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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : July 30, 2007


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381
Ken Caplinger, Parks and Recreation Acting Chief (304) 558-2764

West Virginia State Parks Names New Employees to Key Positions

The Parks and Recreation Section of the Division of Natural Resources has announced the selection of Fred Bartels as the trainmaster at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Kevin Dials as assistant superintendent of Kanawha State Forest, Dennis “Mike” Powell as superintendent of Cathedral State Park, Lynette Simko as assistant superintendent of Cabwaylingo State Forest and Patrice “Sissie” Summers as State Parks programmer.

Fred Bartels has 15 years of experience with the West Virginia State Parks system. He formerly served as a brakeman/fireman, assistant superintendent/shop foreman, superintendent, and railroad technician at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park as well as president of the Tourist Railway Association for eight years and a former manager of the Strasburg Rail Road in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Bartels is a graduate of Towson University with a bachelor’s degree in education.

Kevin Dials previously served as a park aide at Beech Fork State Park before accepting the position of assistant superintendent of Kanawha State Forest. He received a bachelor’s degree in recreation and park resources from Marshall University.

Mike Powell formerly served as park naturalist for Canaan Valley Resort State Park and a seasonal interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks administration and a master’s degree in agriculture and forestry.

Lynette Simko previously served as an urban forester for the Forestry Branch of the Natural Resources Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Prior to that, she was an assistant county ranger/educational ranger for the North Carolina Forest Service. She also served in the military as a paratrooper for 10 years. Simko received an associate’s degree in forest management from the Southeastern Community College at Whiteville, North Carolina, and bachelor’s degree in biology/chemistry from the University of North Carolina.

Sissie Summers recently served as one of the team members at the new Chief Logan Lodge start-up and opening. Prior to Chief Logan she was group service/sales coordinator for State Parks in the Charleston office, assistant superintendent of Twin Falls Resort State Park for 20 years and prior to that assignment, she served as a naturalist/programmer at North Bend State Park. Summers has been with the parks system since the mid-1970s. She graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in forestry/parks and recreation. Summers is headquartered in the Charleston office.

The West Virginia State Parks system consists of an impressive network of state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and rail trials to preserve regions of natural wonder, scenic beauty and historical significance. With 49 areas, visitors are invited to visit, escape and relax in mountain splendor while enjoying the great outdoors.


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