DNR and DEQ Split Again To Better Focus On Their Core Missions…

Governor-elect Rick Snyder today gave the first glimpse of how his vision to reinvent Michigan will take shape as he announced that Dan Wyant will be his group executive for Quality of Life, a new role that will bring a more streamlined business management model to state government for the departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Agriculture & Rural Development.

Governor-elect Snyder also announced that Keith Creagh will head the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development and Rodney Stokes will serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources. Wyant will also serve as director of the Department of Environmental Quality in addition to his role as group executive.

“Reinventing Michigan means reinventing how state government is organized to provide exceptional value to the taxpayers and citizens it serves,” Governor-elect Snyder said. “Dan, Keith and Rodney bring exceptional private and public sector experience to this new management model which will allow departments to function better and take successful practices from the private sector and put them to work in government.”

This new group executive model will mean that the current Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment will be split back into separately functioning departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources. The governor-elect will issue executive orders after January 1, 2011, to reconstitute these two departments. This reorganization will allow the DEQ and DNR to better focus on their core missions than the currently constituted super-sized DNRE is able.

“I am excited at the opportunity to help Governor-elect Snyder reinvent Michigan and about creating a new government management model that will improve the services it provides residents and businesses,” Wyant said. “I am honored to be part of a dynamic team focused on implementing customer service-orientated government.”

The expansion of the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development recognizes the importance of agriculture as Michigan’s second-leading industry and the roles farming and agri-business play in strengthening the state’s rural communities through economic development and stewardship of its natural resources.

As part of this organizational restructuring, agency and department directors will report to their respective group executive, who will report directly to the governor. Governor-elect Snyder will announce the other group executives as he finalizes his remaining appointments in the coming weeks.

About Rodney Stokes

Stokes began his professional career with DNR in 1977 and held leadership positions at the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program, Grants Administration, and then as director of the Parks and Recreation Division from 1997 to 2002. Stokes also served as interim director and deputy director of the Detroit Recreation Department, and as director of the Gainesville, Fla., Recreation and Parks Department. Stokes returned to the Michigan DNR in 2004 where he served as its legislative liaison, chief of staff, and chief of its office of science and policy. Stokes has a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Tennessee State University and master’s degree in parks and recreation resources from Michigan State University.