The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC)
Established in 1909
The Commission Bios
District 1 - Ottawa, Delaware, Craig, Mayes, Nowata, Rogers, Washington, Tulsa, Pawnee, and Osage counties.
Robert S. Hughes II -
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Hughes was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to serve an eight-year term that began July 1, 2013. The Bartlesville rancher is an avid quail hunter and sportsman.
"I consider it an honor to serve on the Wildlife Conservation Commission because of the love I have for the land and the wildlife of Oklahoma," he said.
Hughes was raised on his family's ranch – the Hughes Ranch – and he now partners with his father, John F. Hughes, in the Hughes Cattle Co. He has served on a number of boards of directors for organizations such as the National Livestock Credit Corporation, National Livestock Commission Association, Frank Phillips Foundation and Superior Livestock Auction. He also has served as a member and director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, director of Arvest Bank Board, president of the Osage County Cattlemen's Association, director of the Bartlesville Community Foundation, and Northeast District vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. He has also been honored as the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association's appointment to the N.C.B.A. Young Leadership Program and as the BEEF Magazine Stocker Operator of the Year Award recipient in 2006.
Hughes earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science-Production from Oklahoma State University in 1983 and graduated in 1985 from Texas Christian University's Ranch Management Program.
Hughes and his wife, Michelle, live in Bartlesville and have two children: Jessica, who is working toward a career in nursing, and Sam, who is working toward a career in ranch management.
District 2 - Adair, Sequoyah, Cherokee, Wagoner, Muskogee, Haskell, McIntosh and Okmulgee counties.
Bruce R. Mabrey
Gov. Brad Henry appointed Bruce R. Mabrey to the Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2006. Mabrey's term will run through 2022.
A lifelong resident of Okmulgee, Mabrey has been the executive officer of a family owned bank holding company with ownership in several eastern Oklahoma banks. He is currently the executive vice president of Citizens Security Bank in Okmulgee.
District 3 - LeFlore, Latimer, Pittsburg, Atoka, Pushmataha, McCurtain, Choctaw, Bryan, Marshall, Carter and Love counties.
Brewster was born in Ardmore and has lived most of his life in Love County. His father, Grady Brewster, who was an avid quail hunter, exposed Brewster to hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation at an early age.
Brewster graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy and is licensed in Oklahoma and Texas. Brewster has been very active in issues affecting small businesses, pharmacies, real estate and ranching.
In 1983, Brewster was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1984 and served until 1990. In 1990, he successfully ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Oklahoma's District 3 congressman until 1990.
Brewster has been chairman of the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus, president of Shikar Safari Club International, and a board member of the National Rifle Association and the NRA Foundation. He is a life member of NRA and maintains memberships in many other hunting, fishing and wildlife organizations.
Brewster and his wife, Suzie, live in rural Love County. They are the parents of three children. Kecia and Kent were lost in a 1990 plane crash. Daughter Karel and grandson, Braxton, live in Edmond.
District 4 - Creek, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Seminole, Pottawatomie, Pontotoc, Hughes, Johnston, and Coal counties.
Leigh Gaddis was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014, and her current term expires in 2016.
Gaddis, of Ada, owns and also serves as a financial adviser at Gaddis & Gaddis Wealth Management, a financial planning and investment firm.
Gaddis is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association; a member of Safari Club International; annual participant in the Oklahoma City Gun Club’s Women on Target Shooting Clinic; and helped host the Governor’s Big Buck Hunt in 2011.
“I am excited for this opportunity to serve on the Wildlife Conservation Commission and I appreciate Governor Fallin’s appointment,” said Gaddis. “I look forward to working on wildlife management issues as well as overseeing the state's hunting and fishing regulations while protecting Oklahoma’s natural resources and beauty.”
Gaddis currently serves as a mentor on the Ada High School Student Mentoring Program; as a member of the President’s Circle at East Central University; in the Circle of Friends at Mercy Hospital, Ada; and as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Ada. She is also a 2011 graduate of Leadership Ada and currently serves on the planning committee.
Gaddis received a bachelor’s degree in biology education from East Central University.
She and her husband, Roger, have four sons.
District 5 - Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Garvin, Murray and Payne counties.
Oklahoma City, OK
Ed Abel was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2009 to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Abel's term will run through 2017. Abel also served as a Wildlife Commissioner from 1994 to 2002.
Abel himself is a lifelong sportsman. His father introduced him to the outdoors at a young age through activities like squirrel hunting.
