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E-M:/ DNR Staff Changes
Enviro-Mich message from email@example.com
Below is a press release from the DNR regarding some significant staffing
changes to take place at the end of the month. Having no idea what the impetus
is behind the changes, I find it hard to assess whether these are good, bad or
indifferent. Other thoughts?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4 JUNE 97
CONTACTS: Tim Roby 517-373-1214
Guy Gordon 517-373-2329
DNR DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES PERSONNEL/MANAGEMENT CHANGES
MARQUETTE--At the Natural Resources Commission meeting today in Marquette,
Department of Natural Resources Director K. L. Cool unveiled major
Department personnel and management changes, recalling that he was hired 13
months ago "to bring a new perspective to the DNR, to stabilize leadership,
and to contribute to the improved management of this agency." Cool said the
management and administrative decisions he detailed Wednesday are vital to
achieving primary objectives and Commission charges.
The following changes are effective June 29, 1997:
* John Robertson, Fisheries Division Chief, is laterally transferred to
the position of Chief of the Forest Management Division.
"I have been tremendously impressed with the management structure John
Robertson has put in place in the Fisheries Division," Cool explained. "It
should serve as a model throughout the Department. John's superior
management and strategic planning skills are transferable anywhere. He is a
very quick study, and individuals at his leadership level establish policy
and direction -- and manage people, who manage the resources."
* Dr. Gerald Thiede, Forest Management Division Chief, is reassigned and
appointed Chief of the Office of Field and Investigative Studies. He
will continue to serve as the Department's State Forester.
"Jerry's institutional and historic knowledge of resource and land
management matters will be maximized by granting him the flexibility and
authority to transcend traditional divisional and organizational
boundaries," Cool explained. "Developing a State-owned land consolidation
strategy, improving coordination and partnerships with Michigan
universities, analyzing natural resources trends and updating our State
Land Use Rules through the Administrative Rules Process, are all areas in
need of a centralized, special focus. Jerry's oversight will enable us to
finally begin to pull them together and realize substantial progress in
these related, priority projects."
* Edward Hagan, Executive Division Special Projects Coordinator, is
assigned to the Forest Management Division to provide special
assistance to the Chief, including the development and implementation
of a new Division management strategy. Hagan will also provide
research assistance to the Office of Legislative Liaison, and serve as
a Director's representative on special field assignments in the Lower
"Ed was instrumental in obtaining legislative approval of the hunting and
fishing license package and helping to establish a sound administrative
system for review and acceptance of lands to the Great Lakes Fishery
Trust," Cool explained. "His institutional knowledge and sound counsel have
helped me tremendously, and his skills will now benefit the Department by
his new role in the Forest Management Division."
* Dr. Kelley Smith, Acting Hatcheries Production Manager, is appointed
Acting Fisheries Division Chief.
"The early retirement program resulted in the loss of many valued and
experienced employees," Cool acknowledged. "In the case of Kelley Smith, it
has also afforded us the opportunity for rapid, internal advancement of an
extremely talented, energetic and innovative leader. I have been very
impressed with the skills and dedication he has demonstrated in our
hatcheries program, and more specifically, with regard to the ongoing
challenges at the Platte River Hatchery. Kelley will provide a new and
welcome field perspective to the DNR Management Team."
* Rebecca Humphries, Special Assistant to the Resource Management
Deputy, is appointed Acting Resource Management Deputy. Orie
Scherschligt had been serving in this position until his participation
in the early retirement program. Humphries, a Wildlife Division
Natural Resources Manager, also will assist the Wildlife Division and
the Office of Legislative Liaison, and serve as a Director's
representative on special field assignments in the Lower Peninsula.
"Becky has proven her ability to juggle multiple assignments while on loan
to the Executive Division," Cool noted. "She is a proven problem-solver who
will have a full plate of issues and assignments. She is a classic example
that this is no longer the age of specialization; it is the age of
adaptability. Her analysis of the roles and need for a Resource Management
Deputy and a Lower Peninsula Field Deputy will lay the groundwork for
further evaluations of these positions this fall."
The position of Lower Peninsula Field Deputy remains vacant, with the early
retirement of Dr. Donald Inman. James Ekdahl will continue to serve as
Acting Upper Peninsula Field Deputy. A Department-wide reengineering
initiative this fall will analyze and redefine the role of Field Deputies.
* The Department will initiate a selection process this month to fill
the position of Parks and Recreation Division Chief. Rodney Stokes
currently serves as Acting Parks and Recreation Division Chief.
Cool also stressed the need to strengthen Department administrative
capabilities, and announced the following actions:
* A Contract Administrator has been hired to ensure that all contracts
meet statutory, policy and procedural requirements, that there is a
single contact for all contracts, and that all contracts are closely
monitored to ensure performance compliance.
* Effective July 1, 1997, the Management Information Division (MID) will
be replaced by the Office of Information Systems and Technology, and
will be headed by a new Chief Information Officer (CIO.) This
individual will oversee planned computer upgrades and E-mail
conversions, the automated hunting and fishing licensing system, the
state parks reservation system, and other technologies employed to
enhance existing, and provide new communications, information delivery
and customer service initiatives.
* Field Administration will now report to Administrative Services Deputy
Kelli Sobel. The Department's four Lower Peninsula District Business
Executives -- Dave Buick, Tom Hillman, Ron Schmoke and Jim Hayes --
will serve in a rotating capacity as Acting Lower Peninsula Business
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