In his farewell comments to his troops, out-going Ohio Division of Wildlife chief David Graham praised their professionalism in what he says “...may well be one of the toughest periods of time that the Division has ever endured” but noting that "Change is healthy."
Along with the chiefs of the Forestry and Soil and Water divisions, Graham was ousted by the in-coming John Kasich administration. All three officials were notified Monday that they would not be retained once the administration takes over on Monday, January 9. Friday is their last day on their respective jobs.
Using the electronic media, Graham sent his good-byes to the agency’s staff up and down the line. This is the text of the e-mail that Graham sent Tuesday:
From: Graham, Dave
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 4:48 PM
To: Wildlife, Employees
Subject: Program and Operations
This information is to advise you that until possible further direction from the incoming ODNR administration, Ray Petering will be serving as the Acting Assistant Chief over Program areas, and Sue Howard will be serving as the Acting Assistant Chief over Operations areas. Information and concerns should be forwarded to them through normal procedure as in the past. My personal thanks to both of them for assuming these additional duties to help keep the Division of Wildlife running efficiently and smoothly.
Also, as most of you are probably aware of by now, the new administration has elected not to retain me as Chief of the Division of Wildlife. I will be retiring from state service at the close of business on Friday January 7, 20ll. I ask each of you to embrace the new administration, the changes, the ideas and direction that they will bring and to not fear this transition. Change is healthy. It can offer so many opportunities and challenges that will create new partnerships and alliances. The potential to find new and different ways to fund our mission, provide greater service to our constituents and utilize our natural resources responsibly are almost limitless due to your collective vision and passion. The Division of Wildlife is an incredibly strong organization, a team member of a very important group of divisions that are the Department of Natural Resources. Never forget that fact. You will always be more effective in accomplishing your mission as a part of that team.
2010 has been a tremendously difficult year for you. It may well be one of the toughest periods of time that the Division has ever endured. Your professionalism, dedication and your commitment to your chosen field of endeavor has proven that you have the ability to survive and overcome any adversity that you are faced with now and in the future. I am so proud of all of you in what you have accomplished for the people of Ohio. I have enjoyed a fantastic 34 year career with this agency. Few people ever get the chance to spend their life doing what they love, working with the best people in the business and make the lifelong friendships that last beyond a career. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve with you.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn