Board

The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of leaders from the sportsmen’s community and allied industries. Each of these individuals has made a commitment of service to the mission, objectives and goals of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.

* Honorary Board Member

Simon Roosevelt

Simon Roosevelt

Chairman

Simon Roosevelt is a principal of Olimpia Fund Management, Ltd., a multi-family investment group based in the U.S. and abroad. Formerly he was general counsel for the investment management fund KCM, LLC. Prior to that he was an attorney with the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Simon is an avid hunter and conservationist whose interests have involved him in a wide variety of conservation and environmental projects in North America, South America and Africa. Current projects include the Conservation Roundtable, a forum that brings together the CEO’s of American hunting, environmental, and land conservation organizations to discuss and act on larger issues of common concern. In addition, Simon is at work on a book portraying the essential connection between American hunting and conservation. Intended primarily for non-hunters, the book will be a tribute to American hunting- its conservation legacy, its crucial role in conservation today, and its integral part in the shaping of American character and heritage.

Simon is a Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the New York City Region.  He is a member of the Boone & Crockett Club, and the Camp Fire Club of America; he is a trustee of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust and Scenic Hudson, Inc.; and he is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the National Wildlife Federation.

Richard Childress*

Richard Childress*

Vice-Chair

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress joined the CSF Board of Directors to bring the same level of enthusiasm and dedication he brings to racing to ensuring the rights of hunters and anglers. Calling himself an outdoorsman, Childress is as much about giving back to wildlife, hunting and fishing as he is about being a successful business man.

Childress is Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), a 17-time championship-winning organization. An independent driver who got his start in 1969, Childress climbed out of the seat in the 1981 season, handing over the driving duties to the late Dale Earnhardt. Together they made NASCAR history, winning 67 races, six Cup Series championships, and along the way established RCR as one of the premier teams in all of motorsports. Childress is also the proprietor of Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C., as well as the Yadkin River Angus cattle ranch.

Another great passion Childress has is big-game hunting and the conservation and preservation of wildlife habitat in the United States and throughout the world. His work with groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation, among many others, provides him the opportunity to make a difference in preserving wildlife habitats for generations to come. 

Francisco Bergaz

Francisco Bergaz

Secretary

Mr. Bergaz is the Managing director of Bekun LLC and Bervest LLC, two investment companies based in Miami, FL that invest in a broad and diversified class of private and public assets.

Mr.Bergaz is an individual with over fifteen years of management success in the Spirits and Food Industries covering many aspects of each. From early on he was a top performer at Quirch Foods, Inc one of the largest beef distributors in the Southeast. Leading the Export Division, a $250 million business to greater efficiency and annual double digit growth. Francisco oversaw the expansion of the Panamei Brand as well as Chiquita into the export markets with innovative crucial contracts and partnerships.

Mr. Bergaz is part of the Bacardi Family Company, a 152 year old corporation and the largest privately held spirits company worldwide. He served on the Bacardi Limited Board for the past four years. Bacardi owns over 200 brands and sells them in over 170 markets. During his tenure on the BL Board, Mr. Bergaz was crucial in implementing corporate wide sales strategies as well as craft spirit units. He also was influential in new brand acquisitions enabling exponential growth.

Mr. Bergaz attended Fordham Business School in New York City.

He currently spends most of his time with his family in Miami, FL and Sheldon, SC pursuing
hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. He recently joined the board of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Ralph W. Castner

Ralph W. Castner

Treasurer

Ralph W. Castner has been President of Rush Creek Advisors, LLC since June 2018. Rush Creek Advisors provides executive level financial advisory services in the retail and payments industries. Prior to his position at Rush Creek Advisors, Mr. Caster was Chief Financial Officer of Bass Pro Shops from October 2017 until June of 2018. Prior to his position at Bass Pro Shops, Mr. Castner was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Cabela’s, Inc. from January 2017 until October 2017. Cabela’s was merged with Bass Pro Shops on September 25, 2017. From March 2006 to December 2010, Mr. Castner was Chairman of the Board of World’s Foremost Bank, Cabela’s wholly-owned subsidiary which issued its Cabela’s Club Visa Card. From July 2003 to January 2010, Mr. Castner was Cabela’s Director of Accounting and Finance and Treasurer of World’s Foremost Bank. Prior to joining Cabela’s he was employed by First Data Corporation from 1990 to 2000. Prior to joining First Data Corporation, Mr. Castner was a certified public accountant with the public accounting. 

