A new Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner has been appointed after the recent death of AGFC vice chairman Joe Morgan.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Bennie Westphal of Fort Smith to the commission as a replacement for Morgan, who died Saturday Nov. 21. Morgan had served on the Game and Fish Commission for five years and was Hutchinson’s first appointment.
“Bennie Westphal brings to this position a love of the outdoors and years of experience as a businessman and community leader,” Hutchinson said in a statement.“I have known Bennie for over 30 years, and I have full confidence in his commitment to conservation and to serving the public in this key position.”
Westphal is the chief executive officer of the Westphal Group, an organization with interests in commercial real estate development, oil and gas, and insurance sales. Westphal also sits on multiple boards, including those of the Fort Smith Mercy Foundation Board, BancorpSouth Advisory Board, Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club Inc., and the U.S. Marshals Museum Board.
He received a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Arkansas.
“It is an honor to be appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission,” Westphal said. “Arkansas is so abundant in its natural beauty. I have been an avid hunter and fisherman most of my life and look forward to learning and working with the Commission.”
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is currently made up of chairman Andrew Parker, Bobby Martin, Stan Jones, John David “J.D.” Neeley, Anne Marie Doramus and Rob Finley. Dr. Steven J. Beaupre is an ex-officio commissioner.