Joe Dinnocenzo signed on with the district in February before officially retiring from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
On Feb. 27 someone broke into the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District building and wreaked havoc. The person smashed a glass door and threw electronics and papers out of the window. Dinnocenzo stepped in to help with the problem.
“The day the vandalism occurred, the police department called me because I was the main contact person,” said Blythe Brown of the conservation district. “I said, ‘As a matter of fact, we have a brand new district manager.’ It’s been really good from that rough beginning.”
Dinnocenzo’s position had been open for months because funding for the Kodiak Soil and Water District was uncertain. When the district’s board of directors decided to fill the position, they reviewed the applications and Dinnocenzo’s rose to the top. He officially started work May 1.
The soil and water district’s mission is to support natural resource projects in Kodiak, and Brown said Dinnocenzo is a good fit for that role.
“He’s got some skills the district can use,” she said. “It’s been great, and he’s jumped right in.”
Dinnocenzo’s skills come from years of experience in the fishing industry. He has been a commercial fisherman of crab, salmon, halibut, herring and cod. He retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after working there on and off for 30 years. In his last role with the department, he regulated commercial herring and salmon fisheries.
When Dinnocenzo retired, he did so knowing he wanted to find another position part time.
“There is always work for a working man,” Dinnocenzo said. “I gotta stay busy.”
He was looking for something that didn’t require 70-hour work weeks in the summer, but would still use his background in biology.
“It was time for a change,” Dinnocenzo said. “I wanted to use my background to contribute to the community in a new field.”