Relationships have been Ducks Unlimited’s secret to success for nearly 85 years. A burgeoning partnership between General Tire and the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation is also built on these relationships.
Dylan Friloux began volunteering with the University of Louisiana−Lafayette DU Collegiate Chapter. As a freshman attending Third Term, DU’s annual collegiate leadership summit, Friloux formed unique bonds with other DU volunteers from across the country. In typical DU fashion, his network of friends began to expand, which ultimately led him to meet Marco Robelo, technical product specialist at General Tire.
“Friendships have been an important part of my involvement in Ducks Unlimited,” Friloux says. “My experience so far can best be described by a quote from former DU President John Tomke, stating ‘I came to DU for the cause, but I stayed for the people.’ Most people I’ve been involved with truly love what they do and have a shared passion for protecting wetlands and waterfowl for future generations. When Marco discussed General Tire’s goals to give back to the environment, I knew Ducks Unlimited could be the perfect match.”
General Tire is a brand owned by Continental, a German-based company that develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Today, General Tire offers a complete lineup of quality tires, which offer durability, comfort and performance to meet the needs of every driver.
As an avid sportsman, Robelo finds himself spending most of his time outdoors. The nature of his job takes him to many outdoor events across the country, but you’ll also find him pursuing fish and game in his spare time as well. Marco has a deep appreciation for our natural resources as well as working for a company that shares those same values.
“Time in a blind with your buddies is more than anyone can imagine,” Robelo says. “It is bonding time, creating personal connections and unforgettable laughs and memories. Some of the greatest ideas come from talks in duck blinds.”
It’s no secret that DU members live a very active outdoor lifestyle. The more Friloux learned about General Tire through his duck blind conversations with Marco, the more he thought about the obvious connections between General Tire’s line of products and the needs of sportsmen like him. It didn’t take long for Friloux to bring the subject up with Robelo as he learned more about General Tire’s conservation-minded leadership and company objectives.
Robelo’s involvement with DU began by donating General Tire products to select fundraising events across the country. As Friloux’s tenure with DU grew, he introduced Robelo to a host of DU board members as well as DU CEO Adam Putnam at the Pecan Island, Louisiana, fundraising event in November 2020.
“DU events are the gateway for our volunteers, supporters and corporate partners,” Putnam says. “When Dylan and Jay Owen introduced me to Marco, it was in a former school gymnasium filled with Cajun duck hunters on the eve of opening day. You never know who might attend one of our 4,000 events or where a conversation may lead, but that’s the magic of the DU Way. In this case it led to a successful relationship with General Tire, and I’m proud to call them our partner.”
Recently, DU announced General Tire as a Proud Partner, the highest partnership designation offered by Ducks Unlimited. This new program provides support across multiple fundraising channels within the organization. In addition, the revenue is unrestricted, meaning funds can be applied to DU’s highest priority landscapes where ducks need help the most.
DU’s position as the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation would not be possible if it weren’t for the fundamental relationships shared by DU members, volunteers and other supporters. To learn more about Ducks Unlimited or how to get involved, please visit www.ducks.org.