SGRWA Board of Directors

The mission of the South Grand River Watershed Alliance is to educate and involve the members of the community in preserving, restoring and protecting the waters and aquatic habitat of our South Grand River Watershed. The Alliance is a nonprofit (501c3) organization.


CHAIR – Stephen Van Rhein (

Stephen Van Rhein has been a Community Conservationist working for the Department of Conservation since 2003. He works with cities and counties in the Kansas City metropolitan area to incorporate conservation friendly practices as the area grows. Prior to that Mr. Van Rhein worked for the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks for three years on a large 319 grant focusing on rural water quality issues. He has a MS in Ecology from Illinois State University and a BS degree in Microbiology from the University of Missouri. He spent 2 plus years in Cameroon working for the Peace Corps as an aquaculture extensionist.


VICE-CHAIR – Phil Needham (

Phil was born and raised in Abilene, Kansas graduating from Abilene High School in 1979. In 1983 Phil graduated from Mizzou with a BS in Wildlife Management.

From 1984 to 1990 Phil worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation in the Wildlife Division.   In 1991 he entered the Agents Training Academy from which he was assigned to Reynolds County for 3 ½ years as a Conservation Agent. He was transferred to Cass County in 1995 and has been a Conservation Agent in Cass County the last 22 years.

Phil has been married to Shelley for 31 years and they have three children.  Angel, David and Thomas who are students at Midway High School. Shelley is self-employed as a seamstress.

Phil’s hobbies are hunting, fishing, and mostly managing his 100 acres for wildlife with wetland developments and plantings of native grasses and trees.  Other local groups that Phil works include the  Freeman Community Club (2012 President),  Ducks Unlimited (Area Chairman), National Wild Turkey Federation (Committee member), and  Quail Unlimited (Committee member).


SECRETARY – Bernadette Basham (

Bernadette is new to the SGRWA and environmental activism. She has a bachelors from UCM and a MBA from Rockhurst University. She is an accomplished Program Manager with several Project Manager professional certifications.

Like many others, her love of nature started in her youth. She grew up in the country, outside of Sedalia, Missouri. As a young girl, Bernadette spent countless summer hours exploring the woods, playing in the local creek, picking gooseberries and blackberries in the woods for her mother’s delicious pies and watching the native animals in the woods.

Bernadette has taken the Volunteer Water Quality Monitor Intro Workshop and is an active Stream Team member. She enjoys nature, staying active and spending time with her family and her two mighty Chihuahuas.


TREASURER – Bob Sherrick (

Bob Sherrick is a retired mathematician. He received his bachelors degree from Southwest Missouri State (1963) and his master’s degree from University of Missouri at Rolla (1966). He acquired his love of rivers by floating and fishing Ozark streams in his youth. This has grown to the broader issue of water quality through his concerns of protecting his grand children’s access to the same experiences he had growing up.  Bob is a Stream Team member and has completed Level I training and took part in the Stream Team Program, Understanding Streams.  He also attends seminars and workshops about Water Quality and Quantity to gain further knowledge about watersheds.


BOARD MEMBER – Doris Sherrick (

Before retiring, Doris taught 20 years in the Belton School District. She grew up in the Bourbois and Meramec River watersheds and enjoyed wading and playing in local creeks and rivers—they were clear and clean in those days.  Her interest in streams and water quality has greatly increased in recent years as she has become more knowledgeable and aware of the impacts people have on water quality. Because she wants future generations to be able to enjoy our waterways as she used to and to have clean waters for all uses, Doris became involved in the formation of the South Grand River Watershed Alliance to provide education and awareness of how we can all work together to restore and protect water quality.  She formed a neighborhood Stream Team and has Stream Team Level I training.  Doris has attended numerous seminars and workshops to learn more about Water Quality and Quantity.

Doris and her husband, Bob, enjoy spending spare time working to reconstruct prairie habitat on their 40 acres.





PAST CHAIR – Rick Lincoln

Richard T. Lincoln passed away September 24, 2012.  He is greatly missed by the Directors of the South Grand River Watershed Alliance.  His passion for protecting water quality, his interest and enthusiasm for acquiring knowledge about the natural world and how to better protect it serve as inspiration to each of us as we continue to work on those efforts in his memory.

Rick has spent much of his career as a civil engineering technician and designer. Many of his duties are related to stormwater management, including stream monitoring, chemical data collection and storm sewer mapping and database management. More recently, he has become a professional soil and erosion control designer.

Rick has always had an interest in streams. After moving to rural Cass County in his middle school years with his parents, he spent many hours exploring Black Creek, a tributary to the South Grand River.

Throughout his life he has been interested in water quantity and quality. More recently he has enjoyed learning more about watershed management and advocating for healthy streams. Besides his involvement in the South Grand River Watershed Alliance, he has a Stream Team and has achieved Level 2 requirements as a Volunteer Water Quality Monitor.