MISSOULA, Mont. – At its 86th annual conference in Lake Placid, N.Y., the Outdoor Writers Association of America elected Bill Graham as president of the association for 2013-14. Graham will serve one year as president of the OWAA Board of Directors.
“How lucky we are as outdoor communicators to work with heart, soul and spirit,” Graham said. “This business involves catching a fish, shooting a deer, hiking a trail and making a living. But we’re drawn to it because nature and spending time outdoors with family and friends moves something deep inside us. When our writing and pictures connect with readers and viewers and moves them, the experience becomes even larger.”
Graham noted that the Miracle on Ice hockey rink from the 1980 Winter Olympics, where an amateur USA team beat a professional-level Russian team, was down the hall from the conference meeting site. Achieving a boyhood dream of becoming an outdoor writer seemed far away when sportscaster Al Michaels asked “do you believe in miracles” as team USA won. But Graham said help from OWAA members helped him over the years overcome challenges to master new skills and become a full-time outdoor communicator.
“I do believe in miracles,” Graham said. “OWAA made mine possible. That’s what we do, we help each other grow, get better and learn how to make business ends meet.”
A member of OWAA since 1985, Graham was on the OWAA Board of Directors from 2006-2009 and subsequently elected to the Executive Committee in 2010.
“Bill Graham has a special gift for leadership. He knows how to calmly and patiently get his point across and get the best out of people,” said OWAA Executive Director Tom Sadler.
Graham grew up fishing and hunting in southwest Missouri where the eastern woodlands meet the western prairies. His hometown is Nevada, Mo. He lives at Platte City, Mo., with his wife, Sherry, and their two children. He is a media specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.