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Rob Mitchell
Equipment Operator

Employee Spotlight

November 2020

Rob Mitchell has worked with big toys for over 15 years. He previously led the equipment program, but now he splits his time between SCD and other endeavors. He’s a family man with a big heart who is always willing to help someone in need.

Let’s get to know Rob

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. I like the work, the people I work with and the people I’ve met along the way.

Q. What are your favorite projects to work on?
A. I really enjoy working on agriculture projects like reclaiming land for natural habitat. One project that stands out was the restoration of the Lightship Overfalls; it had sunk and was stuck in the mud. We dug it out, watching it pop up out of the water was neat.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. When we get a chance, we like traveling, usually to the Pacific Northwest. My favorite place to visit so far has been Homer Spit, Alaska. I did a lot of fishing when I was there; I like fishing somewhere I’ve never been before.

Q. Tell us about your family.
A. I’m married and have three adult children, one son and two bonus daughters. We also have two English Mastiffs, they’re really my wife’s dogs because they go crazy when she comes home.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I am from and still live in Laurel, DE but that’s why I like to travel.

Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. Steak, or any seafood; I love seafood.

Q. What’s one food you wish had zero calories?
A. Moose Tracks ice cream.

Q. What three words describe you?
A. Loyal, faithful and trustworthy.

Q. What is something many people may not know about you?
A. I raise grass-fed beef, mostly Angus, and I’m a hay farmer too. I do a lot of custom hay work; I cut, rake and bale or just bale hay for farmers. It keeps me busy.

Q. Have you ever met anyone famous?
A. I met Donald Trump a few years ago, before he was President. I was at Madison Square Garden with a church group, he sat down in front of us. He was very cordial and friendly.

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. I’m a sound tech on the side. It all started when I was a teenager and someone at church volunteered me to do it. I mostly do it for our church, but I was one of the techs for WBOCs Easter Special.


Debbie Absher
Director of Ag Programs

Employee Spotlight

October 2020

They say time flies when you’re having fun.

For the past 30 years, Debbie has helped the district grow by securing funding and creating new opportunities. Debbie finds creative avenues to expand conservation efforts, getting conservation on the ground where it matters most.

Let’s get to know Debbie

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. I truly love my job, the people I work with, the farmers and helping the environment.

Q. Can you tell me about your family?
A. I have an adult son who is getting married soon so I’m gaining a daughter-in-law. At home there’s my partner, Brooks, and our cockapoo, Scarlett, who runs the household.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. I like to be healthy and stay fit; we really enjoy hiking. We prefer the mountains over the beaches. Locally we like hiking and biking the Junction & Breakwater Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park.

Q. What’s on your bucket list?
A. Our bucket list is to go to all of the national parks. We’ve been to several including Grand Canyon, Great Falls, Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Saguaro and Shenandoah. My favorite so far has been
Yosemite National Park.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Seaford, DE. I think I’ve lived within a four-mile radius my whole life.

Q. Are you messy or organized?
A. Oh, definitely messy. I can usually find most things but it may take me a few minutes.

Q. What are some of your favorite foods?
A.  I love pizza, pasta, cake and cookies. I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t indulge often because I’m watching my carbs. However, Vanderwende’s has a new ginger snap ice cream, it’s amazing.

Q. What was the last concert you went to?
A. Last year we saw Elton John at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Q. What three words describe you?
A. Passionate, loyal and optimistic.

Q. What is something many people may not know about you?
A. I actually wanted a push mower for our yard so I had another way to fit in some exercise.


Jim Elliott
Project Design Coordinator

Employee Spotlight

September 2020

With over 15 years of experience at SCD, Jim Elliott has a wealth of knowledge that allows him to think outside the box and troubleshoot complex drainage concerns.

Jim currently designs and facilitates solutions for the Resource Conservation and Development list, moving projects in Sussex County from concept to construction.

Voted second best dressed and an office potluck favorite, Jim is as cool as a cucumber and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Let’s get to know Jim.

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. I like the people, they’re all very nice and I like the environment too.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I am born and raised in Laurel, De.

Q. Can you tell us about your family?
A. I’m married to a wonderful woman and have a teenage daughter who is starting her first year at college. We also have a Labradoodle Malamute mix named Luna.

Q. What three words describe you?
A. Easy-going, conscientious and dependable.

Q. What would you do if you won the lottery?
A. Let’s see, I’d pay off my house and car. Actually, I’d probably sell my house and move out to the country but stay in Sussex County.

Q. What is something many people may not know about you?
A. In high school, I was co-captain of the football team, lettered in a few sports and I ran intermediate hurdles in track.

Q. What did you do before joining SCD?
A. In a previous life, before I ventured down the stormwater path, I worked with my father who owned an HVAC business; we were partners.

Q. Do you have a nickname?
A. Growing up everyone called me “Skeeter.”

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. I bought a kayak last year, but I haven’t used it yet this year. Does cutting the grass, walking the dog and going grocery shopping count as hobbies?

Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. I cook dinner every night. I’m not a chef but I can read a recipe and follow directions really well. I like to make BBQ ribs in the crockpot, they come out pretty good and cleanup is easy.

Q. Do you have a hidden talent?
A. Um, I’m not bad at drawing. I surprise myself sometimes when I help my daughter with school projects.

Q. What was the last concert you went to?
A. I saw Bret Eldredge in 2018 and Darius Rucker in 2017, both at the Delaware State Fair.


Kim Elliott
Administrative Specialist

Employee Spotlight

August 2020

 Since 2017, Kim Elliott has juggled everything from residential permitting, inspection reporting, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. She is the first point of contact for the Shortly Rd. office and maintains order amongst the chaos, always with a smile.

Let’s get to know Kim.

