Jim Nash, Water Resources Commissioner
First Elected: 2012
Term Expires: 2020
Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash began working for the citizens of Oakland County in 2005 when he was sworn in as a member of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. From the beginning, he has focused his energies on environmental sustainability, green building, and regional cooperation. These issues continue to be at the forefront of his decision making. Commissioner Nash is a strong advocate for sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line: economic development, environmental stewardship, and social equity. In his words, “we must protect our environment and our precious natural resources while we work for long-term economic success and ensure that all our citizens have access to the resources they need to succeed in our region.”
Commissioner Nash has been deeply involved in regional collaboration efforts directly related to sustainable development and resource conservation among the diverse interests of Southeast Michigan. He organized and hosted seven Annual Green Building Workshops in the Commissioners’ Auditorium. He also helped plan the first two Oakland County Green Building Summits. As a founding member of the Regional Partnership for Sustainability, he worked with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the surrounding counties, and the US Green Building Council in addition to the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the WARM Training Center.
Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash has worked with the Oakland County Executive’s office to develop the Great Lakes Water Authority, and helped to turn the struggling Detroit Water and Sewerage Department into a regional authority. He and his office were part of the planning process to restore this great system. Commissioner Nash and his staff have also organized and hosted annual Regional Stormwater Summits. These summits bring experts together from local governments, businesses and academia to learn about and advocate for green stormwater solutions and the funds needed to accomplish them.
Commissioner Nash is a 24-year resident of Farmington Hills and has been married to his wife, Karen, for 34 years. They live in the home where she grew up. They have four children and three grandchildren living in Michigan. He is a 1988 graduate of Florida State University, with a BS in Political Science and minor in Peace Studies. He served as a U.S. Army Medical Specialist from 1977 to 1980 and was honorably discharged. He received the Good Conduct Medal and Expert Field Medical Badge.
Anne Vaara, Chief Deputy Water Resources Commissioner
Anne Vaara is the Chief Deputy. She started in April 2017 at the WRC filling the vacancy left by Philip Sanzica, P.E., who retired. With over 25 years' experience as an environmental professional, Anne has a background in environmental science, stormwater management, government and community relations. She has an extensive background in environmental land use planning, wetland and woodland assessment and preservation, stormwater and watershed management, and environmental ordinance development. Working closely with Commissioner Nash, Anne will oversee all aspects of the organization and its efforts, with a strong focus on environmental issues and community relations.
Prior to coming to the county, her past experience includes Executive Director of the non-profit Clinton River Watershed Council for nine years, senior environmental planning consultant for a private consulting firm and the Environmental Director for West Bloomfield Township. She earned her bachelor's degree in Horticulture and a master's degree in Environmental Science and Wetland Ecology from Michigan State University. She also studied Urban and Regional Planning at Eastern Michigan University.
Tim Prince, P.E., Chief Manager
Tim Prince is responsible for supervising engineers, field staff members, administrative and technical support personnel totaling more than 100 employees. His areas of responsibility include the operations and maintenance of local sewage disposal systems, local water systems and sewer retention treatment facilities.
Tim joined the Water Resources Commissioner (WRC) staff as an Assistant Chief Engineer in 2000. Since that time he has filled the role of Chief Engineer and was promoted to his current position in November of 2013.
Tim graduated from the University of Akron in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan as well as the State of Ohio and has extensive water system and sewage disposal system operations and maintenance experience, including 17 years with a private water utility.
Steven Korth, P.E., Manager
Steven Korth is responsible for supervising engineers, field staff, administrative and technical support personnel totaling more than 100 employees. His areas of responsibility include the operations and maintenance of two wastewater treatment plants, four municipal combined sewer overflow retention treatment basins and numerous other wastewater treatment facilities including septic systems and sewage lift stations. Steve also is responsible for water system operations and maintenance for 22 local community water systems within 15 municipalities. In addition, Steve oversees Oakland County's environmental program that addresses water quality issues with various subwatershed groups and communities within the five major watersheds in Oakland County. Other areas of responsibility include the administration of a Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control program for 46 local communities and a Plan Review and Permitting program.
Steve joined the WRC staff as a Civil Engineer II in 1994. Since that time he has filled the roles of Assistant Chief Engineer and Chief Engineer with extensive experience in construction project management, lake levels and drain operations and maintenance, and lake improvement boards. He was selected to fill a position of Manager in 2009.
Steve graduated Cum Laude from Michigan State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Steve also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Oakland University in 2001. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan and has more than 20 years of experience in municipal engineering.
Ben Lewis, P.E., Manager
Ben is responsible for water systems, regional water systems, sanitary pump systems, sanitary sewer systems, waste water treatment plants and for supervising engineers, field staff and administrative & technical support personnel in these areas. He has previously filled the roles of Civil Engineer III, Assistant Chief Engineer and Chief Engineer.
Ben has extensive experience in the construction of water and sewer projects as a contractor and engineer. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University in 1972. Ben is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Michigan and Ohio..