The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Project Office has a new second in command. Eric Edwardson has taken Tom Bloor’s position as Assistant Operations Manager. Bloor retired in December, 2005. This means in the absence of Andrea Lewis, Operations Manager, the buck stops at Edwardson’s desk.

“I have looked forward to coming to Shelbyville, because Shelbyville is known throughout the Corps for its good work,” said Edwardson.

Edwardson went on to say Lake Shelbyville’s reputation within the Corps is not just about the excellent recreational facilities managed by the Corps.

“The working relationships with the communities around the lake is extremely good,” continued Edwardson. “It is not always that way throughout the Corps but in Shelbyville we have a great partnership with the local communities.”

Edwardson said he is looking forward to expanding on those partnerships.

“That is what I am really excited about, is getting involved with the communities,” Edwardson said. “My philosophy is that we are doing the right thing if the Corps is the management agency of choice. If the community had the opportunity to pick any agency that they could, to manage the lake, they would come back and pick the Corps.”

Edwardson said he believes many people think of building a bridge or maintaining facilities when they think of the Corps.

“The way I look at my job here, is to build a bridge between the community and the resources that we have,” Edwardson said. “We want to have sustained use of these resources. We don’t want them to become derogated through misuse of cutting trees or runoff into the water.”

Lead Ranger with the Visitor Section at Lake Shelbyville, Steve Summers said it takes time to adjust to a new tour of duty but Edwardson is fitting in well.

“Eric (Edwardson) is a very pleasant individual to work with,” said Summers. “He is working hard to become part of our Corps family. He knows Corps business and will fit in here well.”

Edwardson comes to Lake Shelbyville from Clarkston, Washington. His first day here was February 6th. He has been employed with the Corps for twenty years.

Edwardson has worked his way through the ranks in the Corps orgnization. He started in Vector Control which is mosquito control in Boybton, VA at Kerr Reservoir. From that he was made a Wildlife Technician, then a Ranger, Chief Ranger and finally Assistant Manager at Kerr. From Kerr he went to work in the Wilmington District, then to Clarkston.

Edwardson is appreciative of all the work done by volunteers for the Corps.

“We get a lot of help through volunteer workers,” Edwardson said. “That has been a really big benefit, there is no way we could do it all on the shrinking budget by ourselves.”

He also appreciate the help from the Kaskia-Kaw Rivers Conservancy.

“The Rivers Association has been a super strong partner in doing a lot of work here and I can’t say enough about all the work they have done,” continued Edwardson.

He and his wife, Diann have three children in a blended family. He has two children from his first marriage and one step-daughter. His second marriage to Diann is sort of an unusual Corps story.

It seems Edwardson’s wife is employed with the Corps also as the Operations Manager for Land Between the Lakes. Both he and her were at one time stationed in North Carolina, which is where Edwardson is from originally. When he took the position in Clarkston, WA she was not able to secure employment out there. So for a while he and his wife lived 3,200 miles apart and only saw each other maybe once every six weeks. Now that he is working in Shelbyville they are only 200 miles apart.

“Which seems like a awful long ways to a lot of people, but we are very happy to be so close,” continued Edwardson.

He said now they get to see each other on most weekends.

Edwardson completed his education in North Carolina and holds a bachelor’s degree.

Edwardson’s ideas for his staff is to start training them immediately for his position.

“So, if I am out doing a project or assigned somewhere else for a short time, they can step up to the plate,” Edwardson said.

He said he has developed internal goals and external goals. One of his goals is to become more familiar with the local communities.

“So, they know my face, then when I am doing business in local communities they will know who I am and feel comfortable about coming up and saying, ‘Hey, we have these suggestions’, and again my goal there is to be the management agency of choice.”

His other goals are to learn how to facilitate Andrea Lewis (Operations Manager) goals. Such as the reconstruction work being done at “Bo” Wood Campgrounds.

He wants to work with his staff making sure they are where they want to be or have the means to get where they want to be.

Edwardson has planted roots here in the Shelbyville area. He bought a home here in the Lithia Springs area.

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