Agenda

Click the tabs below to view details about each day of conference.

All conference sessions will take place at the Grand Wayne Center unless otherwise noted.

FRIDAY

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. OWAA Board Meeting

  • Lawton Room, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Members welcome to observe

1 – 8 p.m. Registration

  • Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited

3 – 6 p.m. Becoming an Outdoors Communicator

  • Foster Room, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Speakers: Robert Annis, Dan Armitage, Tom Carney, Joe Dits, Tom Huggler, Karen Loke, Jeff Moore, Brandon Shuler, Dan Small
  • This free, three-hour workshop will feature some of OWAA’s top pros giving presentations about their specialties, from writing for magazines to filming outdoor television and everything in between. Join Dan Small and fellow OWAA members for this popular staple of the OWAA conference as presenters share their tricks of the trade with budding professionals.

6 – 6:30 p.m. Green Ribbon Meeting

  • Foster Room, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • First time at an OWAA conference? Haven’t been in a while? Join program chair Tim Mead and conference planner Jessica Seitz to get the ins and outs of the conference and an insider’s guide to the “can’t miss” events. Meet other OWAA members who have volunteered to act as mentors to help you navigate your first conference.

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dinner on your own in downtown Fort Wayne

  • Meet up with old friends and make new ones while experiencing the great dining options, breweries and distilleries around downtown Fort Wayne.

8:30+ p.m. President’s Hospitality

  • Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Come celebrate and help toast OWAA President Phil Bloom for his service over the past year.

SATURDAY

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Registration (Daily)

  • Lobby, Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Opening Breakfast

  • Legacy Salon, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

8:15 – 9 a.m. Keynote: Andrew McKean

  • Legacy Salon, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Andrew McKean will serve up his perspective on the state of the outdoor industry in general and on outdoor journalism in particular. McKean served as editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life until earlier this year, and has worked as a freelance outdoor writer, a conservation educator in Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department, and a newspaper reporter and editor. He lives in eastern Montana.

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 3-Day Displays (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EIC Winners Showcase (Daily)

  • Harrison B

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Press Room (Daily)

  • Harrison D
  • Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Coffee Break Station (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Mississippi Tourism

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Clean Waters Make Strong Communities

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Alex Maggos, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; John McFadden, Tennessee Environmental Council; Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, The Nature Conservancy
  • Clean rivers and streams and healthy restoration projects make for stronger and more vibrant waterside communities. Grassroots advocates are key to protecting and restoring our riverfronts and streams. Learn what is working and what can be done better to ensure healthy and clean waters

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Financial Planning for Outdoor Professionals

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Corey Purkat, Northwoods Financial Planning
  • This workshop will teach outdoor professionals at any stage of their career how to manage their financial life, from paying down debt, to budgeting with fluctuating income, starting a business or planning for retirement, using personal values to guide decision-making when it comes to money.

10 – 11 a.m. Spouse/Partner/Family Welcome

  • Harrison E
  • Welcome event for all spouses, partners, families and guests. Meet new people and become reacquainted with others. Find out what opportunities are available to you during the conference. A Visit Fort Wayne rep will be on hand to help you plan activities.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Managing Urban Rivers for Recreation

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Mark Taylor, Trout Unlimited; Dan Wire, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
  • Downtown rivers play a part in many cities as they used to hold the keys to trade and commerce. As technology advanced, some of these rivers became more dumping grounds for urban waste than natural attractions, but in the wake of the Clean Water Act, urbanization and other changing priorities, urban rivers are being seen as an asset once again. In cities across the country, including Fort Wayne, efforts are underway to revitalize these areas, clean up the landscapes and manage the waterways for conservation and recreation. Balancing the various needs and priorities of a river can be a challenge and restoration can be expensive and time-consuming, but in realizing the potential of these outdoor spaces, they can be drivers for economic growth, tourism, sporting access and general health and wellness.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Drone Photography

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Ruth Hoyt, freelance photographer; Kris Millgate, Tight Line Media; Representative, FAA
  • It used to require an airplane, helicopter or a really tall ladder to capture stunning images from the sky. Affordable, camera-mounted drones have changed the game. Panelists will discuss the challenges involved, and the exciting opportunities, aerial photography can bring to your portfolio, as well as the rules and regulations involved in shooting from the sky.

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch at Headwaters Park

  • Headwaters Park
  • Shuttles or walking directions are available to take everyone out to Headwaters Park, located along the banks of the St. Marys River. In addition to enjoying the fresh air, there will be self-guided tour information for birding and nature walks along the river as well as canal boat tours to talk about the restoration and revitalization efforts going on along the cities rivers.
  • **Note: Little Rock 2019 Conference Planning Meeting will occur at a table during lunch for anyone interested in participating or learning more about our next annual conference!

