Mississippi Ducks Unlimited recently held their annual convention in Brandon, Mississippi at McClain Resort. Along with the usual business sessions, banquets and group outings, one of the highlights of the event was handing out awards recognizing accomplishments from the past year.
“Mississippi Ducks Unlimited, our DU family of volunteers and staff, are the best of the best,” said Steven Bridwell, outgoing state chairman. “This past year was not without challenges. Our volunteers not only rose to those challenges but overcame them with grit and determination. We were honored to give out not only our state awards at convention, but also honor those who received national awards.”
State awards included the State Chairman’s Award of Merit. This award is given to the individuals who stood out to the state chairman as having gone above and beyond his or her call of duty as a DU volunteer. “These recipients are what makes DU so special as they truly embody what it means to be a DU volunteer,” said Bridwell. “It was an honor to present the North MS award to DU’s Southern Regional Office.”
The award was given in recognition of the human aspect of DU’s conservation work in Mississippi and across the Southern Region and the commitment from Southern Region staff to the volunteers of Mississippi. In a year when it would have been easy to find excuses to fail, DU team members and volunteers did not slow down, but managed to thrive in the face of adversity. From finding creative ways to travel, staying in campers and tents rather than hotels, to holding virtual events, conservation and fundraising team members continued to work towards DU’s mission. A mission that not only improves habitat for waterfowl and wildlife but enhances water and wetland areas that benefit the people and communities around them.
The State Chairman’s Award of Merit for South MS was given to Lenka and Brian Glodowski for their dedication and commitment of DU’s efforts across the state. While based in South Mississippi, Lenka and Brain are known throughout the state for the exceptional efforts as DU volunteers.
Excellence in Leadership awards were given out to the Area Chairman and District Chairman, as nominated by the regional directors and selected by the state chairman. Recipients were Tripp James, North Mississippi Area Chairman; John Land, North Mississippi District Chairman; David Morris, South Mississippi Area Chairman; Valerie Cameron, South Mississippi District Chairman.
Grenada County was awarded the Top Efficiency Event for having an efficiency rate of 80%. Ole Miss received the Top Volunteer Increase, seeing 32 new members added to their roster. Ole Miss was also the Top Collegiate Chapter in the state raising $82,000. The Top Varsity Chapter went to Jackson Academy who raised $23,333. Madison County received awards for Top Sponsor, Top Dollar and Top Attendee.
National Awards were given out to Will Ulmer, Chairman of the Year; John Philip Land, District Chairman of the Year; Mike Cummings, Zone Chairman of the Year and Blake Carroll, Volunteer of the Year.
“It is amazing what a group of like-minded, dedicated people can do when they work together,” said Hunter Pridgen, DU Regional Director, North and Central Mississippi. “This past year our volunteers really dug in showed up for the ducks. We are humbled to work alongside such dedicated, passionate individuals. Congratulations to all this year’s winners and thank you to all our volunteers for all you do for the ducks!”
“The conservation work of Ducks Unlimited and partners never stops and neither do the volunteers,” said Scott Forrest, current Mississippi State Chairman. “I look forward to the next two years, working together with volunteers and DU team members as we work towards the mission of filling the skies with ducks today, tomorrow and forever.”
To view event photo album, please click or tap here.