Mallory Smith<br>leaves for Wyoming<br>after 8-plus years at Grand Canyon
In an evening filled with emotion, funny stories and fond memories, Mallory Smith said good-bye to Grand Canyon National Park on Friday.
Mallory Smith shows off a National Park Service arrowhead plaque while Joe Alston commends her past efforts.
Smith, who has served as assistant to the superintendent at Grand Canyon since February 1995, is headed to a new job at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Co-workers and friends shared thoughts and love for Smith during an informal going-away party at the park headquarters building.
“Mallory has been just a terrific person to have working in our office,” said Joe Alston, park superintendent. “I don’t know if I would be able to do my job here without Mallory. She has an attention to detail unparalleled by anyone anywhere.”
Several of those in attendance presented Smith with presents, including a Grand Canyon painting, ranger bobblehead doll, silk long underwear and a National Park Service arrowhead plaque, which has become a traditional symbol of excellence for service in the agency.
“You have a legion of friends and fans out there, and I consider myself one of those,” Alston told his former assistant.
While going around the room, co-workers and friends offered comments about Smith, many of them emotional. Smith was nearly brought to tears while park project manager Brad Traver spoke. The two then met in the middle of the room and embraced in a hug.
Smith has accomplished a lot in her eight-plus years at Grand Canyon, including a stint as acting deputy superintendent prior to the hiring of Kate Cannon. She was also active in the community, serving as president of the local Rotary Club.
At the Grand Tetons, she will be a concessions specialist, working as the primary assistant to the chief of concessions.
“This has been by far the hardest place I’ve had to leave,” Smith said. “This place is important to me, but it’s not the park, it’s the people that have been important to me.”
Besides receiving gifts, Smith also handed out some gifts of her own during the party.
Smith, whose last day was actually on Thursday, will join husband Patrick Hattaway at Grand Teton. Hattaway left Grand Canyon for his new job in May. He works as the North district ranger in the park.
A permanent replacement for Smith at Grand Canyon has not been named. Leah McGinnis out of fee management is now acting assistant to the superintendent.