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TPW Commission Recognize Officers and Boating Educator of the Year

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AUSTIN— The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPW) recognized two game wardens and a boating educator during today’s meeting for their contributions and efforts supporting the agency mission.

Dana Gage Receives Texas and Southern States Boating Educator of the Year Award

Dana Gage was recognized as the 2019 Texas and Southern States Boating Educator of the Year by the TPW Commission for her work promoting water safety. The LV Project, the initiative she founded that focuses on the importance of water safety, was created in honor of her son Connor after he drowned on a North Texas lake.

The LV Project pursues the idea that all people can LiVe and LoVe buoyantly on water, and in life. The projects organized through the organization raises awareness for drowning prevention, advocates for use of life vests on lakes, and helps give people in need a lift in life.

In 2017, Gage brought the message of water safety to the classroom. Teaming up with the Outdoors for Tomorrow Foundation and working with outdoor adventure educators in 22 states, a life jacket safety curriculum was introduced that will reach more than 30,000 students across the nation.

She also helped acquire the pro-bono services from DDB Worldwide, a large advertising agency, to assist with a ground-breaking campaign encouraging teenagers to wear their life jacket.

Shikar-Safari Club International Recognizes Rachel Kellner as Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year

Uvalde County game warden Rachel Kellner was named the 2019 Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year by the Shikar-Safari Club International. This marks the 40th year this award has been presented to a Texas Game Warden.

Kellner has been stationed in Uvalde County during her 16 career and is the team lead for the West Texas Game Warden Critical Incident team. The team is involved with responding to incidents such as shootings, disasters and many other issues on a daily basis.

In November 2018, Kellner responded to a helicopter crash carrying two newlyweds and a pilot after midnight in a remote part of Uvalde County.  Kellner and her partner searched by ATV and on foot until they located the crash site on the side of a mountain. When they arrived on scene, the game wardens found that a private helicopter had dropped off several members of the newlywed’s family at the site and consoled the family until other first responders could get to the area and take custody of their loved ones.

She has also been called upon to be a spokesperson to represent Texas Game Wardens during incidents that garner wide-scale media attention including Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda and the historic flooding of the Llano River.

Sean Reneau Named 2019 Midwest Officer of the Year

The Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers recognized game warden Sean Reneau as Midwest Officer of the Year for his service and accomplishments.

Reneau serves the community of Nacogdoches and receives many requests from students who want to participate in the Volunteer Ride-Along Program. At any given time, it is common for him to mentor more than 10 individuals in the program.  Even though this adds to his workload, he uses it as an opportunity to evaluate and mentor young adults who are interested in becoming a Texas Game Warden.

He routinely takes on a mentor role and volunteers to assist colleagues who can benefit from his experience and skillset. His willingness to take on extra work to aid fellow wardens is a great example of his willingness to invest in others to help them be successful.

The Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers is comprised of 29 member agencies from the United States and Canada. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has been a member since 1995.