The GCPO LCC has lost another one of our founding fathers! Steve Patrick, who has represented the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on the GCPO LCC Steering Committee since we began this LCC partnership in 2011, has retired from TWRA after 38 years of dedicated service. I have had the pleasure of working with Steve for the last 28 of those 38 years, starting in 1987 when I began my career with TWRA as a deer biologist; Steve was the Assistant Chief of the Wildlife Division back then, and my direct supervisor. Over the years, his TWRA career advanced, and he continued to take on jobs of increasing responsibility and leadership, culminating in his selection as Assistant Director of TWRA for the last 5 years. Last week, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission recognized Steve for his many accomplishments over his distinguished career. What I heard from the Commissioners was sincere thanks for his calm and steadfast leadership, even when dealing with controversial issues. I certainly agree with those sentiments.
Steve brought his calm demeanor and steadfast leadership to the GCPO LCC Steering Committee, and for the last few years, has been an integral part of the leadership team on our Steering Committee, serving as the Vice-chair. I have really appreciated his support of our GCPO staff and the work that we are doing, and for recognizing that it takes time to build a partnership. Because of his leadership, I believe that our GCPO LCC partnership is strong, and well-positioned for the future. Steve recognized from the start that the big issues we are tackling in the GCPO, like climate change, are bigger than any one agency or organization can take on by itself, and require a collaborative effort among many partners. He also recognized that the LCC partnership brings new capacity, new resources, and new scientific understanding to TWRA and the conservation community at large, and that one of his responsibilities as a Steering Committee member was to make sure that new information is passed along to staff. Steve has consistently done that within TWRA, and is a good reminder that we all share that responsibility within our own organizations.
So, I just want to take the opportunity to thank Steve Patrick for his leadership and support over the last several years within our GCPO LCC partnership, and most especially for his friendship over the last 28 years that we have worked together. Thank you for your long and dedicated service in conservation, for the many contributions you made to our field of work, and my best wishes as you embark on your well-deserved retirement!