Tallahassee, FL (February 19, 2020) – Two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) employees received awards for their exemplary work from the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida at FWC’s Commission meeting in Tallahassee on February 19, 2020.
FWC Avian Conservation Coordinator Craig Faulhaber was awarded the 2019 Rodney Barreto FWC Employee of the Year Award. Faulhaber is a driving force behind protection of birds in Florida, coordinating efforts on the passage of a first-of-its kind landmark rule to prohibit the use and possession of bird traps, the reintroduction of over 100 critically endangered Florida grasshopper sparrows into the wild and the protection of imperiled beach-nesting shorebirds and wading birds through permitting guidelines. He tackled these projects with a tireless work ethic, an unyielding positive outlook and a true dedication to conserving Florida’s natural resources.
The award was co-presented by its namesake and first recipient, Miami native and entrepreneur Rodney Barreto, who began his own career as a law enforcement officer and is currently an FWC Commissioner. Barreto served as chair of the FWC Commission for seven years and has also chaired the Foundation board as part of his extensive volunteer service in Florida’s nonprofit sector.
The Foundation also honored recently retired Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN) Director Rae Waddell with the 2019 Louise Ireland Humphrey Award. The Humphrey Award recognizes FWC employees for outstanding service over their entire careers. Waddell began her tenure at FWC in 1991, spending 15 years working with Florida youth at the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center and earning the reputation as the state’s finest outdoor educator. Thousands of children, many of whom had little to no experience in the outdoors, gained an understanding of the diversity of our natural world and developed an ethic of responsibility toward our environment under her tutelage.
In December of 2010, Waddell became head of the statewide FYCCN. Under her leadership, FYCCN has grown to more than 350 partners and serves as a national model for developing outdoor education programs and partnerships. Her contributions are groundbreaking and long-lasting.
The Louise Ireland Humphrey Achievement Award is named after the first woman appointed to serve on the board of the then-Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission in 1984. A Leon County resident and owner of Woodfield Springs Plantation, Humphrey served until 1999 and was widely lauded as a conservationist for her love of the land, particularly the Red Hills area north of Tallahassee, and for her leadership on fish and wildlife issues. The award reflects dedication to the conservation mission that guided Mrs. Humphrey and now guides the FWC.
“Each year, the Foundation is thrilled to honor FWC employees who go above and beyond to further conservation and outdoor education. These employees are invaluable assets for FWC and the state of Florida,” said Andrew Walker, Foundation President and CEO.