Pete Angle

Pete Angle

With over 25 years of experience within the outdoor industry, Pete Angle has brought his broad-based business acumen and extensive network of contacts to Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.  In his current role as Chief Marketing Officer of Marolina, parent company of HUK and Nomad, Pete is responsible for the executive management of all marketing and brand strategies.  An accomplished hunter and angler, Pete funnels his personal passion into his work to not just market products, but also to do his part to protect hunting and fishing traditions.

Pete previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce for Plano Synergy, where he was responsible for all areas of strategic marketing and campaign execution for all brands.  His professional career also includes having served in marketing roles for Under Armour, Hunter’s Specialties, and O.F. Mossberg & Sons. 

Tuck Beckstoffer

Tuck Beckstoffer

Tuck Beckstoffer creates world-class wines. As the President of Tuck Beckstoffer Wines, he produces a dozen of Napa Valley’s most exciting and sought-after wines. Pioneers of the Napa Valley grape growing industry, the Beckstoffer family made the vineyards both their lives and their livelihood. When not playing in the vineyards, Tuck was learning about them. 1975 marked his first harvest, and since then Tuck can’t remember a harvest when he hasn’t tasted, smelled or picked fruit straight from the vine.

Extensive vinicultural knowledge drove a desire to learn more about the winemaking process. Tuck studied with winemaking legends in wineries both at home and abroad, which only whetted his appetite to create a wine of his own. After making Tuck Beckstoffer Cabernet Sauvignon in 1997 to critical acclaim, collectors and connoisseurs asked for more. That demand continues today.

Outside of the wine business, Tuck is active on other non-profit and federal advisory Boards such as the Department of the Interior’s National Park System Advisory Board and The Rebuild North Bay Foundation. Tuck and the Beckstoffer family have also been responsible for putting more acres into conservation easements than other grape growing family or business in Napa Valley.

Tuck has lived in Napa Valley since 1975. He attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Entrepreneurial Business.

Mark Cherpes

Mark Cherpes

Mark Cherpes is President and CEO of FN America; a wholly owned subsidiary of Fabrique Nationale (FN) Herstal S.A., one of the world’s largest and premier firearms manufacturers.

Mark was named to lead FN America (formerly FN Manufacturing and FNH USA) in June 2014. During his tenure with FN, Mark has served as the Executive Vice President, Vice President of Military Operations and Director of Military Programs. Mark was instrumental in facilitating the SCAR and GAU 21 programs with the U.S. Military.

Prior to his leadership role at FN America, Mark was employed as the President of SWE-DISH Satellite Systems Inc. in Reston, VA., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWE-DISH Satellite Systems AB of Stockholm, Sweden. SWE-DISH is a supplier of high performance satellite communications technology to U.S. Federal agencies and U.S. Department of Defense customers.

In addition, Mark worked as a defense trade consultant at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C. supporting the business development efforts of Swedish companies in the U.S. that included Saab Defense and Haglunds Vehicle.

Prior to moving to the commercial sector, Mark provided management support within the Office of the Secretary of Defense during his time at SENTEL Corporation. Serving as the Point of Contact for all Congressional inquiries, Mark monitored all Navy and U.S. Special Operations Command projects. As an analyst with Jorge Scientific Corporation and R.M. Vredenburg, Mark provided management support to the NAVAIR Navy International Programs Office and the U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales Procurement Office.

Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance from George Mason University.

Bruce Culpepper*

Bruce Culpepper*

Bruce is the past President of Shell Oil Company. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management, and shortly thereafter began his 30 plus year career with Shell at the Norco Manufacturing Complex in Louisiana. Since then he has progressed through series of increasingly responsible positions in Human Resources and line management in Shell's Downstream & Upstream businesses. Other positions held include: executive Vice President Human Resources Shell International E&P, Vice President Human Resources Global Downstream Operations, Vice President Human Resources The Alliance Companies (joint venture between Shell, Texaco and Saudi Aramco), General Manager Products Pipelines, and General Manager Products Distribution. Bruce is a member of the Center for Houston's Future Board of Directors, Board Member for Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, a Life Member and Committee Volunteer for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo, and represents Shell with various conservation organizations including Ducks Unlimited and Coastal Conservation Association. Bruce lives and works in Houston, and is married to Marguerite. They have two children, daughter Ashley, age 21 who is a junior at Auburn University in the school of Animal Science, and Addison, age 17 who is a junior at Memorial High School. Bruce is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, shooting sports, fishing and water-sports. He also has a keen interest in land and water conservation.
 

