– Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock on Monday appointed three people to leadership roles within the state agency – Deputy Commissioner, Colonel of the Maine Warden Service, and Director of Public Information and Education..
“The leadership team of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is fortunate to have these dedicated and competent individuals on board,” according to Commissioner Woodcock. “I’m confident that these three individuals will have a positive impact on our continued efforts to accomplish the mission of preserving, protecting and enhancing Maine’s fish and wildlife resources. I am honored to make these appointments.”
Andrea Erskine of Sidney, an MDIF&W employee for more than 25 years, is named deputy commissioner. For more than 20 years, Ms. Erskine served as assistant to the commissioner, playing a key role in the administration by providing input on policies and procedures, serving as regulations officer and legislative liaison, attending public hearings and work sessions, and working closely with the staff at the Office of the Governor. Prior to this post, she was licensing department supervisor. Ms. Erskine is a hospice volunteer as well as a volunteer at Embrace Your Grace, an adaptive dance project for challenged youth. She is one of eight children in a family that spent a lot of time fishing and camping in the outdoors. She is married with two adult children.
“I look forward to using all of the skills I’ve learned in my youth and my time at Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to continue providing great service to the citizens of Maine, as well as the employees in the Department who do exceptional work,” Ms. Erskine said.
Col. Joel Wilkinson of the Maine Warden Service is reappointed to the position. Col. Wilkinson recently served as Acting Commissioner from January to early March. He first was appointed Colonel in March 2008. Col. Wilkinson began his career with the Maine Warden Service in 1992 as a deputy game warden, and has served as game warden, investigator, sergeant, captain and acting major. Throughout his career Col. Wilkinson has worked closely with other key law enforcement agencies such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Maine State Police, and county and municipal agencies.
In 2006 and 2010, Col. Wilkinson received the William Twarog Award – Manager of the Year, a department honor given for exemplary service in the protection of Maine’s fish and wildlife resources. Col. Wilkinson is a board member of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees, state boating law administrator with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, president of the North East Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, and president of the International Association of Natural Resource Crime Stoppers. He is married with two children.
Edie Smith is appointed as director of the division of information and education. Ms. Smith is owner and president of Maine Directions, Inc., a political and public relations consulting firm that specializes in the management of political campaigns, legislative monitoring and lobbying. Ms. Smith is a native of Winthrop, Maine where she still lives today. Since her graduation from Bowdoin College in 1981, Ms. Smith has spent 30 years working statewide on political campaigns, referendum initiatives, grassroots organizing and State House advocacy.
In 2004, she managed the campaign to defeat the anti-bear hunting referendum question, and has worked with the Maine Professional Guides Association, Small Woodlots Owners Association of Maine, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Forest Products Council and other outdoor recreation groups. For six years, she served as executive director of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group. Ms. Smith helped found two grassroots organizations focused on landowner and outdoor use issues: the Coalition to Preserve and Grow Northern Maine and the Natural Resources Network.
Ms. Smith has volunteered with Dirigo Girls State for more than 20 years and currently is its volunteer director of education. She is the mother of two adult children.