.

Education Specialist – Siobhan Nishida

Siobhan joins our team as the Education Specialist for the Clinch Valley SWCD. She has previously worked in a range of positions including landscape architect, wetland environmental consultant, and project manager with a sheep livestock vegetation management company. As the mother of two elementary age children, Siobhan has found a great joy in working with children while helping them explore and answer questions about environmental principles. Siobhan and her husband enjoy teaching their children through the experiences of gardening, hiking, and visiting our National Parks. She believes it is great to visit places far and near, but is very happy to become part of the Southwest Virginia community!