Regional and National Recognitions Awarded to Smokies Staff 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fire Ecologist Rob Klein and Wildland Fire Module Superintendent Jordan Black recently received recognition for superior service, innovative thinking, and leadership. Klein was selected for the regional Wildland Fire and Aviation Excellence Award and Black was the recipient of the National Park Service Excellence in Mentorship Aviation Award. 

Rob Klein

The Interior Region 2 Wildland Fire and Aviation Excellence Award is presented annually for outstanding achievement in leadership and collaboration. Fire Ecologist Rob Klein was nominated for the award by his peers for his collaborative mindset, inclusive communication, and unquestionable integrity. In 2021, he worked collaboratively with fire management staff and with university researchers to coordinate ecological research. Additionally, Klein completed several extensive updates to fire management plans for the Appalachian-Piedmont-Coastal Zone. 

“Rob being recognized as the 2021 National Park Service Interior Region 2 Wildland Fire and Aviation Excellence Award recipient goes well beyond his exemplary efforts within the year of 2021,” said Regional Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Officer Shawn Nagle. “Over the past 20 plus years, Rob has contributed to and advanced the National Park Service mission of managing our National Parks for the benefit of future generations. Many generations to come will benefit from Rob’s care and commitment to maintaining the aesthetic appeal of our natural resources.” 

Jordan Black

The National Aviation Office awarded Wildland Fire Module Superintendent Jordan Black the National Park Service (NPS) Excellence in Mentorship Aviation Award. This award recognizes training and mentorship of aviation personnel that go above and beyond normal expectations to assist others in developing their personal or professional aviation growth. During the award period, Black recognized the benefits of using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to provide safer and more efficient operations. He trained to become a Department of Interior NPS UAS pilot and was immediately called upon to help with search and rescue events, prescribed fire monitoring flights, and post-hurricane events. He then helped train and mentor new pilots by teaching several Basic Remote Pilot Operator courses, earning Lead Instructor credentials.  

“Jordan bridges the gap between supervision and mentorship with his employees,’” said Acting Zone Fire Management Officer Shane Paxton. “That skill is reflected in this mentorship award. I’m proud of Jordan for passing his knowledge to the wildland fire community through aviation.”  For more information on the NPS Wildland Fire Program, please visit the NPS website at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1965/index.htm.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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