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Fish & Wildlife Recognizes Employee Excellence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2003
Media Contact: Ron Regan (802) 241-3707

Fish and Wildlife Department Recognizes Employee Excellence

       MONTPELIER, VT—Employees of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department were recognized for their excellent work at a September 17 Fish and Wildlife Board meeting in Montpelier. Twelve employees received the 2003 Commissioner’s Award of Excellence.

       “The award recognizes employees who have distinguished themselves both in their performance within a single work project and employees who have displayed a consistently high level of performance within their assigned areas,” explained Fish and Wildlife Department Operations Director Ron Regan.

       The department recognized three individual employees and two employee work teams.

       Department Information Manager John Hall was recognized for his sustained professionalism and leadership within the Division of Outreach and in support of the overall department. Throughout his thirty-plus years with fish and wildlife, Hall has played a pivotal communications role on a wide variety of projects, frequently acting as department spokesman. Hall was praised for diligently working with program managers and policy makers to identify key decision points and for communicating effectively with the public.

       Chief of Law Enforcement, Colonel Robert Rooks, was recognized for outstanding leadership. In the past year, Colonel Rooks played an instrumental role in prioritizing work of the Division of Law Enforcement, including staffing new sergeant positions. He also was recognized for securing new funding for ATV enforcement and search and rescue duties and for his leadership within the Northeast Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Officers.

       Game Warden Greg Eckhardt was recognized for his work in developing educational modules for in-service training and providing leadership for the completion of physical fitness standards for Game Wardens. He also was recognized for providing instruction at the department’s Becoming an Outdoor Woman program, serving as training assistant and defense tactics instructor for the Police Academy, and for writing columns for a local newspaper.

       Members of the department’s Habitat Assessment Team were recognized for outstanding effort and achievement in completing a revised fish and wildlife planning guide for town and regional planners. The team also was recognized for hosting associated outreach meetings about the guide. The Habitat Assessment Team members are John Austin, Christa Alexander, Forrest Hammond, Everett Marshall, Jodi Shippee, and Rod Wentworth.

       The Ed Weed Fish Culture Station Supervisory Team was the final award recipient. The team was recognized for the teamwork and leadership they demonstrated during a major systems failure at the fish culture station earlier this year. This emergency, spanning five days, threatened the survival of all the fish at the hatchery. Two of the three team members were experiencing health-related problems and the third member was supposed to be on vacation at the time of the systems failure. Despite their personal challenges, each team member quickly got on the problem and together they addressed the systems failure to avert a crisis. Team members recognized for their work were Kevin Kelsey, Mark LaBonte and Dan Marchant.


For Further Information please contact: Ron Regan at 802-241-3700 or email to




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