Meet the College staff who keep things hoppin’ at the Water & Environmental Center:
Dave was appointed Director in 2014. He previously served ten years as the Director of Education at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. After leaving Seattle, Dave was first the Director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden and then the Executive Director of the Hughson Botanical Garden in California’s central valley. Most recently he was Executive Director of the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, a San Francisco nonprofit whose mission was to develop and support family farms and educate consumers about sustainable food choices; the Center also operated the much lauded Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture from Purdue and his M.S. in Biology from U. of Houston. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, gardening, food/wine, and photography.
Melissa is excited to have her dream job, as education coordinator, at the Water & Environmental Center (WEC). Melissa was born and raised in Walla Walla, but didn’t move back to the area until after attending college in Idaho. Environmental education has always been one of Melissa’s passions. She has worked as a Bleak Intern at Taylor Ranch Wilderness Field Station, environmental educator at the McCall Outdoor Science School, stream research technician at the Idaho State University Stream Ecology Center, and most recently as a middle school math and science teacher before coming to the WEC. Melissa enjoys being outdoors with her husband, Dean, and miniature schnauzers, Tiki and Henry. Sea kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking and skiing are just a few of her outdoor pursuits. Melissa also enjoys cooking, reading, and quilting.
To see Melissa’s WWCC staff page visit: web.wwcc.edu/melissaholecek
Jill moved from Texas and joined the Water Center family in 2016. She originally hails from Honolulu, Hawaii; a proud graduate of Punahou School. Jill is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, double majoring in English and Japanese. Previously she worked for Travelers Insurance as a Workers’ Compensation adjuster in Dallas, TX. More recently she taught 6th grade English in Bowie, TX, while tutoring History/Dual Credit at North Central Texas College. Currently, she spends her free time volunteering at the YMCA and serving with the Walla Walla Search and Rescue team. Jill and her husband, Jose, spend time with their “kids,” a cockapoo and boxer, Hapa and Baloo and three chickens, Penny, Oni and Kooka. She enjoys traveling, fishing, cycling, cooking and foraging. She is passionate about environmental sustainability and healthy living.