The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently announced John S. Hallas has been appointed Director of the Bureau of State Parks to replace the retiring David L. Kemmerer. The appointment was effective December 28.
John Hallas began his career with the Bureau of State Parks in 2000, first serving as a park manager trainee at the bureau's Region 3 Office in Schellsburg, Bedford County. Other assignments included Canoe Creek State Park Complex, based in Blair County, and Prince Gallitzin State Park in Cambria County. In 2003 he was appointed park manager at Tobyhanna State Park in Monroe County.
A veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Hallas served as a sergeant with the U.S. Army in Field Artillery and Infantry units, with assignments at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was honorably discharged with seven years of active duty service in 1993.
Hallas, 47, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences, with a concentration in Geology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, with a concentration in Archeology and Cultural Resources Management, from the University of Pittsburgh.
David Kemmerer served the citizens of the Commonwealth in a variety of positions in the former Department of Environmental Resources and DCNR for 41 years.
Kemmerer was first hired by the former Department of Environmental Resources as a Labor Foreman and entered the Park Superintendent job series in 1975. From there he rose to become a State Parks Regional Manager (Region 4), and in 2004, was selected for the Assistant Director of State Parks position where he served for eight years until being appointed Director in 2012.
“Throughout his career, Dave has served with distinction and commitment,” said John Norbeck, DCNR Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry. “He has been a key player in our DCNR team and added great value to State Parks while serving as Director.”Kemmerer has a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation with a minor in accounting from Penn State University.