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Nixon names two prominent St. Louisans to panel to find new DNR chief

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's office has just announced that he has appointed a nine-person search committee to look for a permanent replacement for Mark Templeton, the former head of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, who resigned Monday.

The committee includes two St. Louisans:

-- Charles W. Burson, described as "senior professor of practice at Washington University School of Law and the former executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Monsanto Co.";

-- Wayne Goode, a former veteran Democratic state senator representing part of north St. Louis County.

Nixon has named Kip Stetzler as DNR's acting director. Stetzler has been the director of Nixon's Western Regional Office in Kansas City.

Others named to the search panel, as announced by the governor:

--  Judith S. Heeter, of Kansas City, shareholder and director with the law firm of Shughart Thomson & Kilroy and former director of business affairs and licensing of the Major League Baseball Players Association;

--  William Jackson, of Brunswick, general manager of AGRI Services of Brunswick, an agriculture retail and fertilizer wholesale company;

--  Michael Middleton, of Columbia, deputy chancellor and professor of law at the University of Missouri School of Law;

--  David Murphy, of Jefferson City, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri;

--  Timothy B. O’Reilly, of Springfield, a partner in the law firm of O’Reilly and Jensen;

--  Warren K. Wray, of Rolla, a civil engineer who is provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Missouri University of Science and Technology; and

--  Karl Zobrist, of Kansas City, a partner in the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, specializing in the energy industry.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.