James L. Cummins

James L. Cummins

James L. Cummins, a certified fisheries and wildlife biologist by training, is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi. His professional interests include developing and maintaining private, voluntary, incentive, tax, and market-based solutions to environmental problems, especially as they relate to southern forests. He conceived the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Healthy Forests Reserve Program. He assisted in developing the southern strategy for the Healthy Forests Initiative. He is a vice president of the Boone and Crockett Club, a board member of Bear Trust International, and a member of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. He is a former Commissioner of the Mississippi Forestry Commission and the former Chairman of the Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory. He is also a private forest landowner.  

James Debney

James Debney

James Debney was former President of the Fireamrs Division of Smith & Wesson, and former President, CEO, and Board Member for the parent company holding corporation, which is now American Outdoor Brands Corporation. He has amassed over 16 years of management experience and a track record of developing and executing sales and marketing strategies that sustainably grow the top line, while working throughout an organization to implement efficiencies that deliver profitability. He was seasoned in multi-factory, multinational organizations that address both consumer and business-to-business environments. Debney served as President of Presto Products Company, a $500 million plastic products business unit formerly of Alcoa Consumer Products. During his tenure he created and executed long and short-term sales and marketing and operations strategies that delivered increases in both revenue and profitability. Debney oversaw all aspects of the growing business, which is composed of four business units with five manufacturing facilities in the United States and partnerships in Asia. Prior to Presto Products, Debney held a series of increasingly responsible operations management and business leadership roles with Baco Consumer Products, a United Kingdom business formerly of Alcoa Consumer Products. Debney holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry with Honors from the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, and a Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Keele, both in the United Kingdom.

Mark DeYoung*

Mark DeYoung*

Mark recently retired as the founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Outdoor; the world’s leader in outdoor recreation products. Mark created Vista Outdoor through a series of strategic acquisitions and a spin-off from Alliant Techsystems in 2015. In the same year he was awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Prior to leading Vista Outdoor he served as the President and CEO of Alliant Techsystems (ATK), a premier aerospace and defense company.

Mark is an avid outdoorsman and served as past Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation and is a past Chairman of The Wildlife Management Institute. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Goddard School of Business for Weber State University, the Utah Governor’s Advisory Board for private fisheries, and the Advisory Board for Hunter Nation. Mark is a native of Utah where he grew up hunting, fishing, camping and earned the Eagle Scout Award from the BSA. He has a BS degree in business at Weber State University and an MBA at Westminster College, where he taught business courses and was recognized as the college’s Adjunct Faculty of the Year.

Tripper Dickson

Tripper Dickson

Representing the fifth generation in his family’s wholesale distribution companies, Tripper Dickson currently leads Sports South as President and CEO.  The distribution businesses focused in the pharmaceutical and shooting sports industries have been rooted in Shreveport, Louisiana and operated by the family since 1841.

At Sports South, the country’s leading shooting sports wholesale distributor, Tripper is applying his previous professional experience in investment banking, his drive for continuing the family legacy, and his passion for hunting and the outdoors in operating all facets of the business.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, summa cum laude in economics and finance and his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

From the box stands to the bayous, enjoying Louisiana’s great outdoors with his family has been central in Tripper’s life.  He is determined to ensure this same opportunity exists for future generations.

Ken Eubanks

Ken Eubanks

Mr. Eubanks is the CEO of Rather Outdoors. Mr. Eubanks, previously President of Lew’s and CEO of Hunters Specialties, has almost 20 years of professional experience in the outdoor industry.  Prior to joining Lew’s and Hunters Specialties, Mr. Eubanks was Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas for Pure Fishing.

Brad Franklin*

Brad Franklin*

Brad Franklin serves as Government Relations & Certification Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation USA and has been involved with the motorsports industry for over 25 years.

Evan Hafer

Evan Hafer

Evan Hafer is the Founder & CEO of Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC), America’s leading Veteran-owned and operated premium coffee company employing 400 people (more than 50 percent of whom are military veterans) in Salt Lake City, UT and throughout the United States.