2 – 3:30 p.m. Shoot from the Heart & Photography section meeting

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Lisa Ballard, Lefty Ray Chapa, Ruth Hoyt, Gary Krukar, John Pickles, Matt Soberg
  • Looking for photographic inspiration and to connect with your fellow OWAA photographers? Hear what a selection of OWAA shutterbugs are most passionate about right now as they share their latest projects, new discoveries and exciting stories from their journeys in this fast-paced PechaKucha presentation-style event.

2 – 3:30 p.m. Podcasting Series: Part 1

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Professor Stan Sollars
  • This three-part, hands-on series is designed to help participants create a podcast from start to finish. Part one will look at software options and tools for collecting audio, cover different podcast structures and teach you how to storyboard an episode. Participants are encouraged to collect audio for their own mini-podcast before part two when attendees will have the chance to merge, edit and transition their clips into a single piece.

3:45 – 5 p.m. Meet the Publishers and Publicists

  • Jefferson A
  • Speakers: Evan Helmlinger, FalconGuides; Lynda O’Connor, O’Connor Communications; Tara Richter, Richter Publishing LLC; Kate Rogers, Mountaineers Books
  • Connect with book publishers and publicists to help advance your book project, whether it’s still in the idea stages or a polished work. After our panel explains their work and role in the book industry, get your questions answered.

5:15 – 6:45 p.m. Membership Meeting

  • Jefferson A
  • OWAA members are invited to a business meeting hosted by OWAA board president Phil Bloom and OWAA executive director Brandon Shuler. Learn how OWAA has been working for you and its short-term and long-term goals. Voice your feedback in this open forum for general discussion and suggestions.

7 – 8:30 p.m. Indiana Summer Barbecue Welcome Dinner

  • Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
  • Sponsored by Visit Indiana and Visit Fort Wayne
  • Celebrate the start of the OWAA Conference with a summer barbecue including lawn games and a s’mores station all inside the lush oasis of Fort Wayne’s downtown Botanical Conservatory. With over 1,200 plants and 72 different type of cacti, it’ll be a breath-taking backdrop to this fun, Indiana Summer Welcome Dinner. Wine, craft beer, and mouth-watering, Fort Wayne-famous barbecue will be served, in addition to some other delicious favorites. Round up your appetite for fun while reconnecting with OWAA Members!

9 – 11:30+ p.m. Hospitality Suites

  • Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown

SUNDAY

6 a.m. Rise, Roll n Run

  • Roll out of bed and run with us. Kick out your conference kinks with a mild, early-morning 3 miler. Walkers welcome. Meet in the conference hotel lobby. And new this year, the addition of Rise! Local bakery Rise n Roll will meet us at the finish line with sweet treats. Also plan on a swag giveaway. Everyone who rolls out is eligible. It’s early so skip brushing your hair, but please attend to your teeth.

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Registration (Daily)

  • Lobby, Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 3-Day Displays (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. EIC Winners Showcase (Daily)

  • Harrison B

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Press Room (Daily)

  • Harrison D
  • Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Coffee Break Station (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Mississippi Tourism

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Opening Breakfast

  • Legacy Salon, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Recreation Access on Public Lands

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Tim Brass, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers; Zach Widner, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Representative, IMBA
  • Most of us do not own hunting leases, private lakes or hiking and biking trails in our backyards. We rely on public lands for our recreational pursuits and availability of these lands is crucial in continuing these outdoor traditions. But the battle does not end with protecting our outdoor spaces, it also requires maintaining public access to these areas though land acquisition or easements and properly managing these spaces for all the different forms of recreation they provide, including hunting, fishing, biking, hiking, birding and more. Join our panel of stakeholders as they address the threats, successes and challenges we all face in the pursuit of outdoor recreation.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Media Relations: Networking for the Long Game

  • Harrison C
  • Speakers: Katie McKalip, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers; Tom Sadler, Marine Fish Conservation Network
  • While metrics like return on investment can make immediately actionable results seem like the only goal worth achieving, network and building long-term relationships can be an invaluable tool for members working in media relations and communications. Hear from fellow members how these strategies have paid off for them in the past and how to build a marketing plan that incorporates these principles and justify these strategies to those crunching the numbers.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Supporting Groups Business Meeting

  • Harrison E
  • Employees of supporting groups, agencies and businesses are invited to a meeting hosted by Katie McKalip, supporting group liaison to the board, and OWAA’s executive director Brandon Shuler. An open forum for general discussion and suggestions is welcome.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Catastrophe in the Everglades, and how to fix it

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Dr. Steve Davis, Everglades Foundation; Terry Gibson, North Swell Media & Consulting; Capt. Chris Wittman, Captains for Clean Water
  • Despite some progress in restoring the vast and diverse ecosystems of this globally unique place, water mismanagement is destroying Lake Okeechobee, the Indian River Lagoon, Pine Island Sound, and Florida Bay. Too much polluted water, and in the case of Florida Bay, not enough clean fresh water, are costing our nation some of its most iconic fisheries. Hunting and wildlife viewing are also affected. The panelists will explain what’s wrong with the water management system and the politics behind those problems, as well as describe the environmental and economic impacts to a state that touts itself as “The Fishing Capital of the World.”

