ATTENTION BEAR HUNTERS: Modern guns season for bears opens December 14th. Please call 800-858-1549 after 9pm each night of the bear season to determine if the season will be open the following day. After dialing 800-858-1549, press 4 for special season information.

Meet the Directors

Brian V. Blank, Public Affairs Director  

Brian V. Blank, Mark​eting Director

Brian joins the Department from the industry side of fish, wildlife and boating. Brian has served in several marketing capacities, most notably with Dick's Clothing and Sporting Goods, Medalist Apparel, and Emotion Kayaks. He also served as the member and marketing director for the American Sport Fishing Association. He has a BA in History from the Messiah College, Grantham, PA. Brian has a vast amount of experience in social networking, community based marketing, customer tracking, product evaluation, and customer recruitment and retention. His skills in developing a grass roots effort to reach new license buyers and evaluating how to retain the existing customers we already have are his most valued assets.

Brian is an avid hunter and angler, and enjoys stream fishing from a kayak, as well as deer and turkey hunting. Brian was born and raised outside of Baltimore, MD, where he learned to appreciate and enjoy the waters around the Chesapeake Bay. As an avid outdoorsman, Brian understands the needs of the hunter, angler, and trapper, and will quickly become an expert in addressing how we can better serve them.

Brian has now made his home in Frankfort.


Lisa Cox, Administrative Services Director  

Lisa Cox, Administrative Services Director

Lisa Cox joined the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as its Administrative Services Director in the summer of 2018.

A Frankfort native, Cox has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky and brings more than three decades of government experience to her role with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. Cox has served as an auditor on the state and county levels, as a cabinet fiscal officer, financial analyst​, budget analyst, division director and executive advisor.

Administrative Services provides the support required to ensure Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is a good steward of public funds. Under Cox's leadership, Administrative Services strives to:

 

  • Develop a strong workforce through recruiting, safety, training and resources
  • Properly account for and report receipts of licenses, registration fees, grants, contributions and assets
  • Ensure efficient procurement of goods and services that document the necessity of those goods and services for the department to fulfill its mission and meet strategic goals
  • Provide centralized administrative functions, such as mail/delivery, when more efficient
  • Provide public reporting to enhance transparency and build trust
Cox and her husband, Mark, live on a Mercer County cattle farm with their son, Reese. Working for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is special for Cox because hunting and fishing have always been an important part of her life. Now, that love and respect for the outdoors continues with her son. 

Chris Garland, Wildlife Director  

Chris Garland, Wildlife Director

Chris Garland became Wildlife Division Director for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in September 2019. A native of Barbourville, he joined the department as a seasonal employee in 1995. Garland worked multiple seasons with deer trapping and transport, worked with the grouse trapping crew in the initial stages of the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse research project, worked as a technician on Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Jackson County, and as a biologist on Taylorsville Lake WMA. He transitioned to the small game program in 1998 and spent several years there before moving to an NRCS Liaison Biologist position working out of the Area 2 NRCS office providing technical guidance and cost-share through state and federal programs while also working with the NRCS state office to incorporate wildlife-friendly practices into federal farm bill programs. Before his hiring as division director, Garland had served as the assistant director in the Wildlife Division with a couple of stints as acting division director. He is also a graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, a premier professional development program. Garland holds a degree in wildlife management from Eastern Kentucky University and currently lives in Anderson County with his wife, Jenni, and their three children. “I consider it an honor to be named the Wildlife Division Director,” Garland said. “I very much look forward to working with the Commission, agency leadership, other divisions, and all department staff to continue the great work that Kentucky Fish and Wildlife does.”


Col. Eric Gibson, Law Enforcement Director  

Col. Eric Gibson, Law Enforcement Director

Lancaster native Col. Eric Gibson comes to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources following a distinguished career with the Kentucky State Police. Gibson became the director of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Division in the summer of 2018.

Gibson began his law enforcement career as a trooper at the Richmond Post of the Kentucky State Police in 1995. He last served as assistant commander of the Governor’s Marijuana Strike Force, a multi-agency group tasked with eradicating marijuana throughout the state. He retired from state police in 2017.

His state police awards include four Commissioner’s Medals, Citation for Bravery and a Lifesaving Medal. Gibson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. He received additional training at the Kentucky State Police Academy and the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.

Gibson has a long history of hunting, fishing and competitive shooting. He grew up shooting trap and small bore rifle. He was a member of the University of Kentucky Rifle Team and the Kentucky State Police Rifle Team shooting all around the United States.   

Gibson’s goals include a strong commitment to service to the public. “I want to increase the relationship between sportsmen and women with our officers,” he said. “I want our officers to be a good source of information to people in their counties while encouraging more citizens to get involved with outdoor recreation.”

 

Other goals include filling vacancies in the conservation officer ranks to provide coverage to every county, and providing those officers with the tools they need to be more effective in their jobs.​


 


Paul Wilkes, Fisheries Director (Acting) 

 Gabe Jenkins, Information and Education Director (Acting)

Gabe Jenkins joined the Information and Education Division as its acting director in November 2019 after 12 years in the Wildlife Division.

Jenkins served as the department’s Deer and Elk Program coordinator for five years after seven years as a biologist in the Deer and Elk Program. 

In his time with the department, Jenkins has worked across divisions to help promote the state’s deer and elk herds and worked with the Information and Education Division on its many different aspects, including “Kentucky Afield” magazine and TV, hunter education, hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation, and social media promotions. 

 Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management and a master’s degree in Fisheries from Eastern Kentucky University. He currently lives in Anderson County with his wife, Brook, and their two children.


​​​​​​​​​​
Paul Wilkes, Fisheries Director (Acting)  ​

Michael Scott, Engineering, Infrastructure and Technology Director

Michael Scott became director of the Engineering, Infrastructure and Technology Division in October 2019.

A Frankfort native, Scott joined the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in 2015. Previous roles with the department included Engineer in Training, Engineer and Program Manager. In each of these capacities, Scott designed and managed department construction projects.

He worked on site development and water resource projects for a private engineering firm in Lexington before coming to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Scott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2011. He also holds a Professional Engineering (PE) license and is a Land Surveyor in Training (LSIT).

Scott currently lives in Franklin County with his wife, Cara, and their daughter.


Paul Wilkes, Fisheries Director (Acting)  

Paul Wilkes, Fisheries Director (Acting)

Paul Wilkes has been working with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources since 2011 after moving back home to Kentucky. Paul began his career in the Fisheries Division working as a technician in the Cold Water Research section which evaluated trout, walleye, and muskie fisheries. He then spent a significant portion of his career working on management of Asian Carp, initially as the first Aquatic Nuisance Species coordinator for Kentucky and then as supervisor of the section for several years. He next transitioned to managing the federal fisheries grants for five years. As the grants coordinator for Kentucky, Paul spent much of his time collaborating with local communities to increase boating and fishing access, as well as partnering with Marinas to provide Clean Vessel Act and Boating Infrastructure Funding on Kentucky’s waterways. He is an active participant in the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program management in the Southeast and is currently serving on the National WSFR Working Group as a representative for the Southeast.

Paul earned a Master’s Degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia and is a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. Paul, his wife Heather and their three children live in Frankfort. He is an avid angler who spends as much of his free time as possible boating and fishing on Kentucky’s abundant waterways.


​​​​​​