Our Staff

Mike Kromrey

Mike Kromrey

Executive Director

Mike grew up in Ozarks and for most of his life has spent as much time on the water as possible—especially Ozark streams. His lifelong passion for nature developed into a vocation at the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks (WCO), which at its core, involves teaching people of all ages about nature and fostering stewardship of the earth and, ultimately, each other.
Mike joined the WCO as a staff member in May 2006 and has served as the Executive Director since 2012. He previously worked with the James River Basin Partnership, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri State University (MSU) while earning his degree. At MSU, Mike earned a comprehensive biology degree with an emphasis in ecology, evolution, and systematics, and a Master of Science in biology, focusing on aquatic ecosystems. Mike currently serves on a variety of local and state committees related to water and sustainability. He is passionate about the mission of the WCO and leaving a positive mark on our community.
Mike and his family live in the Rountree neighborhood and are proud Springfield residents. They enjoy time on the water, traveling, and working to make the community better.

Stacey Armstrong Smith

Stacey Armstrong Smith

Projects Manager

Stacey joined the Watershed Committee staff in March 2007. Stacey earned her degrees from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Geography with minors in Cartographic Sciences and Community & Regional Planning and a Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences with an emphasis in Physical Geography. She is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 31 and was awarded a Group Study Exchange International Travel Grant to India by Rotary Foundation District 6080 in 2015. Stacey has served on the Springfield/Greene County Stormwater Management Task Force and Willard Source Water Protection Committee. During her career, Stacey has managed over 2 million dollars in grant funding to complete projects in the areas of wastewater, stormwater, source water protection, watershed planning, water quality monitoring and stream restoration. Stacey enjoys working with community partners to protect local drinking water supplies and connecting people to water information and resources.

Kelly Guenther

Kelly Guenther

Director of Business Operations

Kelly joined the Watershed Committee in October of 2006. As Business Manager, Kelly oversees various aspects of the business including financials and financial reports, payroll and taxes, HR, social media and email communication, organizing events, website work, and donor management. Kelly graduated Magna Cum Laude from Drury University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. She completed Drury University’s Certificate in Social Media, and Master’s level courses in Communication Ethics and Strategic Issues Management. She received a Certificate of Achievement for completing MSU’s GO LEAD ‘Nonprofit Leadership in the 21st Century’ workshop and completed MSU’s Certificate in Non-Profit Management. Kelly is currently enrolled at OTC to complete an Associates in Accounting and Business degree. Kelly is a southwest Missouri native who loves the outdoors and the Ozarks. She and her husband live in Springfield and have one son, two grandchildren and three cats.

Jeff Birchler

Jeff Birchler

Watershed Center Director

Jeff joined the Watershed Committee in May of 2016. Jeff graduated from Missouri State University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. He obtained his Masters from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in Educational Technology. As a public school teacher, Jeff strived to give students innovative firsthand experiences to foster a love of learning and a sense of environmental stewardship. He and his wife, Angela, are longtime residents of the Ozarks who enjoy their time outdoors pursuing a variety of interests.

Caleb Sanders

Caleb Sanders

Watershed Conservation Corps Director

After graduating with a bachelor’s in philosophy and religion from Drury University, Caleb pursued a graduate degree at the University of Chicago. While living in Chicago, Caleb worked for Friends of the Forest Preserves, managing teams of youth engaged in conservation projects within the inner-city. He has since worked with the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Student Conservation Association, Audubon California, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Southern Sierra Research Station leading trail and ecological restoration projects in several states across the country. Joining the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in the spring of 2017, Caleb seeks to continue to enact his passion for restoration through hands-on service to the land.

Adam Barton

Adam Barton

Watershed Conservation Corps Program Manager

Adam grew up in north Springfield only minutes away from the Watershed Committee. He experienced the beauty of the Ozarks growing up through numerous hiking, hunting, and fishing expeditions. Adam joined the Watershed Committee in April 2019 as a technician for the Watershed Conservation Corps program to assist with ongoing projects. Adam currently manages the 70-acre native prairie restoration project at Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield. He is entering his final year of study at Missouri State University where he majors in wildlife management and conservation, while minoring in forestry and geospatial science. Adam loves working at the Watershed Committee because he gets to spend time outside, improve native habitat, and educate others about modern-day conservation practices. In his spare time, you can find Adam with a fiddle in his arms playing tune after tune. He competes in numerous fiddle contests around the state and is honored to carry on the tradition of bluegrass music in the Ozarks. Adam and his wife Brooke are lifelong Springfield residents and love being part of the community.

Rowan Castle

Rowan Castle

Watershed Center Fellow Intern

Rowan is a Springfield native and has loved spending time outdoors as much as possible. They started with the Watershed Committee as an AmeriCorps VISTA in January, 2020. They help with capacity building within the organization, but volunteer recruitment and training and Watershed Natives are the two largest areas they work in. Rowan has a passion for animals and currently lives with three dogs, several fish, and a 6-foot Boa Constrictor. Rowan also loves outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, and camping, just to name a few, and has spent many summers in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado. Springfield may be home, but the mountains are always beckoning.

Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor

Fellows Lake Operations Manger

Matt was born and raised in Springfield, MO, from an early age was fascinated with nature and the Ozarks amazing waterways. His parents encouraged his interest in the outdoors and took him to Fellows Lake from an early age. He learned to sail on Fellows around the age of 12 and has been a water lover since. He studied Mechanical engineering at University of Missouri at Rolla (Missouri S&T). After college he developed a business career in southern Louisiana working in the specialty coating and corrosion industries. He worked with many companies throughout the Gulf Coast region finding environmentally sustainable solutions for corrosion control and coatings. Working with major shipyards, NASA, petrochemical companies such as Dow, BP and the US Navy, always working to reduce furtive emissions and encourage VOC free coating solutions. He never lost his passion for hiking, mountain biking, paddling and sailing and was very active in the gulf with various kayaking and sailing groups. Matt kept a 33’ sailboat in Louisiana and had many wonderful gulf trips and redfish adventures. He returned to Missouri in 2016 and is enjoying the great outdoor resources available in the Ozarks. Matt is excited to teach others the joys of paddling, pedaling and sailing.