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Podcasting Series: Part 2

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Professor Stan Sollars
  • Continuing this hands-on workshop from Saturday, part two of this series will focus on techniques to build various audio clips into a single file to create a finished podcast. Topics will include audio editing, transitions and music and background sound. Following part two, attendees are encouraged to complete their mini-podcast prior to part three for critique.

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Silent Auction

  • Harrison B

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Asian Carp: The Front-Line Fight

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Joel Brammeier, president & CEO, Alliance for the Great Lakes; Marc Smith, Great Lakes conservation director, National Wildlife Federation; Charlie Wooley, Midwest deputy regional director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Betsy Yankowiak, director of preserves and programs; Little River Wetlands Project
  • We know where they came from. We know they’ve had a negative impact on several Midwest river systems. And we know they pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes. A panel of Asian carp experts will discuss what’s been done to combat these non-native invasive fish, including right in Fort Wayne, and what still needs to be done to prevent or slow their spread elsewhere.

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Pitch Critique

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Lisa Ballard; Andrew McKean
  • Join freelancer Lisa Ballard and former Outdoor Life editor Andrew McKean as they critique sample story queries. They will also discuss successful pitches and what made them effective. Have a story idea from a conference session on day one? Bring in your draft query and get feedback from the experts.

12:30 p.m. Shuttles begin for Breakout Day

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch at Breakout Day

  • Southwest Conservation Club
  • Sponsored by National Shooting Sports Foundation

1:30 – 5:30 p.m. Breakout Day

  • Southwest Conservation Club
  • Learn about and test the latest firearms, vehicles, watercrafts and outdoor gear from OWAA supporters and local companies. Visit with outdoor destinations, take a test drive or brush up on the most recent happenings with our outdoor organizations.

2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Nature Walk

  • Southwest Conservation Club

1:30 – 1:50 p.m. Magazine section meeting

  • Southwest Conservation Club clubhouse

2 – 2:20 p.m. Newspaper section meeting

  • Southwest Conservation Club clubhouse

2:30 – 2:50 p.m. Media relations section meeting

  • Southwest Conservation Club clubhouse

3– 3:20 p.m. Broadcast section meeting

  • Southwest Conservation Club clubhouse

5:40 p.m. Shuttles end from Breakout Day

6 – 8:30 p.m. EIC Awards Party

  • Parkview Field
  • Celebrate our members’ best work from the past year at this fun and entertaining show. After enjoying an audio-video presentation on the jumbo-tron of the award-winners’ work, we’ll open the batting cages and climbing wall and have fun at the ballpark!

9 – 11:30+ p.m. Hospitality Suites

  • Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown

MONDAY

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Registration (Daily)

  • Lobby, Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 3-Day Displays (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. EIC Winners Showcase (Daily)

  • Harrison B

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Press Room (Daily)

  • Harrison D
  • Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Coffee Break Station (Daily)

  • Grand Wayne Center
  • Sponsored by Mississippi Tourism

7 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. Silent Auction

  • Harrison B

7 – 8 a.m. OWAA Board Meeting

  • Lawton Room – Courtyard Marriott

7 – 8 a.m. Past Presidents’ Meeting

  • Foster Room – Courtyard Marriott

7:15 – 8 a.m. Breakfast

  • Legacy Salon, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown

8 – 8:45 a.m. Keynote: Stacy Bare

  • Legacy Salon, Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Stacy Bare is a climber, skier and the national director of programs and operations for The Phoenix, working to create a sober active community to help people, rise, recover, live and help move the recovery community beyond stigma. Stacy is also a 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year & the 2015 SHIFT Conservation Athlete of the Year. He will speak on changing the debate on public lands to reframe time outdoors as a patriotic virtue and a key ingredient for emotional and mental health.

9 – 11 a.m. Meet/Ask the Editors

  • Jefferson A
  • Speakers: Marija Andric, Country magazine; Tom Carney, The Upland Almanac; John Geiger, Game & Fish Magazines; Sam Lungren, Backcountry Journal; Matt Miller, Cool Green Science Blog; Kirsten Sweet, Birds & Blooms
  • Acquisitions editors discuss their outdoors publications, unique editorial needs and provide tips on how to sell your work, followed by questions from the audience. Then afterward, they will fan out into the audience to give one-on-one face time! This is a tremendous opportunity to talk in a less formal setting, build relationships and sell your work to prospective buyers.

