MEMPHIS, Tennessee – June 7, 2018 - Ducks Unlimited held its 2018 national convention May 30-June 3, at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The event drew nearly 1,000 volunteers as well as conservation leaders and partners from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“It’s all about Team DU,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “Every year top volunteers, supporters and staff gather as a team at our annual convention to celebrate what we have done and plan for future success. We have seven months to go on our $2 billion Rescue Our Wetlands campaign and we pledged to make conservation history by significantly surpassing that goal.”
Tammi Kircher of Keokuk, Iowa; Sam Smolik of Houston, Texas; Pepper Snyder, San Jose, California, and Jan Young, El Dorado Hills, California, were elected to Ducks Unlimited’s national board of directors during the national convention.
In other business, the council of state trustees and national delegates elected Doug Schoenrock of Huntsville, Alabama, to serve as first vice president of the organization. Ronal Roberson of Charleston, Mississippi, was elected to serve as advisory senior vice president of youth and education, and Robert Spoerl, Waupaca, Wisconsin, was elected regional vice president of Region 3. All other board members remained the same from the prior year.
In addition to the annual elections, this year’s convention featured opportunities for conservation-related education, special tours and entertainment, and presentations by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and FedEx Founder and CEO Frederick W. Smith.
“(The U.S. Department of the) Interior is a partner with you for a reason,” Zinke told the convention during his remarks. “Just being here today, I know your passion. Your passion about public lands, your passion for the legacy, to make sure our children’s children can look back and say they know what we did right.”
Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris accepted DU’s Corporate Conservation Achievement Award on behalf of Bass Pro Shops during the event. 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 inaugural Wings Over Wetlands Awards Gala, held to honor DU’s top volunteers, was hosted by conservationist, environmental journalist and television personality Jeff Corwin.
Live and silent auctions featuring everything from decoys to diamonds generated more than $163,000 for wetlands habitat conservation.
Special thanks to our proud partner 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 29-June 2 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Waikoloa, “The Big Island,” in Hawaii.
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 14 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.