The Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife recently awarded its top-performing employees for their contributions to conservation, mentoring and teamwork.

The 2020 winners were Rob Sullender, Cassie Hudson, Jason Wade and the Give Adventure team.

Sullender was awarded the Fish & Wildlife Mentor Award. During his tenure as property manager at Glendale Fish & Wildlife Area, Sullender has trained nine assistant property managers. His staff is dedicated to providing exceptional habitat and a quality experience to all of Glendale FWA’s visitors.

Hudson earned the Conservation Cornerstone Award. She serves as the regional office manager. Her responsibilities range from coordinating purchasing and completing office public works projects to helping negotiate research contracts.

Wade received the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Champion Award. He serves as the North Region landscape biologist and uses programs from many government agencies and non-governmental organizations to effectively help private landowners establish and maintain wildlife habitat throughout northern Indiana.

This year’s Director Team of the Year Award went to the Give Adventure team. Fish & Wildlife received the first $10,000 Give Adventure grant from the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation and secured an additional $14,000 in project funds from Reconnecting to Our Waterways. The project planted pollinator gardens at Wendell Phillips School 63 in downtown Indianapolis, partnered with Groundwork Indy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provided teachers with Project WILD curriculum to use in the gardens, and introduced Groundwork Indy staff to career opportunities within DNR and the natural resources field. The team, partners and other Fish & Wildlife staff hosted a culminating community festival at Reverend Mozel Sanders Park next to the school.

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