Abel is the founder and senior partner of what is now Abel Law Firm, founded in 1976. He has served as chairman and member in many law association committees and organizations, including the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, American Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma County Bar Association and others. He was active in the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and has been the recipient of several awards for outstanding legal contributions.
Abel received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1963 and his Juris Doctor Degree from The University of Oklahoma Law School in 1966.
Abel and his wife have four children — three daughters and a son — as well as three grandsons.
District 6 - Blaine, Kingfisher, Canadian, Caddo, Grady, Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson and Cotton counties.
John P. Zelbst
John P. Zelbst, was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2010 to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Commission until 2018.
“Wildlife is the peoples’ treasure and I’m committed to helping ensure sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts have access to their wildlife resources,” Zelbst said. “I come from a long ranching background. In fact, my son will be a fifth generation rancher, so I know the importance and value of being connected to the outdoors and environment.
“A concern of mine is that our young people aren’t as connected to the outdoors as they used to be and many know very little about the environment. Outdoor recreation and activity leads to a higher quality of life, so it’s important we work on getting children involved in the outdoors.”
Zelbst has 30 years experience as a trial lawyer and is the managing partner at Zelbst, Holmes & Butler law firm. The firm serves Oklahoma City, Lawton, Edmond, Norman and with the assistance of local counsel, all of the United States. Zelbst’ legal career has focused solely on representing people who have been injured, wronged, falsely accused and mistreated.
A member of the Oklahoma Association for Justice (formerly the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association), he served as the Association’s President in 2000. He also holds the distinction of having secured $24 million in the largest known personal injury verdict in state history.
Along with other professional memberships, recognition and awards, he was awarded the title of Oklahoma Super Lawyer for the years 2006-2010, Superlawyers.com; and is a member of the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 92nd Edition, Martindale Hubbell and is also Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Zelbst received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cameron University in Lawton in 1976 and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa, College of Law, in 1980. He is a graduate of and a board and faculty member of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, DuBois, Wyo.
Zelbst and his wife, Cindy, own and reside on the U2 Ranch in Meers. They have a son, Clay, and are actively involved in cattle operations on the ranch. He also supports numerous civic and community development programs, and currently chairs both the Comanche County Board of Trustees and the Comanche County Memorial Hospital Trust.
District 7 - Ellis, Dewey, Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, Harmon and Tillman counties.
Robert Dan Robbins of Altus, was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Commission until 2019.
Born and raised in Altus, Robbins is a fourth generation farmer and rancher whose great-grandfather arrived to the area in 1901. He graduated from Altus High School in 1982 and attended Oklahoma State University. Together with his wife of 22 years, Zina, Robbins farms cotton and wheat on 2,600 acres as well as helps manage several thousand acres of cotton and wheat on family farmland. They also raise Angus cross cattle along the north fork of the Red River. Robbins has two children — Rachael and Daniel — and a grandson named Axel.
Robbins is an avid sportsman. In the late 1980s, Robbins was introduced to deer hunting by his father-in-law and has enjoyed the sport ever since. After years of deer management efforts on his own land, Robbins was able to harvest a Cy-Curtis Award qualifying buck in 2009. Robbins also enjoys hunting turkeys and doves as well as fishing. He once caught a hybrid striped bass that weighed over 20 lbs.
Robbins is a member of Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, North American Hunting Club, North American Fishing Club and the National Rifle Association. He is also a board member of the Oklahoma Wildlife Management Association and currently serves as chairman of the Oklahoma Cotton Council and Oklahoma Delegate of the National Cotton Council, chairman of American Cotton Producers for Oklahoma, board member of the Producer Cooperative Oil Mill and alternate board member for Oklahoma for Cotton Incorporated. Additionally, Robbins was appointed to the Advisory Committee for Universal Cotton Standards by Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ed Schafer and has served as chairman of the Altus Chamber of Commerce..
District 8 - Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Woods,
Major, Alfalfa, Grant, Garfield, Kay and Noble counties.
John D. Groendyke -
John Groendyke, who has served on the Commission since 1976, was reappointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2012 to serve an additional eight-year term.
Groendyke is chairman of the board for Groendyke Transport, Inc. Founded by his father, H.C. Groendyke in 1932, it is one of the nation's largest motor carriers of bulk commodities serving the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.
John graduated from Wentworth Military Academy where he attended high school and junior college. He received his bachelor of science degree in business from Oklahoma State University.