Leadership is defined as the act or an instance of leading a group or organization. But that explanation fails to capture the hard work, dedication, and exceptional relationship development skills of those who lead others to great achievements. Ducks Unlimited has been blessed with many great leaders. Jack and Katherine Hole are prime examples.
Growing up near Edmonton, Alberta, Jack spent his youth outdoors, enjoying the hunting and fishing bounty found there. His career in construction led him to Vancouver, British Columbia, but he returned to Alberta in the early 1990s, helping to restart the Stony Plains Chapter for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). Embracing the DU mission, the Hole family has made outstanding contributions to conservation. Their Pembina Ranch near Edmonton is home to wildlife and wetlands. The ranch was a rough piece of country transformed into an outdoor paradise. The Holes are hunters and land stewards. Jack and Katherine even got married in a duck blind!
Jack served as the 39th DUC president (2009–11) and as DUC chairman of the board. His service in those positions can only be described as exemplary. After Jack’s DUC leadership experiences, Ducks Unlimited de México (DUMAC) gained his attention and skills. Jack currently holds the position of DUMAC vice president.
DU’s conservation milestones stretch from Canada’s Boreal Forest to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and beyond. Jack provides support and leadership for DU for that reason, among others. “I’m big on Ducks Unlimited’s continental applications,” he says. “That’s a primary reason why I wanted to get involved with DUMAC. We must do what we can for waterfowl and wildlife from the breeding grounds and migration corridors to all the wintering areas. It’s a full circle. You can’t support one part and ignore the rest and still achieve the mission to fill the skies with waterfowl now and forever.”
Jack enjoys being part of efforts to meet wetland conservation challenges in Mexico. “DUMAC accomplishes great things with limited resources,” he explains. “Their outstanding leadership and staff in Mexico stretch the conservation dollar a long way, benefiting waterfowl and people. Our corporate partners down there are great sources of support, and NAWCA [the North American Wetlands Conservation Act] funding helps a lot. DUMAC is Ducks Unlimited’s best-kept secret, but we are working diligently to change that. It’s fun and rewarding to be a part of the work DUMAC does for habitat and people.”