November 2006, State Employee of the Month Greg Combs, Department of Natural Resources
Last December the reservoir disaster at Johnson Shut-In’s State Park made national headline news for days and weeks, but only those who were closely and actively involved in the clean-up know the underlying reality that went on behind the scenes. By the time the breach of the Taum Sauk reservoir was reported just after 5:30 am on December 14th Greg had already been in contact with emergency workers in the area and for many months worked seven days-a- week providing front line assistance. During the recovery work, Greg not only maintained the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of District Supervisor, but also took on the role as On-Scene Coordinator which required countless hours both on site and at numerous public meetings, planning sessions, media and legislative contacts and other related events. Often the answer to a contractor’s question could only be “I’ll check with Greg and get back to you”. His outstanding communication skills enabled him to effectively communicate with all professionals involved; which included other state agencies, federal agencies, Ameren UE officials, and Mactec - Ameren’s contractor, with amazing patience and professionalism. During the long and complicated process of securing the area and the process to start to bring the park back to life, Greg never voiced any complaint of the impact it had on him not only professionally but also the effect it had on his family – wife Michelle and their sons Derek and Jackson – which required him being away from them for extended periods. Greg’s outstanding
efforts and commitment to provide exceptional service to the Department of Natural Resources and the citizens of Missouri make him a role model to emulate.
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