CoreCivic’s Doug Fender Recognized with Warden of the Year Award

BRENTWOOD, Tenn.—CoreCivic’s Doug Fender has received the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS) 2023 Warden of the Year at the NAAWS Annual Conference – Warden of the Year Banquet, held recently in Columbus, Ohio. The NAAWS Warden of the Year award recognizes a warden who has gone the extra mile to solve problems in their organization, involve themselves in community and local organizations, and mentored in the development of others.

Annette Chambers‐Smith, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), nominated Warden Fender, and it is the first time in NAAWS’ history that a nomination was submitted for someone employed outside of the nominator’s organization. According to Chambers-Smith, Fender’s nomination was particularly unique because he serves as the warden at one of ODRC’s privately operated facilities.

“Warden Fender is such a charismatic leader with an outlook and approachable personality that are magnetic to those on his team,” Chambers-Smith said. “The pride that he has in his staff is contagious, and he takes every opportunity to boast about the employees at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution (LaECI).”

“Doug Fender is very deserving of this very prestigious national award. He consistently demonstrates exceptional leadership and does so with professionalism, respect, integrity, duty, and excellence for his staff and for those individuals that have been entrusted to our care,” said Patrick Swindle, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer for CoreCivic. “CoreCivic is extremely grateful for our long-standing partnership with ODRC, and especially honored to have one of our wardens to be the first NAAWS Warden of the Year recipient that was nominated by a state partner,” Swindle added.

Pictured: The team from CoreCivic (L  to R) Warden and NAAWS Immediate Past President/Chairman of the Board of Directors, Russell Washburn along with Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Swindle, and Warden, Doug Fender, and Managing Director of Operations, Dave Berkebile, and, Senior Director of Operations Finance, Ryan Hollis, celebrate as Fender holds the 2023 NAAWS Warden of the Year award plaque.