Outstanding Conservationists and Partners Honored at Awards Banquet

J. Roy Houston

J. Roy Houston was inducted into the District’s Hall of Honor.  During his tenure as District chairman, the organization grew from one conservation program to seven, from one employee to 13, and from a shared office location to its own unique historic-barn conservation center. He also helped to forge many partnerships that put important conservation projects on the ground – reclaiming abandoned mine lands, building flood protection measures, and creating hiking/biking trails.


[embedplusvideo height=”365″ width=”620″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5esVD58ruew?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=5esVD58ruew&width=600&height=365&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=0&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4765″ /]



Master of Ceremonies Larry Larese

Master of Ceremonies Larry Larese, the District’s newest associate director, served as the official host for the evening and did a great job of keeping the program running smoothly. Larry recently retired as executive director of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation and the Westmoreland County Department of Planning and Development.


Barry Kukovich, Manager of Communications and Community Affairs, Peoples Natural Gas

 Barry Kukovich, manager of Communications and Community Affairs for Peoples Natural Gas, spoke of his company’s commitment to our region and desire for a strong partnership with the District.  Peoples Natural Gas is the sponsor of the new J. Roy Houston Conservation Partnership Award. Roy worked for many years as marketing manager at Peoples Gas and it was that company’s commitment to employee volunteerism that introduced Roy to the Westmoreland Conservation District in 1968.

Enjoying the buffet of locally produced foods.

Local producers again provided many of the fresh, delicious foods enjoyed at the banquet. All Saints Brewing Company, Bardine’s Country Smokehouse, Friendship Farms, Greenhouse Winery, Hoffer’s Ligonier Valley Packing, Kerber’s Dairy, Sarver’s Hill Organic Farm, Simplicity Acres, Turner Dairy Farms, and Wendel Springs Farm all supplied foods featured in culinary treats from hors d’oeuvres through desserts. Table centerpieces were provided by local grower, Jason Wilkinson Nurseries, Inc.