An eight-member Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, serve in an unpaid capacity as the Department's advisory, administrative and policy-making body. The Commission governs all Department operations and financial transactions. It oversees land and equipment purchases, wildlife management areas and fish hatcheries, plus the state's hunting and fishing regulations. The Commission appoints the Department's Director.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has set the following dates for the Regular Commission Meetings. Meetings are held monthly at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Building (auditorium), 1801 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 at 9:00 am
- 2023 Commission Meetings
January 3 (Tuesday)- Agenda and Director's Report
February 6- Agenda and Director's Report
March 6- Agenda and Director's Report
April 3- Agenda and Director's Report
September 5 (Tuesday)
- 2022 Commission Meetings
January 3, 2022 - Agenda/Directors Report February 7, 2022 -DocumentDocumentDocumentDocumentDocumentDocumentDocumentDocumentDocument
District 1 (405) 522-6279
Ottawa, Delaware, Craig, Mayes,
Nowata, Rogers, Washington, Tulsa,
Pawnee, and Osage.
Term Expires: 2029
Bartlesville attorney Jess M. Kane began serving an eight-year term July 2, 2021, representing District 1 on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Kane was appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt in January 2021. Stitt said, "Jess Kane is an experienced attorney and rancher from rural Oklahoma who understands the importance of our land and wildlife. I look forward to him bringing his strong agriculture perspective to the Commission to help foster wildlife conservation efforts across our state."
Kane is a fifth-generation rancher, having grown up on his family’s diversified cow/calf, stocker and grain-farming operation headquartered in Bartlesville.
"The joy of observing and hunting game is one of the greatest dividends of successful farm and ranch management," Kane said.
"In an industry not known for prodigious profits, this return is of high value to farmers and ranchers. I hope to add this perspective to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission and will be honored to help preserve Oklahoma’s long heritage of wildlife conservation."
Kane is a partner with his brother, Richard, in Clover Leaf Cattle Co. LLC, a stocker enterprise with operations on owned and leased land in Washington and Rogers counties in Oklahoma and Kiowa County, Kansas. Additionally, Jess and his wife, Ashley, are partners in a cow herd based in Tillman County, Oklahoma.
He is active with the Oklahoma Beef Council, the Federation of State Beef Councils, and the Oklahoma Cattlemens Association, where he served as a former director. He was serving as Bartlesville’s city attorney when appointed to the Wildlife Commission.
Kane holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South (Sewanee, Tenn.), a Certificate of Ranch Management from the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He has practiced law with the firm Robinett, King, Elias, Buhlinger, Brown & Kane with offices in Bartlesville and Pawhuska since 2009, and he was named a partner in that firm in 2015.
The Kanes have two children: Sammy and Bobby.
District 2 (405)522-6279
Adair, Sequoyah, Cherokee, Wagoner, Muskogee, Haskell, McIntosh and Okmulgee counties.
Term Expires: 2030
Appointed in 2022 by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Mark Mabrey succeeded Commissioner Bruce Mabrey of Okmulgee, his father, whose service ended July 1, 2022, after 20 years as a Wildlife Conservation Commissioner.
Mabrey is SVP Market President Okmulgee at Mabrey Bank in Okmulgee. He also serves on the board of directors for Mabrey Bank in Bixby.
Mabrey is an active hunter and angler, having harvested his first wild turkey at age 8 and fished “for as long as I can remember.”
Mabrey earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Oklahoma State University in 2006, and is a graduate of consumer lending, commercial lending, and intermediate school of banking through the Oklahoma Bankers Association. He is a 2018 graduate of The Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.
He is a past-chairman and current board member for the Okmulgee County Family YMCA, the Friends of Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge, and the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce. He is or has been a board member for the Okmulgee Education Foundation, Okmulgee Main Street, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA of Greater Tulsa.
Mabrey is a past-chairman of the Okmulgee County United Way annual campaign and believes community bankers must be active in the places they serve. He is a past chairman for the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology PROUD fundraising campaign.
He was born in Tulsa in 1983 and grew up in Okmulgee where he currently makes his home. Mark and his wife, Krysten, have two children: Lakelyn and Baker.
District 3 (405)522-6279
Counties: LeFlore, Latimer, Pittsburg, Atoka, Pushmataha, McCurtain, Choctaw, Bryan, Marshall, Carter and Love counties.
Term Expires: 2023
Appointed in October 2022 by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Tim Diehl will complete the unexpired term of the late Bill Brewster of Marietta, who had served as District 3 representative on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission since July 2016.
“I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to serve on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission,” Diehl said. He is an avid hunter and has a passion for encouraging youths to get involved in hunting and fishing. He has coordinated and hosted youth events through the Wildlife Department.
“My father was an avid deer hunter and exposed me to hunting in southeast Oklahoma, and I have been hunting in the same area for over 40 years. It’s unbelievable the job the Wildlife Department has done in improving our wildlife resources since I was a kid hunting in southeast Oklahoma.”
Diehl is broker/owner of Southeastern Oklahoma Realty LLC in McAlester. He also serves on the board of directors for Bank NA in McAlester.
