NEW ORLEANS, La. – July 15, 2022 – In front of a crowd of more than 875 Ducks Unlimited (DU) members and volunteers, DU elected new volunteer leaders, including Chairman of the Board Doug Schoenrock and President Chuck Smith. In concurrence with the elections, current Chairman of the Board Rogers Hoyt officially completed his two-year term.
Under Chairman Hoyt’s leadership, Ducks Unlimited achieved major milestones in conservation surpassing 15 million acres conserved across North America. Hoyt also guided the organization to two consecutive record-breaking years in national fundraising.
"Chairman Hoyt was a steadfast leader during a tumultuous period in our history," said DU CEO Adam Putnam. "Despite unprecedented challenges brought on by a global pandemic, Chairman Hoyt kept our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, members and over one million supporters across North America focused on a singular goal: conserving wetlands and ensuring waterfowl fill the sky for generations to come."
In addition to ruddering Ducks Unlimited through the COVID-19 pandemic as chairman of the board, Hoyt previously served a unique three-year term as president – one of only four presidents to have served beyond the standard two-year term. Hoyt was instrumental in the executive search and hiring of DU CEO Adam Putnam who now leads the organization and staff from National Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee.
Newly elected to the role of chairman of the board, Doug Schoenrock served as DU’s 45th president and oversaw DU’s conservation team’s record breaking 606,000 acres conserved in fiscal year 2021 and an additional 550,000 acres conserved in fiscal year 2022. Schoenrock led the organization’s Presidential Lands Task Force, a special committee formed to evaluate and elevate DU’s land conservation processes and capabilities. Schoenrock was also influential in expanding DU’s brand and reach through major initiatives such as the premiere of the IMAX film Wings Over Water and enhancing the Wetlands America Trust brand.
“With more than 24 years in service on the Ducks Unlimited board of directors, Chairman Schoenrock ascends to his new responsibilities with immense knowledge and passion for our mission and volunteers,” Putnam said. “Despite the global pandemic, Chairman Schoenrock spent the last two years criss-crossing the United States engaging volunteers and strengthening key partnerships which will no doubt enrich the organization’s conservation and the waterfowling community at large.”
In his new role as chairman of the board, Schoenrock will ensure DU is meeting major mission critical goals and will serve as a thought leader and representative of over 640,000 Ducks Unlimited members at international, national, regional, state and local events. He will also serve as a trustee of Wetlands America Trust, the endowment and land trust of Ducks Unlimited.
Chuck Smith, previously serving DU as first vice president, has been elected as DU’s 46th president and will serve in that capacity for a two-year term. In his acceptance speech, Smith committed to championing and leveraging the role volunteers play in conservation and fundraising.
“Previously serving as a state chair, first vice president and just about everything in between, Chuck Smith’s presidential tenure has been decades in the making,” Putnam said. “His work to advance DU’s mission and volunteer engagement in recent years has been outstanding, and I’m looking forward to working with him in his new capacity as president to take DU’s reputation as one of North America’s premiere conservation organizations to new heights.”
Ducks Unlimited was in New Orleans for its annual National Convention, an event held each year to set new goals for the organization and celebrate the volunteer community’s many accomplishments and achievements in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.