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BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — ReserveAmerica, the leader in recreation and campground reservation services, today announced â€œAmerica’s Ranger of the Yearâ€, as well as 5 additional silver medal winners from across the country. The annual Awards are bestowed to the country’s top rangers who dedicate their careers to serving park visitors while preserving the country’s public lands for future generations. Following the tally of votes submitted to ReserveAmerica by camping enthusiasts from all across the country, ReserveAmerica presented its Gold Medal Ranger of the Year award to Joseph Aniskiewicz of Darien Lakes State Park, New York. Silver Medal Ranger of the Year awards were presented to Kelly Elliott of Lake Perris State Recreation Area, California, Johnathon Freeborn of Ridgway State Park, Colorado, Floyd H. Seals Jr. of Carr Creek State Park, Kentucky, Shawn Cameron of Granville State Forest, Massachusetts and Beth Hawse of Douthat State Park, Virginia.
â€œReserveAmerica is proud to honor these six outstanding Rangers through our â€˜America’s Ranger of the Year’ award,â€ said Seth Rosenberg, President of ReserveAmerica. â€œThe park professionals that manage America’s campgrounds help ensure that our millions of customers enjoy safe, fun and memorable camping trips. The memories we all cherish about family camping outings, such as staring up at the stars, roasting marshmallows over the campfire and listening to the wildlife at night, were all made possible under the protection and management of the American park ranger.â€
Following is information about the six award recipients. For additional information and to read heartwarming testimonials about their dedication and professionalism, visit www.ReserveAmerica.com or www.TheCampingClub.com.
Gold Medal Ranger of the Year, Joseph Aniskiewicz, Public Safety Ranger at Darien Lakes State Park, has been with the New York State Park Police for over four years within the Genesee region. The key point that makes Joe stand out, outside of his experience of saving kayakers in the middle of the night and protecting park guests on a daily basis; is Joe’s unique personality and touching relationship with the visitors of his park. Raising money to buy food and toys for a young kindergarten girl who was staying at the park until she graduated her class, resulted in the girl naming her favorite stuffed animal â€œRanger Joeâ€. Joe has been invited to countless dinners with guests around their campsites, some heads of large public companies and some international guests coming back to America to track down their first true love. Ranger Joe Aniskiewicz creates the experience for his guests and becomes a key part of the lifelong memories that his guests cherish.
Kelly Elliott, State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) Supervisor works at Lake Perris State Recreation Area in Southern California. For six years she worked as a Ranger at California Citrus State Historic Park, Chino Hills State Park and Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area. Kelly began her career with California State Parks as a seasonal park aide at Folsom Lake SRA where she worked while attending California State University, Sacramento. She graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration. Kelly was awarded the Governor Employee Safety Award for her service in the Old Fire of 2003 and has had the honor of working with many great employees in the Inland Empire District. Kelly prides herself in being a true Generalist Ranger, and looks forward to continuing her career as a steward of parks for the seventh generation.
Johnathon Freeborn, Park Ranger of Ridgway State Park, Colorado is a Colorado native and is passionate about the outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, his job and his hobbies are all centered around nature. Freeborn was noted early on by other Colorado State Park rangers for his hard work, dedication, good decision making and integrity. Freeborn was selected to become a Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT) instructor shortly before he came to Ridgway State Park, and since his arrival he has also become a firearms instructor. â€œHe will do whatever it takes to provide safe and enjoyable recreation for our visitors and protection of the resources we are responsible for,â€ said Kirstin Copeland, Ridgway Park Manager. When faced with adversity, Copeland said that Freeborn has worked for days straight, and will never compromise his high standards of â€œdoing a job right.â€
Floyd H. Seals Jr., Park Ranger of Carr Creek State Park, Kentucky has been working as a Kentucky State Park Ranger since July 16, 1998. Floyd’s duties include patrolling the park area, enforcing state laws, checking in campers. Public relations play a big role in his many duties as he is always at the forefront with campers and visitors. Floyd H. Seals Jr. has had the pleasure of meeting a lot of nice people from all walks of life and cultures and made some real good friends. Prior to becoming a Kentucky State Park Ranger, Floyd was a volunteer Fireman for 20+ years.
Shawn Cameron of Granville State Forest, Massachusetts is an exemplary Massachusetts State Park employee. He has worked in southern Berkshire area State Parks since 1981. He came to Mass State Parks with an Environmental Sciences degree from Berkshire Community College. In March of 1996, Shawn became the year-round supervisor of Granville State Forest, a popular camping facility near the scenic Hubbard River on the Connecticut border. Shawn’s pride for the operation and maintenance of his recreation area shows everywhere — the well maintained trails, the immaculate campsites and bathroom facilities, the flower gardens and hanging baskets, and the smiling faces of his patrons. Shawn continues to treat visitors with the utmost respect, and goes above and beyond what is expected to deliver the best services available in the state park system.
Beth Hawse, Chief Ranger of Interpretation and Environmental Education of Douthat State Park, Virginia, graduated from Mary Baldwin College at Staunton, Virginia in 1998 with a biology degree and began work with Douthat State Park as the park’s seasonal interpreter. In her first year she expanded children’s programs and initiated environmental education outreach to local schools that comply with the Virginia Standards of Learning and in 2007 she worked diligently to continue growing interpretation and environmental education programs. Beth is a facilitator for all of the â€œProjectâ€ workshops (Wet, Wild, Learning Tree, Underground) and chairs the Division’s Seasonal Interpretive Workshop Committee.
ReserveAmerica is already accepting nominations for the 2009 â€œAmerica’s Ranger of the Yearâ€. Camping enthusiasts may submit their vote for â€œAmerica’s Ranger of the Yearâ€ while planning their family camping trips online at ReserveAmerica.com. The Awards are presented to rangers who receive the greatest number of votes submitted by park visitors in combination with display of positive performance as witnessed through testimonials from the general public. Visit www.ReserveAmerica.com to learn more about America’s top rangers.
ReserveAmerica is North America’s leading camping reservation and campground management solutions provider. ReserveAmerica specializes in complete reservations solutions, stand-alone call center/database management tools, online reservations solutions and park software solutions. The Company manages the largest reservable campsite inventory with partnerships throughout North America. ReserveAmerica is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI).