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OWAA welcomes four new board members

MISSOULA, Mont. — Members of the Outdoor Writers Association of America elected Ruth Hoyt of Texas, Ken Keffer of Iowa, and Shawn Perich of Minnesota, to serve on the organization’s board of directors. John Kruse of Washington also joined the board, replacing Matt Soberg who resigned from the Board on May 18.

“Matt provided invaluable service to OWAA, especially as chair of the membership recruitment committee. He offered keen insight into other board matters, and he deserves thanks for the time he gave,” said Phil Bloom, OWAA’s most recent past president. “Paul [Queneau] inherited a strong team when he took over as OWAA president at the Fort Wayne conference. I have every confidence that this board will work with Paul and the rest of the executive committee to further strengthen OWAA’s position as the nation’s premier organization for outdoor journalists.”

The newly elected board members started their three-year terms on June 4, at OWAA’s annual conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They replaced Becky Jones Mahlum, Vicki Mountz and Paul Vang. Kruse began a two-year term that will run through the 2020 summer board meeting.

“We are excited to welcome Shawn Perich, Ruth Hoyt, Ken Keffer and John Kruse to OWAA’s board of directors,” said Paul Queneau, OWAA’s new president. Each comes from a different corner of the outdoor communications world, and each will bring unique skillsets and insights.”

Hoyt, who joined OWAA in 2014, is best known for her bird photography and professional guiding services on private Texas ranches, but she has also taught photography for nearly 30 years. She photographs, writes, teaches, coaches contest photographers and consults with farm and ranch owners.

Keffer is a professional naturalist, award-winning environmental educator and author who has penned seven books connecting kids to the outdoors, plus a hiking guide. He is also a noted freelancer with regular contributions to Wyoming Wildlife, Backcountry Journal and Birds & Blooms. He joined OWAA in 2014.

Perich, who joined OWAA in 1985, is publisher of Northern Wilds Magazine, which he co-founded in 2004. He has worked as an editor for outdoor magazines and a weekly newspaper. A full-time freelance writer for nearly 15 years, he is the author of eight books and many magazine stories. His weekly column, Points North, has appeared in Minnesota Outdoor News for more than 25 years. An avid hunter and angler, he lives with his two yellow Labs on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Hovland, Minnesota.

A member since 2012, Kruse hosts and produces two syndicated outdoors radio shows. Over the last 17 years he has also worked as a freelance outdoor writer, published a guidebook published and learned how to provide publishable photo support for the work he generates. He lives in Washington State with his wife.

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