Paul Rice is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is given to an employee who provided outstanding contributions to the division.
Paul Rice’s career with Florida State Parks has spanned 42 years. He has served many roles. Currently, he is the park manager at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.
Paul has always been a leader and a trendsetter. Early in his career, he created spreadsheets to track information that he shared with a fellow manager, and use of the spreadsheets was adopted systemwide for all state parks in Florida.
In 2020, Paul was honored with the Resource Manager of the Year Award following years of oversight of the resources in Key Largo and for helping organize the first citizen support organization at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This group has contributed thousands of dollars to projects that involved the local community.
For more than 10 years, Paul served as the chief of the district office in Hobe Sound, which provides support to parks from Hobe Sound to Key West. Challenges in this district include the geographic spread from one end to the other and its densely populated coastal communities.
No matter what position Paul holds, he always has a positive attitude and inspires others.