If there were one example of leading by example, it would be Jacob Strickland, park manager at Florida Caverns State Park.
Jacob will pick up a weed eater, volunteer for a news interview, or crawl under a vehicle to look at an issue just a fast as he will learn a new database or computer program. He displays a positive, can-do attitude in all that he does.
When Category 5 Hurricane Michael leveled the park in October 2018, Jacob filled every role imaginable from running a chainsaw to managing over a dozen contractors at once for park rebuilding. His strong maintenance background and military training allowed him to serve as the leader that the park and its staff needed in this time.
There isn't much that he cannot do: He is a certified MFMP contract manager, burn boss, certified interpretive guide, small engine mechanic, and the list goes on. Everywhere that he goes becomes a better place through his leadership and willingness to train. He is patient no matter how stressful a situation becomes, and is a legend in visitor service. People who are born leaders and who have the diversity of knowledge that Jacob has are rare. The Florida Park Service is fortunate to have had him in the many roles that he has filled in his career.
The Distinguished Service Award is awarded annually to recognize contributions that require a high degree of personal initiative, professionalism, leadership, effort or skill; must represent a significant benefit to the division; and must be made on a voluntary or special assignment basis completely above and beyond the requirements of the employee's position description.