Diehl graduated from Lindsay High School and attended Oklahoma State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and member of the Oklahoma Wildlife Management Association.
“I look forward to serving on the Commission, and protecting and growing our wildlife resources through good management practices.”
He and his wife, Shelley, have two daughters and two grandsons.
District 4 (405)522-6279
Counties: Creek, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Seminole, Pottawatomie, Pontotoc, Hughes, Johnston, and Coal counties.
Term Expires: 2024
Leigh Gaddis was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014, and re-appointed to a full 8-year term 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.
James V. Barwick
District 5 (405) 522-6279
Counties: Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Garvin, Murray and Payne counties.
Term Expires: 2025
James V. Barwick was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2017 to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Barwick’s term will run through 2025. As an assistant state attorney general, Barwick served as the Wildlife Conservation Commission’s legal counsel for more than 12 years.
He is an avid sportsman and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, Pope & Young Club, Bowhunting Council of Oklahoma (BCO) and Safari Club International (SCI), where he formerly served as a director of the Oklahoma Station Chapter.
Barwick has hunted worldwide with numerous animals making the record books of SCI, Pope & Young, Rowland Ward and the Oklahoma Wildlife Department's Cy Curtis Awards. He has achieved the Super Ten of North American Big Game, which qualifies him for entry in the Grand Slam Club/Ovis. He is a six-time BCO State Archery Champion (traditional class) and winner of four gold medals and four silver medals in archery at the Sooner State Games.
After graduating from law school, Barwick started his legal career in public service as an associate general counsel with the Oklahoma Department of Securities. Later he joined the law firm of Reynolds, Ridings & Hargis. After a few years in private practice, he began a corporate career spanning 22 years and served on the executive teams of various Fortune 100/500 public companies, including LSB Industries Inc., Scrivner Inc., Fleming Cos. Inc. and Kerr-McGee Corp. Currently, he is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Jones PR Inc., an integrated communications and public affairs agency with partners worldwide.
Barwick and his wife, Brenda, live in Edmond. His two daughters are both Oklahoma lifetime hunting and fishing license holders.
John P. Zelbst
District 6 (405)522-6279
Counties: Blaine, Kingfisher, Canadian, Caddo, Grady, Comanche, Stephens, Jefferson and Cotton counties.
Term Expires: 2026
John P. Zelbst, was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2010, and re-appointed in 2018 by Governor Mary Fallin until 2026.
“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 (405)522-6279
Counties: Ellis, Dewey, Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, Harmon and Tillman counties.
Term Expires: 2027
“My family has always respected wildlife, and we’ve always had that reputation. We’ve always been outdoor-oriented, so maybe I can make a difference,” Holder said.
Holder is an Altus High School graduate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University in 1981, and entered the banking industry in 1982 with Stockmans Bank in Gould. He’s worked in nearly every position at that bank during his career. Now he is chief financial officer and chairman of the board of Stockmans Bank, with headquarters in Altus and an additional five locations.
He and his brother, Mark, also have a cow/calf business on their family’s original ranchland first settled by their great-grandfather in 1898. They returned to live on the original land after they worked during most of the 1990s to build a rural water system called the Creta Water Corp. Creta is an unincorporated community about 14 miles southwest of Altus.
For many years, Holder has served as a director of the Western Oklahoma State College Foundation, where he works to secure scholarship funding. He is also a board member of the Harmon County Livestock Show and The Bankers Bank of Oklahoma City, and he is a member of the Salvation Army and Lions Club.
Holder’s wife, Angie, is a physical therapist. They have three sons, a daughter and three grandsons. One of Holder’s adult sons operates a hunting guide business in the area.
D. Chad Dillingham
District 8 (405)522-6279
Counties: Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Woods, Major, Alfalfa, Grant, Garfield, Kay and Noble counties.
Term Expires: 2028
Northwestern Oklahoma insurance executive D. Chad Dillingham of Enid was appointed by Gov. J. Kevin Stitt to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Dillingham began serving an eight-year term as the District 8 representative in July 2020.
Dillingham is chief executive officer and co-owner of Dillingham Insurance, a 93-year-old private business headquartered in Enid and serving clients in 38 states with offices in Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Tulsa. He and his brother own and operate a 1,700-acre cattle ranch in northern Oklahoma.
Dillingham is on the Board of Regents for Northern Oklahoma College, the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Oklahoma, and the Board of Advisors for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. He is director of the Denny Price Family YMCA, past chairman and director of the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, past director for United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, past director of the local Boy Scouts of America organization, and graduate of Leadership Oklahoma.
He has worked diligently to support Enid Public Schools, leading promotional efforts for two successful bond issues totaling more than $190 million and recognized with the 2016 Barbara Lynch Community Support Award from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He is active in several professional insurance organizations, has served as an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Enid, and is a member of YPO-Oklahoma City, Enid Rotary Club and the Grand National Quail Club.
He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons and one daughter. He enjoys hunting, fishing, ranching, boating, golf, and tennis, and he’s been an active private pilot since age 16.