Game and Fish recognizes contributions from employees

Six employees earned awards

8/30/2021 11:45:00 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department honored the work and contributions of employees – past and present – at its July Game and Fish Commission meeting in Sheridan.

Six employees earned awards:

-- Rick King, Director’s Award, chief of wildlife.
-- Meghan Lockwood, Director’s Office Employee of the Year, policy and planning coordinator.
-- Jerry Cowles, Services Division Employee of the Year, habitat and access supervisor in Laramie.
-- Will Schultz, Wildlife Division Employee of the Year, staff biologist in Cheyenne.
-- Darren Rhea, Fish Division,  Employee of the Year, fisheries biologist in Pinedale.
-- Casi Crites, Fiscal Division Employee of the Year, federal aid coordinator/grant section supervisor in Cheyenne.

The Director’s Award is the Game and Fish’s highest honor, and King earned it for a multitude of efforts including work on chronic wasting disease, the ongoing process of developing an elk feedground management plan and his interaction with the Wyoming Legislature.

“There probably isn’t anyone who has a higher workload in the department than Rick, and he does an amazing job of juggling a lot of priorities,” Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said. “Rick is a strategic thinker and he thinks forward. When we’re talking about the great success and achievements in three to five years, Rick will be a contributor to that because of the leadership that he’s exerted now and the last couple of years.”

Nesvik commended Lockwood for her efforts over the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the lines of communication open for the department and Game and Fish Commission to continue to conduct business.

Cowles was recognized for his involvement to complete the Commissioned-owned Pilot Hill Habitat Management Area acquisition and leadership to build a long-term working relationship between Game and Fish and the Wyoming Army National Guard for advance soldier training on multiple Commission-owned wildlife habitat management areas in the Laramie region.

Schultz was lauded the go-to person for assistance at the Cheyenne headquarters for front-desk staff, along with wildlife managers around the state, as well as for his  technical assistance within the wildlife division by managing data, analyzing big game populations and identifying IT applications.

Rhea has worked for Game and Fish for nearly 20 years, and was celebrated for recently chairing a committee to evaluate angler use of river fisheries throughout the state in response to proposed legislation to regulate guided angling. A long-time fisheries biologist in Pinedale, Rhea was promoted to fisheries supervisor in the Jackson Region in August.

Crites was honored for her work with the grant management of all the Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration Program, the largest grant-funded program available to Game and Fish. She leads the grants section in ensuring critical funding streams and required compliance. 

Game and Fish also gave out special recognition awards to retirees Reg Rothwell and Rich Guenzel for their continued research work on pronghorn, and to Dr. Jim Logan who retired this year as the Wyoming State Veterinarian for his collaborative work on wildlife diseases.

(Photos of each award-winner available by request at

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (

- WGFD -

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