During his nearly 20 years of service with U.S. Army Special Forces and the CIA, Hafer honed the craft of roasting & brewing coffee and -- with feedback from the service community -- developed BRCC’s most popular and enduring roasts.

Raised within reach of Northern Idaho’s blue-ribbon trout streams, it was Hafer’s love of the outdoors (stoked by hunting and fishing trips with his father and grandfather) that first led him to military service. His grandfather taught him to shoot with a muzzleloader and a rifle (he has since become a bow-hunting enthusiast), and while earning his B.A. from the University of Idaho, he was often tempted away from course work by the steelhead run on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. 

Since founding BRCC in 2014, Hafer has been as committed to supporting the rights of hunters and anglers as he is to serving premium coffee inspired by active duty service members, military veterans, and the outdoor community. 

A constant advocate for increased participation in hunting and fishing sports, Hafer has partnered with organizations like Bass Pro Shops and the National Wild Turkey Federation, who support outdoor recreation, conservation, and public access to public lands. 

In 2020, BRCC partnered with Total Archery Challenge to host its first-ever adaptive 3D archery shoot for amputee veterans. 

Hafer lives in Utah with his wife and two daughters and is passing his love of the outdoors on to the next generation. 

Lawrence Keane

Lawrence Keane

Lawrence G. Keane, Esq. is Senior Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (NSSF), the firearm, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry’s trade association.  He leads all of NSSF’s government relations and public affairs activities as the industry’s chief lobbyist.  He is the firearms industry’s chief media spokesperson for all legal, legislative and regulatory matters. As general counsel he is NSSF’s chief legal officer responsible for handling all legal matters including corporate governance, legal compliance and risk management functions.  Mr. Keane played a major role in the drafting the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (Public Law No. 109-92), the so-called “Tiahrt Amendment” and several other pieces of legislation which have been successfully enacted in to law.

He was named a 2014 Top Lobbyist by CEO Update for his handling of the flood of legislative proposals in the aftermath of the tragedy that struck Newtown, Connecticut, noting that “in his many media appearances he has been a calm, reasonable voice for an industry often caught in a passionate debate.”

He has co-authored several amicus curiae briefs on behalf of NSSF filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, most notably in the landmark Second Amendment cases of District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008), portions of which were quoted in Court’s opinion, and in NRA v. Chicago and McDonald v. Chicago.

He is corporate secretary for Project ChildSafe Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit established to support NSSF’s premiere firearms safety education program Project ChildSafe.

He is also a member of the Safari Club International Government Affairs Committee.

Mr. Keane also serves as general counsel and corporate secretary to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), the technical trade association of leading United States firearms, ammunition, and propellant manufacturers that sets voluntary firearms and ammunition safety standards.  In addition to serving as an officer of SAAMI, Mr. Keane currently is the longest serving chairman of SAAMI’s committee on legal and legislative affairs.

The Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs appointed Mr. Keane to the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG), which advises the State Department on the regulation of defense trade to help ensure that impediments to legitimate exports are reduced while the foreign policy and national security interests of the U.S. continue to be protected and advanced in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act. He served as a member of DTAG between 2008 and 2014.

Prior to joining NSSF, he was a partner in the White Plains, NY law firm of Pino & Associates, LLP where he represented a number of domestic and foreign firearm manufacturers in product liability cases.  Mr. Keane successfully represented Beretta U.S.A. Corp. in the landmark cases of Hamilton v. Accu-Tek, et al. and Dix v. Beretta U.SA. Corp.

Before joining Pino & Associates, LLP he was an Assistant District Attorney in the Westchester County, NY District Attorney’s Office.  During his career as an Assistant District Attorney he investigated and prosecuted violent criminals.  He was also assigned to the Economic Crime Bureau where he investigated and prosecuted complex white collar and organized criminal cases including at the time the largest grand larceny ever prosecuted in Westchester County. 

Mr. Keane obtained a B.A. in Economics and his Juris Doctorate from Fordham University.  Mr. Keane is rated A.V. by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Keane is a member in good standing of the bars of the State of Connecticut and New York, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for Connecticut, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

He is a passionate sportsmen and avid upland bird hunter.

