Ohio Chapter Board

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Dustin Lindley, Board of Directors

You can most often find Dustin kicking around public lands and waterways in the vicinity of his home in Milford, Ohio, often with either a fly rod, shotgun, or bow in hand. A late in life angler and then hunter, his scope has expanded to include trips to the salt for stripers and tarpon and to the mountains in search of the mighty elk. Also keeping him busy are his wife and two kids (both accomplished frog hunters), and a career as an engineer specializing in metal 3d printing, which is a fitting job for a fan of all things metal, music included. Dustin has a deep commitment to the protection of public lands, based largely on his extensive use of these places, but also to preserve, improve, and expand opportunity to experience wilderness for generations to come.

 


Henry Distad, Co-Chair

Raised in Shaker Height Ohio in a non-hunting family but was always drawn to the outdoors and wildlife. He would often escape to metro parks to fish, but I always wanted to hunt.  When old enough to drive he would frequent public wildlife areas figuring out hunting through trial and error. From the start he was using public lands and waters to feed his outdoor appetite. After high school Henry did an enlistment in the Marine Corps where he spent time hunting deer on timber company land, and inshore saltwater fishing in Georgia. Now back in Ohio living in Bainbridge Twp. in Geauga County, spending many weekends recreating on county, state, and federal lands, and waters.

 


 

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Brandon Skiver, Treasurer

Brandon grew up in Lima Ohio and currently resides in Cardington Ohio with his wife Krista, daughter Ainsley, two dogs and cat. Brandon is a Major in the U.S. Army and serves as a Brigade Logistics Officer. He is an avid outdoorsman who grew up hunting primarily private lands. However, it was in 2015 when he made his first trip out west for an Elk Hunt that he realized something must be done to stand up for our public lands. Brandon is engaged with calling and writing to his local politicians expressing his voice in support of public lands. It is Brandon’s goal to ensure that the same public lands we have today will be around for his grandchildren and grandchildren’s children. The photo of Brandon is when he finished his first 50K Trail Race in May 2017 at Delaware State Park in Ohio.

 



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Tony Ruffing, BOD

Tony grew up in Republic, Ohio, a rural town in North Central Ohio about half an hour south of Lake Erie. Growing up in rural America blessed Tony with the opportunity to experience the outdoors by working the land and recreating on it. From early ages of hunting rabbits and raccoons with his father and early deer hunting with his uncle, he knew the outdoors was going to be his first love and a lasting endeavor. Growing up his passions grew from hunting small game behind his parent’s home to traveling the state in search of whitetails, turkeys and waterfowl. But all this comes at a cost, and none of it would be possible without our public lands. As a residential contractor, and a cattle farmer, Tony saw and recognized a need for our public lands for our responsible timber harvests and for a healthy competitive beef market.

 


Jess Gantos, Board of Directors

Jess has enjoyed living in various regions across the US, but she’ll always be a gritty Ohio kid at heart. She roamed the forests and creeks throughout Cuyahoga county in her youth - unsuccessfully building many Huck Finn-esque rafts and bows and arrows. Being able to roam the creeks and woods freely was essential to being the hunter and angler she is today. She understands that our invaluable public lands often include indigenous communities' ancestral homelands, and believes while further work is being done to return sectors of these traditional lands back to the thriving indigenous communities, the preservation of public lands prevents privatization ensuring ongoing access for all. Finding BHA, a passionate, bi-partisan, action-oriented organization built around ensuring access to public lands and waters, for current and future generations, couldn’t be more aligned with her personal ethos and is excited to continue to serve Ohio’s residents, both human and non-human.

 

 


Jessica Suvak, Board of Directors

Jessica is from Cleveland, Ohio. She started off as an avid ultra trail runner and happened to cross paths with a fly angler one crisp November morning many years ago on the Rocky River in Cleveland, OH. After a short conversation she thought to herself what a lovely way to connect with nature, our public lands and waters. Now all she thinks, breaths and cares about is fly fishing. The addiction is “reel” and she dedicates most of her free time to educate new anglers and help people understand all the outdoor recreation we actually have here in Ohio. She works for a beer and wine distribution full time and part time for The Backpackers Fly Shop in Sheffield, Ohio. She is also the co-founder of Ohio Women on the Fly. Ohio Women on the Fly is a community that was created to bring women anglers in Ohio together and to inspire more women to get on the water. When she’s not on the water you can find her trail running along the river (TO LOOK FOR FISHING SPOTS) with her dogs Loki and Rosie. She also enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, road biking, paddle boarding, backpacking and recently gotten into hunting. 

 


Kyle Iwanicki, Board of Directors

Kyle is a certified North American Hunting Guide, Local 500 member, and self-proclaimed creature from the Great Black Swamp. He was raised in the cornfields of Fulton county and spent many summers on the shores of Lake Erie. His early life revolved around art, BMX bikes, and punk music. These days he runs a DIY music venue out of his garage while creating event graphics for BHA on state and national levels. Some of his favorite outdoor pursuits involve hunting Doves, Squirrels, Rabbits, Turkey, and most of all, Whitetail. He knows his way around a trapline, loves fishing for Walleye & Perch, and has even been known to (poorly) cast a few flies when he can. If you know Kyle, chances are that you know his better half: an American Bully named Apple that is an absolute rabbit hunting machine.

 

 

 

 


James Morton, Board of Directors

James grew up as part of an Army family so he spent his childhood across the country. He grew up shooting and passively fishing with his Dad, but other activities got in the way. After moving to Ohio in 2002 he took the long way around in finding the outdoors as his missing piece, "learning" to fish again in 2016 and has constantly been out fished ever since. In 2021, at 32 years old he decided to start hunting and hasn't looked back. James is passionate about wildlife and their habitats. He has taken every opportunity to learn more about them and ways to protect and enhance them. In 2023 he became a certified hunters education instructor with the hopes of bringing local communities together with hands on mentorship and stewardship programs to help bolster our hunting and angling heritage and promoting more reverence for and connection with the natural world.

 

 

 

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