11:15 – 12:15 a.m. Understanding the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its impact on recreational angling

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Ivy Newman Fredrickson, Ocean Conservancy; Regan Nelson, American Fly Fishing Trade Association; Alan Risenhoover, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Charles Witek; outdoor journalist
  • The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is our nation’s primary federal fisheries law and provides the roadmap for long-term sustainable and productive fisheries for both commercial and recreational fisherman. Many have hailed MSA as a success story, but some question whether it adequately addresses the interests of recreational anglers. Others question the need to make big changes to the act and worry some changes could lead to the overfishing and balkanized management regimes. Our panel of experts will help you find the story behind the talking points. They will offer their views on what the act does and doesn’t do, how it addresses the needs of the recreational angling community and what changes, if any, are needed to improve the act.

11:15 – 12:15 a.m. Don’t Show Up Naked: How to Edit Your Writing Before Others See It

  • Harrison C
  • Speaker: Professor Greg Schwipps
  • Hear from author and DePauw University professor Greg Schwipps about the power of revision. In his courses at DePauw, students critique each other’s work through formal workshops. This is an excellent way to improve a piece of writing and build a writer, but what about writing in the “real world”? This session will offer practical advice on how to clean-up your writing before an editor sees it, whether you are working alone or within a very small community of trusted colleagues.

12:25 – 1:15 p.m. Lunch

  • Anthony Wayne Ballroom

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Fixing Hunting’s Declining Numbers

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Cyrus Baird, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports; Matt Dunfee, Wildlife Management Institute; Brian Lynn, Sportsmen’s Alliance; Charita Niedermeyer; NWTF Three Rivers Chapter
  • Hunting is on the decline and that threatens not just public support for the sport, but also state budgets for conservation, wildlife management and staffing. This panel will look at current trends and data on hunter numbers and the sport’s economic impact on community’s and states. It also will discuss efforts underway to pass sportsmen traditions on to the next generation and ways to sustain the powerful voice of the hunting community in shaping American policy for wildlife and habitat preservation.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Podcasting Series: Part 3

  • Harrison C
  • Speakers: Professor Stan Sollars
  • Part three of this on-going workshop will allow attendees who have completed a sample file to share their work with the group for feedback and will also focus on next-steps including how to make your podcast available to the masses and how to promote and sustain your podcast.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Wildlife Diseases: Chronic Wasting Disease

  • Harrison A
  • Speakers: Joe Caudell, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Bryan J. Richards, USGS National Wildlife Health Center; Chad Stewart, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • In the 50 years since it was first detected in a mule deer at a Colorado research facility, CWD has made its way into free-ranging and captive cervid populations in 23 states and two Canadian provinces. Besides the disease’s effect on deer and elk, how does its spread affect wildlife resource managers and hunting? And what are Midwest states doing about it?

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Travel Writing the Outdoors

  • Harrison C
  • Speakers: Robert Annis, freelance writer; Joe Dits, South Bend Tribune; Jill Rohrbach, Arkansas Tourism Department; Risa Wyatt, freelance writer
  • Travel writing ties in closely with outdoors writing: If you drive 30 miles from home to go hiking or fishing–your trail or fishing hole, the hotel, motel, or campsite where you stay can also be the subject of a travel article. This panel will cover how to branch out into travel writing, including how to pitch a saleable story and how your preparation for a travel story differs from an outdoor story.

4 – 5:30 p.m. Photo Scavenger Hunt Critique

  • Jefferson A
  • Win cash and prizes from behind the lens! All attending members are encouraged to enter this entertaining contest pitting professional and amateur photographers to submit just one frame for five designated subjects, challenging participants to capture each topic’s essence on a tight deadline. This is followed by an entertaining critique and light-hearted roast of scavenger hunt entries, hosted by two of OWAA’s top photographers, helping everyone improve their photography skills.

5:45 p.m. Silent Auction closes

5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Circle of Chiefs Meeting

  • Harrison E

7 – 9 p.m. Honorary Awards Banquet

  • Anthony Wayne Ballroom
  • (Coat and tie recommended.)
  • This special event and formal dinner recognizes members for their professional achievements and exceptional commitment to OWAA. These awards represent the highest honors of OWAA: the J. Hammond Brown Award for devoted service to OWAA; the Excellence in Craft Award for continued excellence in one’s career; the Jade of Chiefs Award for conservation; and the Jackie Pfeiffer Memorial Award for goodwill, generosity and kindness. Awards for Outstanding Board Member and Committee Volunteer of the Year will also be presented.

9:30+ p.m. Leftover Luau

  • Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown
  • Join your fellow OWAAers as we wrap up another conference with a casual gathering for fun and friendship. Bring a bottle of wine, your beverage of choice or hospitality suite leftovers to share.

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