After 44 years as a member of the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission, energy leader John D. Groendyke is stepping down. He will be replaced by Northwestern Oklahoma insurance executive D. Chad Dillingham of Enid.
Groendyke, president of Enid-based Groendyke Transport, the 5th largest bulk tank truck company serving the US and Canada served at the pleasure of seven different governors.
Groendyke said he was happy with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s appointment of Dillingham to take over the District 8 seat. Citing Dillingham’s extensive civic leadership experience and his relational skills, Groendyke said, “I think he’ll be very effective and will fit nicely as a commissioner.”
Groendyke said his decision to step down was largely based on the fact that he would be 83 years old after serving a seventh term, and he’s had a great 44 years as a Commissioner. He felt the timing was right for him to focus on other commitments.
While drawing praises about his appointment, Dillingham also offered praises to the long-serving Commissioner he will replace.
“I’d also like to recognize John Groendyke, who has served the ODWC as Commissioner representing District 8 since 1976 with honor and distinction. John’s 44-plus years of service, leadership, knowledge, and experience is irreplaceable and will no doubt be missed. I know that all Oklahoman’s join me in offering our appreciation for his many contributions and years of service.”
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Director J.D. Strong praised the appointment and also commented on Groendyke’s legacy within the Wildlife Department.
“No one in the country, let alone the state of Oklahoma, can touch the unmatched volunteer service and contributions to wildlife conservation made by John Groendyke during his unprecedented 44 years on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“When I think about the enormously successful growth we’ve seen in hunting and fishing in this state, coupled with the wise and frugal oversight role the Department has played in that growth, there’s no question that Commissioner Groendyke’s fingerprints are all over it.
“While he would never admit to such a boastful statement, I’ll offer that Commissioner Groendyke has been the North Star for this agency for nearly a half-century.
“Though we’ll suffer a huge blow, I respect his decision to step down as Commissioner when his term expires in July and appreciate his continued support of the Department through his service on the board of the newly created Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation.”
“I’d like to thank Governor Stitt for the honor of his appointment to serve the state in this capacity,” Dillingham said. “It is truly an honor, and I am anxious to learn more about the great work being done in wildlife management, conservation, hunter education, and preserving access for all Oklahomans to continue enjoying wildlife and the great outdoors for generations to come.”
Source: Department of Wildlife