MEMPHIS, Tenn. - July 23, 2019 - Dan Ray, of Georgetown, South Carolina, was elected to Ducks Unlimited's national board of directors during the organization's 82nd annual national convention held recently in Hawaii.

"Ducks Unlimited's board of directors provides the leadership we need to fulfill our mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl," said DU Chairman of the Board Paul Bonderson Jr. "DU board members do not get paid for their work. These dedicated men and women volunteer their time and resources because they are passionate conservationists. I welcome each new board member and look forward to working with them in the years to come."

Dan Ray is an investment banking executive. Ray has been an engaged Wetlands America Trust (WAT) trustee since 2005. WAT is the land trust arm of Ducks Unlimited. An ardent conservationist, he placed his 3,400-acre plantation property, Annandale Plantation, under permanent conservation easement with Ducks Unlimited and generously donates his plantation and time to numerous returning combat veterans and nonprofit wounded service member organizations. He and his wife, Linda, have two sons and a daughter.

"Ducks Unlimited's dedication to putting conservation on the ground is unique," Ray said. "While the mission is focused on waterfowl and those who enjoy them, the impacts of conserving and restoring waterfowl habitats reach much farther. Wetlands provide cost-effective flood control, coastal resilience, clean water and recreational opportunities as well."

In addition to new board member elections, this year's convention featured a celebration of the successful completion of DU's ambitious "Rescue Our Wetlands: Banding Together for Waterfowl" campaign, which raised an astonishing $2.34 billion and conserved 2,236,435 acres of habitat for waterfowl, other wildlife, people and the communities in which they live.

The celebration featured an address from DU Major Donor and Wetlands America Trust trustee James Cox Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises.

Team DU also honored the career of retiring Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall and formally welcomed new CEO Adam Putnam.

This year's convention also featured opportunities for conservation-related education, special tours and entertainment and a Friday keynote addresses by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Axalta Coating Systems CEO Robert Bryant accepted DU's Corporate Conservation Achievement Award on behalf of Axalta during the Friday business session. The award was created to recognize corporations from the United States, Canada or Mexico that have made exceptional contributions to conservation in North America.

The second annual Wings Over Wetlands Awards Gala, held to honor DU's top volunteers, was again hosted by conservationist, environmental journalist and television personality Jeff Corwin.

Special thanks to First National Bank of Omaha, provider of the official Ducks Unlimited Visa card, for sponsoring this year's convention.

Next year's Ducks Unlimited National Convention will be held May 26-30 in Orlando, Florida.