Farewell to Mike Tollefson

The farewell party for Mike Tollefson, Yosemite’s Superintendent for the last 6 years, is this weekend. It’s going to be a big party with live music by the Adam Burns Band, dinner, and the works. Cher helped put together a slide show that DNC CEO Dan Jensen will give there, which finishes with some pretty fun images of Mike dancing – which is his other great passion. I’d like to see it. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to make the party, but I will still miss Mike’s leadership, and more personally just his easy friendliness. Talking to Mike never really felt like rubbing elbows with a VIP, but more like having a regular conversation with someone who loved Yosemite, and meeting people. I’m sure that was the key to his strong public support as Superintendent, and that it will continue to serve him well as President of the Yosemite Fund. When I spoke to him the other day, he said that he was nervous and excited about his new role, which is only right, and I love that even though he has a new apartment in SF, that role keeps him close to Yosemite.

I missed a chance to meet the new Interim Superintendent, Dave Uberuaga (YOU burr AH gah), at the DNC Senior Manager Meeting last week, so I’m still nervous about the new leadership. He comes to Yosemite from Mt. Rainier after 24 years in the National Park Service, and I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but could he be even close to as personable and personally engaged as Mike? Will he love Yosemite the way that Mike does? I guess only time will tell. He’s got big shoes to fill, that’s for sure.