State GFP announces promotions

Courtesy photos

PIERRE – Earlier this month, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks announced the promotion of two employees.

Kevin Robling has been promoted to deputy secretary of the department. Robling received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries science from South Dakota State University and began his career with GFP in 2009 as a graduate student in Clark County, radio-collaring white-tailed deer. In 2011, he was hired on as a resource biologist in Sioux Falls and was promoted to a big game biologist in 2012 out of Rapid City. 

In 2017, he took on a new position as the special projects coordinator where his main job duties included working with the GFP Commission and the state Legislature, implementing nonmeandered water legislation, internal program reviews and evaluations, deer license allocation changes, enhancing recreational opportunities and simplifying regulations identified through the department’s strategic plan.

Robling and his wife Holly have 1-year-old boy/girl twins, Sawyer and Reese.

“I am excited to continue working with department staff, the Legislature, the governor and the avid outdoor enthusiasts we have in this state. Every day I come to work, I hope to make our outdoor resources better for current and future generations,” Robling said.

Scott Simpson has been promoted to director of the Division of Parks and Recreation. Simpson, a Brookings native, has been with the department for 15 years overseeing budgets, hunting and fishing licensing, federal aid, geographic information systems, construction projects and education, and has served as a department lobbyist. Simpson has a bachelor’s in business management from the University of Sioux Falls and was a member of the first cohort to graduate from the Governor’s Leadership Development Program. 

Simpson and his wife Lynette have three children, Annabelle, Ellie Jo and Charlie.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Simpson said. “I think my strengths and work experience will carry over well into this position.”

GFP Department Secretary Kelly Hepler said both individuals are well qualified and deserving of these posts.

“Kevin’s job will expand his duties some, but it is work that he has been doing, and doing it very well. While this will be a big change in focus for Scott, he knows the inner workings of our department’s funding and operations to serve well in this role. They both have leadership and visionary skills to continue our state’s strong outdoor heritage for the next generation while enhancing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.”

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