Harlan Kent

Harlan Kent

Harlan Kent joined Pure Fishing, the world’s largest fishing tackle company, as CEO in January of 2019.  Pure Fishing with an iconic portfolio of brands like Berkeley, Abu Garcia, Penn, and Shakespeare sells in over 50 countries worldwide. Kent has over 30 years of leadership experience with leading consumer packaged goods companies. 

Earlier Kent served as Vice President of sales and marketing for Winchester Ammunition after starting is career in management consulting with Bain & Company, as well as brand management at Campbell Soup.  Prior to joining Pure Fishing, he served as the CEO of Performance Sports Group (Bauer Hockey, Easton Baseball), and the CEO of Yankee Candle Company.  While at Yankee Candle, he was featured in an episode of Undercover Boss.

He has served on numerous Boards including Costa del Mar, PF Chang, Rue 21 and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Currently he is a board member of the American Sportsfishing Association, Unger Global, and the Ocean Reef Community Association. 

Kent is a passionate outdoorsman having been raised in rural Pennsylvania, and he spent many summers working at his family’s fishing lodge in Alaska.  He is passionate about conservation and supports numerous groups working for clean water. He has a BA in economics from Dartmouth College and lives in the Florida Keys with his wife and his boat.

Corey Mason

Corey Mason

Corey Mason is the Executive Director of DSC, a leading international conservation organization and a member of the IUCN.  Corey oversees all of DSC’s staff, programs, growth, and mission execution.  He works extensively with federal and international delegations, policy makers, and like-minded organizations to support conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources. 

Corey serves on the national Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council, Frontline Foundation Board, state Advisory Committees for mule deer, whitetail deer, and desert bighorn sheep, and is a member of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Group. He is a Past President of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Prior to his work at DSC, he had a 16-year career with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he held the positions of Regional Director, Program Leader, and Management Area Biologist. 

Corey is a published author, including both popular and peer-reviewed scientific articles.  He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist® and holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Wildlife Management. 

Walter “Wally” McLallen*

Walter “Wally” McLallen*

“Wally” McLallen is an avid sportsman and outdoorsman and is the founder and a Managing Director of Meritage Capital Advisors, a financial advisory boutique engaged in corporate finance, private equity origination and asset management. He has been an investor and member of the Board of Directors of The Freedom Group, the largest firearm and ammunition company in the nation, and its predecessors since 2006 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.
 

Christopher Metz

Christopher Metz

Christopher T. Metz is Chief Executive Officer for Vista Outdoor Inc., a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer in the growing outdoor sports and recreation industry. The company operates in two segments, Shooting Sports and Outdoor Products, and has well-recognized brands providing consumers with a range of performance-driven, high-quality and innovative products for the outdoor enthusiast.

Metz has more than 25 years of experience leading high-performing companies and brands in the consumer and durable goods industries. Before becoming Vista Outdoor’s CEO, Chris served as the president and CEO of Arctic Cat from 2014 to 2017. Prior to Arctic Cat, he was managing director of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private equity firm. Prior to Sun Capital, Metz worked for Black & Decker from 1992 to 2005. During his tenure with the company, he was president of the Hardware and Home Improvement Group from 1999 to 2005, and held various leadership positions including president of Kwikset Corporation, president of Price Pfister, president of Baldwin Hardware, and general manager of European Professional Power Tools and Accessories, during which time he lived in Frankfurt, Germany.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of Delaware and earned a master of business administration degree from the Kenan Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Metz is an avid hunter, angler and cyclist.

Paul Miller*

Paul Miller*

Paul Miller is Chairman of Adams Arms, LLC, and past Chairman of the Board of The Freedom Group, Inc. (now the Remington Outdoor Company).  Previously he held executive positions in the media, telecommunications and aerospace & defense industries, most notably: COO of YP, CEO of Alpha Media Group (Maxim magazine), COO of Velocita Wireless and VP of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications. Paul is an electrical engineering graduate of Penn State University, the father of two Penn State grads and an ardent Penn State booster. Paul is an avid hunter and fly fisherman, is a life member of the National Rifle Association, Coastal Conservation Association, and Izaak Walton League, and is a member of the Dallas Safari Club and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Bob Model*

Bob Model*

Bob Model holds distinguished credentials in the conservation and wildlife community as Chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club, an appointed member of the federally chartered Sporting Conservation Council, an Advisory Member of the Hunting Heritage Trust and Advisory Member of the Cody Firearms Museum for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. He has previously served as a Director on the National Forest Foundation, past Chairman of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners and past President of the Boone & Crockett Club. Mr. Model is Vice President of Stillrock Management and Vice President of Elmrock Capital, both based in New York. He is also the owner and President of Mooncrest Ranch in Cody, Wyoming.

