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Meet the Director
In September 2019, Brad Garmon was named director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. Though he grew up in the plains of western Kansas, Garmon has spent the last 18 years focused on improving Michigan public policy to better protect the Great Lakes and natural areas, while also forging stronger connections between resource conservation, job growth, talent attraction and economic development.
Most recently, Garmon served as the interim CEO of the Michigan Environmental Council in Lansing. Prior to that, he was the council’s director of Conservation and Emerging Issues – a role created in 2011 specifically to support and build stronger alliances between outdoor recreation, economic development and natural resource stewardship.
It was his leadership in this arena that led to an appointment to Michigan’s State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Blue Ribbon Panel in 2011 – a position that took Garmon from the sinkhole lakes of Michigan’s Rockport State Park to the High Line of New York City.
More recently, he has advised the DNR, the Office of the Great Lakes and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on several different plans aimed at improving and supporting Michigan’s natural and cultural resources. Garmon also is a member of the Michigan Heritage Leadership Council, was appointed to the state’s Pigeon River Country Advisory Council in 2013, and previously served on the Michigan State Parks Advisory Council’s Finance Subcommittee.
A past director of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Garmon currently sits on the board of directors of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association and is a member of Michigan Trout Unlimited. He holds undergraduate degrees in Geology/Earth Science and Geospatial Analysis and a master’s degree in English.
Happily married to a high school English teacher, Garmon has two young children and enjoys taking them camping, hiking and biking around Michigan, and spending time with his in-laws on Houghton Lake. Garmon has completed several half-marathon trail runs – including his favorite through Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. He also enjoys shotgun sports, mountain bikes regularly, and recently completed a gravel bikepacking adventure in Michigan’s Pigeon River Country State Forest.