Mike Knoedl, retiring as Game and Fish director in July.
State Game and Fish Director Mike Knoedl,
a 31-year employee of the agency, announced at a staff meeting today that he will retire in July. He has been director since Oct. 2012, when he replaced Loren Hitchcock.
Press release from the agency is on the jump.
Jan. 25, 2016
AGFC director announces retirement
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Mike Knoedl will be retiring in July. Knoedl made the announcement today during a staff meeting. He has been the agency’s director since October 2012. He replaced Loren Hitchcock.
Knoedl has been with the agency for more than 31 years. He began his career with the AGFC in 1985. Knoedl was the agency’s 16th director in its 100-year history.
Commission Vice-Chairman Fred Brown said when Knoedl was hired, he was the perfect man for the job. “He’s exactly what we needed at the time. He has laid the foundation to success for this agency. We’ll need to find someone who can keep building on what Mike’s already accomplished,” Brown said.
Commissioner Ken Reeves echoed Brown’s remarks. “The contributions Mike has made to our Commission are immeasurable. Our agency is in better shape than it was in when he became director in every respect,” Reeves said. “I have been particularly impressed with the fact that he based every difficult decision he made, and there were many, on the effect the decision would have on the people who work for the AGFC and the resources we are charged with protecting and preserving. Everyone in Arkansas, not just the hunters and fishermen, owes a debt of gratitude to Mike for his lifetime legacy of hard work and devotion to our mission. Mike put us on the pathway to success and I am confident the Commission will carry Mike's legacy forward to even better times.”
Knoedl said his management philosophy was simple. “One man cannot run every bit of this process. That’s why the AGFC is staffed with experts in each discipline. I listened to our staff, put faith in their judgment to guide us, as a team, toward a better future. The direction I gave didn’t only come from the staff, but also the public we serve,” he said.
“Mike has been a great leader,” Commissioner Steve Cook said. “His experience was invaluable as director. Mike looked for input and guidance from the great AGFC employees who have dedicated their lives to this agency. He was the right person to lead us into the future. We’ll miss him.”
Knoedl began his AGFC career in 1985 as a Perry County wildlife officer. In 2008, he became chief of the Enforcement Division, a position he held until 2011.
Knoedl was born and raised in Pulaski County. He is married to the former Lisa Garlington and has four grown children.