In addition to his involvement in national organizations, Mr. Model actively supports many local groups and organizations in Wyoming.

John L. Nau, III

John L. Nau, III

John L. Nau, III is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products.  Silver Eagle employs over 1,400 employees that serve 16 counties in Texas through operations in Houston, San Antonio, Conroe, Cypress, Pasadena, Rosenberg, Carrizo Springs and Del Rio.  Silver Eagle also distributes Grupo Modelo beers, a broad selection of microbrews and craft beers, and several non-alcohol beverages and waters.

Nau’s commitment to service is apparent through a broad spectrum of participation in civic, community, and philanthropic organizations in Houston and throughout the country.  His current involvement includes Chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, National Park Foundation Board of Directors, Civil War Trust Board of Directors, The Texas State Historical Association Board of Directors, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Board of Directors, Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Board of Trustees, University of Houston Board of Visitors, Honorary Trustee of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Honorary Trustee of Texas Heart Institute, Honorary State Trustee for the San Antonio Parks Foundation and Advisory Council member to the Center for Big Bend Studies.  He also serves as a Board Member for Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park, Houston Police Foundation and The Admiral Nimitz Foundation.  Additionally, he is Chairman of the Steering Committee for the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area.

He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and from 2011 through 2015 served on the Board of Visitors, a position appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  He is founder and President of The Nau Foundation.

Jeff Paro*

Jeff Paro*

Jeff is a 20-year veteran in outdoors media and the former President and CEO of Outdoor Sportsman Group, a division of KSE Outdoor Group. Prior to OSG, he was the President and CEO of Intermedia Outdoors.

Jeff spent six years with Times Mirror Inc. and Time4 Media as Sr. Vice President, and President of The Outdoor Company (Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, and Outdoor Explorer).
 

Bruce Pettet

Bruce Pettet

Bruce Pettet is the President & CEO of Leupold & Stevens, Inc., the world’s leader in performance sporting and tactical optics employing more than 700 people in Beaverton, Oregon. He serves on the Board of Governors for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Board of Directors of Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA), and the Board of Directors of Stimson Lumber Company.

Prior to joining Leupold & Stevens, Bruce was the President & CEO of Collective International, LLC, a Denver, Colorado-based leading youth lifestyle, athletic performance and global licensing firm, which he founded in 2004. Prior to 2004, he held the positions of President & CEO at Airwalk International and President & CEO at Brooks Sports, Inc. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Mrs. Field’s Famous Brands, LLC.

In addition to his professional experience, Bruce was named one of the “Marketing 100” by Advertising Age Magazine, and an “Industry Pacesetter” by Sporting Goods Business Magazine.

During his tenure at Leupold & Stevens, the Company has been awarded 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 NASGW Optics Manufacturer of the Year, 2018 Guns & Ammo Optics of the year, 2015 & 2016 NRA Golden Bullseye Award for Product Innovation, the 2015 & 2016 Strategic Partnership Award from Cabela’s Inc., 2015, 2016, & 2017 Most Admired Companies in Oregon and, has received the 2016 Oregon Ethics in Business award. Leupold & Stevens was also the one manufacturer chosen by the White House to represent Oregon during its “Made in America” product showcase.

Outside of his professional duties with Leupold & Stevens, Pettet holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Pepperdine University, a Certificate Degree in Entrepreneurship from Cal State Fullerton and has completed Executive Education in Business Strategy at Dartmouth. He is married with three children. Pettet is an avid outdoor sports enthusiast and resides in Portland, Oregon.

Adam Putnam

Adam Putnam

Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam is a hunter, angler, and lifelong advocate for conservation and agriculture.  Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Since 1937, DU has conserved hundreds of millions of acres across the US, Canada and Mexico, thanks to more than 1 million members, volunteers and supporters.

