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
Jason grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, and as a teenager, he worked for the family business as an apprentice in the Hornady Manufacturing ballistics lab. Jason went on to college at the University of Wyoming, where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1992. After graduation from college, Jason worked as a manufacturer's representative for Sportco Marketing in the Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana area. At Sportco, Jason represented numerous outdoor brands, including: Bear Archery, Shimano, Nikon, Thompson/Center Arms and several others. Following Sportco Marketing, Jason became Director of Sales and Marketing for Redfield Riflescopes in 1996, then went on to work for Dunkin-Lewis a manufacturer's representative agency, as Director of Key Account Sales. While working for Dunkin-Lewis, Jason represented Johnson Outdoors, Swarovski, Thompson-Center and Plano. Key accounts included Cabela's, Academy, and TSA. In 2006, after 14 successful years in the Outdoor Industry, Jason accepted a position with the family business at Hornady Manufacturing as Director of Sales, and currently serves as Vice President. He is an avid hunter and shooter, and has participated in regional and national level shooting competitions. Jason's passion for hunting/shooting is demonstrated by his pursuits both here in North America and Internationally. As a shooting industry sales professional, Jason has been fortunate to work with over 150 companies. He has served on several boards and is currently involved with the International Hunter's Education Association (IHEA), the Heartland Public Shooting Park, and also serves as the company alternate for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute (SAAMI) boards.
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.
James Debney joined Smith & Wesson in November 2009 as President of the Firearms Division. In September 2011 he was promoted to 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 is also 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.
Ralph W. Castner
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.
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.
Georgia is home to Paul’s family, where he lives with his wife Renee and three daughters: Carter, Abigail, and Ansley. He grew up in South Louisiana where he developed a love for the outdoors at a very early age. Upon graduation from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a B.S. in Finance, he completed his military service in the United States Army.
Shortly thereafter, he moved to Atlanta and began his career as a financial advisor. For the past 25 years, he has been the managing partner of the wealth management group he founded and leads a group of financial professionals.
It is his passion for hunting, wildlife conservation, and his staunch support of the Second Amendment which ultimately led him to become President of SCI to protect the freedom to hunt.
He is a lifelong hunter, advocate, and conservationist; and has had the good fortune of being able to hunt throughout North America and four other continents. He believes the most memorable outdoor experiences are the ones shared with his children and strives to ensure that our natural resources, as well as our freedoms and rights remain intact for his children and future generations, through legislative efforts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bruce is the 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, 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.
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.
Chris Dorsey is founding partner of Denver-based Dorsey Pictures, a leading producer of lifestyle television with more than 20 series and specials in production for a wide range of networks including, History Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, HGTV, DIY, GAC, Travel Channel, and Outdoor Channel.
He's also helped launch more than 45 outdoor television series--more than anyone in history. Dorsey's approach of fusing brand DNA with entertaining programming has made him a sought-after speaker in the television and marketing world where branded entertainment is an ever-growing genre.
Prior to his career in television, Dorsey served as a publishing executive running some of the largest outdoor magazines in America, including Sports Afield and Ducks Unlimited. His work has appeared in a wide variety of national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Television Week, National Geographic, Writer's Digest, and scores of outdoor periodicals. He's the author of seven books on outdoor, natural history, and business subjects.
Because of his connections to the celebrity community, Dorsey has been retained to assist in developing campaign strategies for a wide variety of political candidates ranging from those seeking the Oval Office to governorships, Senate and House seats. His ability to craft messaging that appeals to America's 50 million sportsmen--whether creating branded entertainment or highlighting the ties between political candidates and the passions and concerns of American sportsmen--has been at the core of his success.
Dorsey lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Amy and twin sons Luke and Nathan.
Brad Franklin serves as government relations manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation USA and has been involved with the motorsports industry for over 25 years.
The sport’s most visible leader at the race track, Mike Helton was named Vice Chairman of NASCAR in February 2015.
Helton had served as NASCAR president since 2000 and has been with the sanctioning body in various roles since joining it in 1994 as vice president of competition. In February 1999, Helton assumed the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer, becoming the first person outside the France family to take over the day-to-day operations of NASCAR.
He serves as a member of NASCAR’s Board of Directors and is also a member of the company’s Executive Council.
After becoming only the third president in the sport’s history, Helton cemented NASCAR’s presence in major markets within the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada and Europe.
His expertise in competition directly led to the formation of the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. Dedicated to strengthening NASCAR’s competition and safety initiatives, it is the first R&D center owned and operated by a sanctioning body of a major motorsports series.
In addition to his role as a member of NASCAR’s Board of Directors, Helton maintains a similar role with The NASCAR Foundation, NASCAR’s charitable arm that seeks to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support nonprofit charities and charitable causes throughout the nation.
Born and raised in Bristol, Virginia, Helton’s motorsports experience is multi-faceted. In addition to working for NASCAR, he has also been a track operator at both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway and even raced a little himself.
Helton and his wife, Lynda, reside in Ormond Beach, Florida.
Lawrence G. Keane, Esq. is senior vice president for government and 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
Patrick Murray has worked for the Coastal Conservation Association for 17 years, serving in a variety of positions including both Assistant Director and Executive Director for the Coastal Conservation Association Texas, and as CCA’s National Communications Director, Conservation Director, Executive Vice President and now President.
Murray was a light-tackle fishing guide in the Galveston Bay complex prior to coming to CCA. He has been a lifelong advocate for marine conservation issues and serves on a number of Boards, including the University of Texas Marine Science Advisory Board, Texas A&M Harte Research Institute Board. He is a Board member and Management Committee Chairman for the Center for Coastal Conservation. Murray is also a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Board and Executive Committee, and is a founding Board member of the Building Conservation Trust. He is a published author and serves as consulting editor for TIDE magazine and Rising Tide magazine.
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 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 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.
Hon. Lindsay Thomas*
Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (D-GA) from 1982-1993, Thomas was instrumental in the founding of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and served as the first Vice-Chairman. Following his 5 terms in the U.S. Congress, Thomas returned to Georgia where he represented the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as the director of state governmental affairs. He then went on to serve as president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, leading the chamber through its largest membership growth in history.
Currently, he operates Lindsay Thomas Consulting, Inc. However, being a true Georgia native, he spends as much time as possible on his farm hunting and fishing with his two sons.
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.
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