RickettsNames New Director For Dept Of Natural Resources Posted by John Axtell Date: August 21, 2020 13 Views Gov. Pete Ricketts has named an engineering firm executive as the new director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. Thomas Riley, president of the Flatwater Group, starts Nov 1st as the successor to Jeff Fassett – who announced his retirement in January. Riley founded the Flatwater Group, which specializes in water resources engineering, restoration design and environmental engineering.from offices in Lincoln and Imperial. He lives in Eagle and holds bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.