Prior to his role as CEO, Adam was the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Florida where he led the nation's largest state agriculture department and was responsible for the management of 1.3 million acres of state forests, running the state Energy Office, and promoting the state’s $9 billion agriculture  industry.  As Commissioner, Putnam was a strong advocate for Florida's water resources. During his tenure he expanded Florida's Best Management Practices Program for water to more than 7 million acres, saving an average of 19 million gallons of water daily.  As a result of his leadership in water policies, in 2017 Adam was the first elected official awarded the U.S. Water Prize from the U.S. Water Alliance.

Prior to serving as Commissioner, Adam served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2000, Putnam was the youngest member of Congress at the time and the youngest ever from Florida. He distinguished himself as the leading voice for specialty crop agriculture in the nation's Farm Bill, international trade and food safety.  Adam served as co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus; as a member on the Agriculture, Financial Services, Resources and Rules Committees; and chaired a subcommittee on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. After just two terms, he was elected by his peers to be Republican Policy Chairman, and as the Republican Conference Chairman in 2006.

Adam is a fifth-generation Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Food and Resource Economics. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and served as a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute. In 2010, he was the E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Florida. Adam and his wife, Melissa, reside in Memphis and have four children.

Steve Skold

Steve Skold

Being born into a hunting family Steve was exposed to small game hunting early on by his father and three older brothers.  The family excelled in Scouting and being the fourth of the four boys to attain the rank of Eagle Scout Steve attained a sense of service to others and community.  An expectation that his father instilled upon all of the boys and gave impetus to Steve to give back which has shaped his Safari Club International and life journey.

In 1977 as a High School Junior he was selected by the Minnesota Chapter of Safari Club International to attend SCI’s American Wilderness Leadership School in Wyoming.  The impression left upon him by two of the volunteers of the Safari Club International Conservation Foundation started Skold down a path that has shaped his life as a conservation volunteer and big game hunter.  Steve first became a SCI member in 1980 and soon became involved with SCI’s chapter and international governance structure.  He has been involved with two of chapters as a board member and officer, served on many of the National SCI and the SCI Foundation committees, and on July 1, 2020 completed his term as SCI President.

While SCI has been Steve’s main volunteer focus over the years, he has been a member of Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society, and is a life member of Pheasants Forever and the Wild Sheep Foundation.  While working on a committee to get dove hunting legalized in Iowa it became apparent that the state needed a group to represent Iowa Sportsmen and Sportswomen, so Steve and two others started the Iowa Conservation Alliance consisting of 16 conservation organizations.

Serving these multiple organizations over the past 40 years has led Steve to understand the importance of industry relations and recognize that all hunters, fishermen, conservation organizations, and professional associations will need to work together to protect our natural resources and future hunting and fishing opportunities.   

When not hunting or traveling to visit his twin 26 year old daughters Steve and his wife Sue run The Skold Companies, four specialty contracting entities providing commercial construction material and installation across nine upper Midwest states.  Along with these entities Steve is a partner in a steel fabricating company with his brother -in-law.  Although full retirement is yet two years away, capable managers in place for each of the entities allow Steve and Sue to get away from their Des Moines, Iowa home and spend time in Arizona and Minnesota with a few hunting and fishing trips fit in as well.

Bob Ziehmer

Bob Ziehmer

Bob Ziehmer currently serves as the Senior Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops where he is responsible for providing direction to advance established conservation pillars of protecting wildlife and habitat, connecting new audiences to the outdoors, and advocating for sportsmen’s rights and the outdoors.  Mr. Ziehmer serves as a liaison with various state and federal agencies and non-governmental groups to encourage advancement of projects, policy, and regulations advancing conservation and protecting our outdoor heritage. 

Prior to joining Bass Pro Shops, Bob served over 25 years with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the agency responsible for managing the state’s forest, fish and wildlife resources, where his work included: leading efforts to restore elk; prairie chickens; alligator gar; pallid sturgeon; and the American burying beetle; ensuring Missouri remained a national leader in forest, fish and wildlife research and management; and served as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, among others.

Mr. Ziehmer has an unwavering passion for hunting, angling, and trapping.  His father’s commitment to spending time afield with him instilled the importance of conservation and our individual responsibilities to manage fish and wildlife for future generations which he has passed along to his children. 

Your opinion counts

Sportsmen and women have been on the receiving end of increased attention from the non-hunting public, criticizing the traditional “grip and grin” photos on various social media platforms. As a sportsman or sportswoman, what strategies have you utilized to address this negative feedback?

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