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. The people I work with, we have a really great team. I also really like working with customers.

Q. Can you tell me about your family?
A. I have a wonderful husband, an adult son, and two teenage daughters. We have three dogs, two Chesadore’s named Remmy and Hunter; the newest rescue is a Beagle named Charlie. There are also some rabbits and chickens that roam the yard.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. My family and I like to go camping. We tent camped until last year when we got a pop up. I love Chincoteague but my favorite place so far is Frontier Town. I prefer camping in cooler weather though.

Q. How would you become famous?
A. Helping people, community service is near and dear to my heart. It feels so much better to give than to receive. I really try to instill that in my daughters.  I am the leader of the Clover Knights 4H Club which recently won the 2020 Governors Youth Service Volunteer Award for our Harrison House project last Christmas. 

Q. If you could meet anyone famous, who would it be?
A. Cal Ripken, Jr.! I’m a huge Baltimore Orioles fan, I was at the game where he tied Lou Gehrig’s record. I don’t know what I’d ask him, but I’d love to meet him. I really admire his foundation and the work he does with youth.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I’m a transplant, I live in Georgetown but I’m originally from Berlin, MD.

Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. Chocolate! I have a serious chocolate addiction. I really love Mr. Goodbar and Whatchamacallit Bars.

Q. What is something many people may not know about you?
A. I love singing karaoke! I enjoy trying any song but not in public. I have my own karaoke machine at home.


Craig Mills
District Inspector

Employee Spotlight

July 2020

Craig Mills has exceptional attention to detail and a passion to make things right. For over 12 years he has worked with contractors and homeowners to maintain compliance with Delaware’s Sediment and Stormwater Program.

He knows the contractor’s plans, inside and out, often catching errors before they have disastrous consequences. He has the memory of an elephant which is invaluable when some projects can take a decade or more to complete. He makes sure the job is done right and is always willing to help out.

 Let’s get to know Craig.

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. The people I work with, they really make it easy. The team has taught me everything I know.

Q. Can you tell me about your family?
A. I have a big family, three brothers, a sister, nieces and nephews. My wife and I have been married for 30 years and we have two adult children.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. My wife likes to ride bikes so she makes me exercise. We go up to Wilmington and ride trails for 15 miles or so. I’m not a fan but she loves it, so we do it.

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A. My wife wants to visit the Grand Canyon but after being a truck driver I want to fly there, not drive. I’d want to visit Australia; my son went there when he was 12 years old.

Q. What would you be famous for?
A. When I was younger I was a pretty good checker player. I even won a few tournaments including a regional competition four years in a row. I went to nationals two of those years; I placed sixth one year and second another.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Milford, DE.

Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. That’s hard, my wife’s a good cook. She has an Instant Pot and makes everything in it but I love chili.

Q. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A. Hardworking, dependable and trustworthy.

Q. When are you the happiest?
A. When the family’s around eating dinner, that’s good for me.


Larry Lynch
Equipment Operator

Employee Spotlight

June 2020

Dig. Lift. Carry. Shape. Smooth. Level.

From restoration work to private land management, Larry Lynch has skillfully moved earth to prepare, protect and preserve our most precious natural resources for over 15 years.

Let’s get to know Larry.

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. I really like my job, it’s always something different and I work with a really good bunch of guys.

Q. What type of equipment do you operate?
A. Typically I run excavators, bulldozers and backhoes.

Q. What are your favorite projects to work on?
A. I really like constructing wildlife ponds. You get to use your imagination sometimes, it’s like being an artist but moving earth.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Gumboro, DE.

Q. Can you tell me about your family?
A. I have a wonderful wife, five kids and 12 grandkids who range in age from three to 25.

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I like to travel and play bass guitar.

Q. Where do you like to travel to?
A. My wife and I like to camp in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We enjoy visiting historical sites across the U.S. and have been to ten different states.

Q. What would you do if you won the lottery?
A. I’d pay my bills, take care of my family and probably donate the rest to the Children’s Hospital. I might buy an RV, but probably not.

Q. What type of music do you like?
A. I enjoy playing and listening to bluegrass and country music.

Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. Beef and dumplings! I like chocolate ice cream too.

Q. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A. Dependable, honest and funny.

Q. Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a
giant hamster?
A. Um, probably a tiny elephant, they are pretty cool.

Kip Foskey
Senior Conservation Planner

Employee Spotlight

May 2020

In memory of Kip Foskey
1955-2020 


Kip Foskey has worked with farmers and landowners across Sussex County for over 28 years.

From implementing conservation practices and nutrient management plans to providing assistance with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other cost share programs administered through SCD, Kip knows a few things and can definitely share a story or two.

Let’s get to know Kip

Q. What do you enjoy about working at SCD?
A. I enjoy working with farmers. I’ve worked in agriculture my whole life and really love getting out in the field to help people.

Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Laurel, DE. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be, other than the concrete ships at Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles, VA.

Q. Can you tell me about your family or pets?
A. I have three grown children, two sons and a daughter, four grandsons, and a 14-month-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Moses.

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. I love fishing. A group of us go out to Cape Charles, VA, a few times a year to fish for whatever’s biting.

Q. Do you have a favorite sport or sports team?
A. I love the Yankees, Packers, 76ers and UCLA for college basketball.

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A. Germany, I had two uncles in WWII.

Q. Do you have a favorite movie or tv show?
A. My favorite tv show is probably MASH. As far as movies go, probably Star Wars or The Godfather. I also like anything with John Wayne or Anthony Hopkins.

Q. Do you have a favorite food?
A. Hm, a good steak, or seafood. I love most any seafood really, well, except calamari.

Q. Do you have a favorite sweet?
A. Chocolate, dark chocolate!