Pat Fitts, who had been assistant deputy director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will become director of the agency Jan. 1.
He will succeed Jeff Crow, who announced his resignation Oct. 10. The Commission announced the choice at a special meeting today. Commissioners conducted the search for the new leader, the agency’s 18th director.
Fitts’ previous position was as the agency’s assistant deputy director – a position he’s held since April. Before that he was colonel of the agency’s Enforcement Division.
He has been with the agency for 29 years, and began his career as a fisheries technician at the Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery in Lonoke. Fitts has a bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife management from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.
Cook said Fitts has demonstrated the character, initiative and work ethic necessary to lead the agency.
“Pat’s unique skills, experience and drive make him the right person to spearhead the mission of the AGFC,” Cook said. “His ability to interact with the public and continue to manage this agency made him a natural for this position.”
Fitts said he was determined to strengthen the AGFC’s legacy as he takes over the leadership of the agency.
“I’m blessed to have spent my entire adult life serving alongside amazing people protecting our valuable natural resources,” Fitts said. “It’s a humbling experience and I know there are challenges ahead. It’s just another opportunity to serve the wonderful people of Arkansas.”