MEMPHIS, Tenn. – July 23, 2019 – Jay Owen, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was elected to a new position on 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.”
Owen is the first vice president of investments for UBS Financial Services. He served DU as an at-large board member from 2016 to 2019, when he was elected as a regional vice president. Growing up in south Louisiana, he has seen first-hand the loss of waterfowl habitat and the need for conservation and restoration.
“Ducks Unlimited has a clear mission and great execution. Wetlands are so critical for waterfowl, but they are really important for community protection, clean water, and so many other species. Here in Louisiana, the habitat that Ducks Unlimited restores for ducks is the same marsh that supports our incredible fisheries industry, stands between homes and storms, and provides many residents with their livelihood and dinner.”
Owen has been an active Ducks Unlimited volunteer since 2005. In that time, he has served in several local, state and national level positions, including state chairman, state trustee and national delegate, regional vice president and as a member of the national development committee. He and his wife, Tanya, are Grand Slam Diamond Life Sponsors.
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.