TPWD News Release — Aug. 22, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas — A former coastal fisheries biologist who started with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a fisheries technician in 1978 and rose up through the ranks has been named the agency’s new Deputy Executive Director for Administration.
Gene McCarty graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches in 1977 and went to work the next year at TPWD’s Dundee Fish Hatchery near Wichita Falls. He became hatchery superintendent at Huntsville Fish Hatchery in 1981.
In 1982, McCarty switched gears to saltwater and until 1987 was a biologist at what was then called the John Wilson Marine Fish Hatchery in Corpus Christi. He later was statewide director of fish hatchery programs for TPWD, and in 1994 he assumed the top spot in coastal fisheries. He was coastal fisheries division director until 1997, when be became chief of staff, working in the Austin executive office as right hand man to the executive director.
McCarty played a major role in steering TPWD through two legislative sessions, working with all divisions to track bills, provide information and respond to lawmaker’s requests. He also worked directly with the TPW Commission, the nine-member board appointed by the governor to oversee the state agency. Both roles drew him into the often complicated and difficult agency budget process.
“Gene McCarty brings field savvy and also in-depth knowledge of headquarters operations,” said Cook, “he knows TPWD inside and out. He is exactly what we need in this role—someone who understands the needs of our field staff from first-hand experience, and who also knows the administrative, legislative, regulatory, and policy ropes, and can get things done in Austin. McCarty understands the value and importance of TPWD working closely and openly with oversight agencies such as the Legislative Budget Board, the State Auditor’s Office and the State Comptroller’s Office. Finally, the person in this job must be totally trustworthy and honest. We have the right man.”
In his new role, McCarty supervises four divisions: Administrative Resources, Communications, Human Resources, and Information Technology. That includes the people who handle finance and budgeting; communication, education and outreach; employee hiring and training; and computers and telecommunications.
“These administrative functions may be less known to many Texans, but they’re critical,” McCarty said. “Without good financial management and budgeting, you can’t function. Good communication and education are essential to have public understanding and support for conservation. Parks and Wildlife is known for the caliber of its people, and good hiring and training are the key to that. We live in the technology age and would be crippled without good IT support. My goal is to make sure there is effective teamwork and understanding between the admin side and the field operations side of the department.”
McCarty’s new position is effective immediately. The position of chief of staff will not be filled as a cost-savings measure, and those duties will be spread out and re-assigned to various division directors and other employees.