2009 conference wrap-up

On our way home from OWAA’s recent conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., Andrea, the boys and I traveled northward to the Traverse City area, where we camped in the sand and splashed in the waves along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore bordering Lake Michigan.
camping-clrThe next couple of days we explored Michigan’s Upper Peninsula while traveling westward on Highway 2. We particularly enjoyed the region around Naubinway. Truly, this sparsely populated area featuring timbered lands, sandy beaches, smoked-fish shops and the Upper Peninsula’s famous “pasty” (beef, pork, potato, rutabaga and onion concoction on a pastry crust) is one of Michigan’s better-kept secrets – at least undisclosed among us Westerners, anyway.
The colorful “Yooppers” we met there, along with the mix of conifers and deciduous forests reminded us of the folks of northwestern Montana’s Yaak, although our home state fails to offer lakes as majestic as oceans, and Michigan touts four.
Continuing westward to Escabana (site of the 1951 OWAA conference), I couldn’t help but mark the map with circles that require a visit: Marquette, the south shore of Lake Superior and Isle Royle National Park – all these places call me.
That brings me to tear sheets: If you photographed and/or wrote about your adventures in Michigan, please send headquarters copies of published clips, which help staff entice convention and visitors bureaus to host our conference. Thanks in advance for sending yours!
Oh, so many thank-yous …
According to this year’s conference surveys, OWAA’s 82nd conference will go down as another memorable one. It’s the people that make our annual get-together a success, and all of us at OWAA headquarters appreciate your participation and attendance. We thank our speakers, sponsors, scores of volunteers and the gracious folks of South Kent Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, who helped pull off a successful OWAA auction.
The local committee deserves special recognition for their efforts. OWAA’s board of directors and staff thank Tom Huggler, Terry McBurney, Ed Sutton, Bruce Matthews, Dave and Kay Richey, Bob Gwizdz, Henry and Bernice Zeman, Dave Carlson, David Graham, Howard Meyerson, Mark Thue, Ed Stone, and the Grand Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau for their efforts in making our 82nd get-together a tremendous success.
For more thank yous, click here
More OWAA News
Bill Hilts Sr., of Sanborn, N.Y., received the 2009 J. Hammond Brown Memorial Award. The award is OWAA’s most prestigious recognition of a member “for devoted past service to the organization over a period of continuous years.” Editor of Bear Journal, Hilts served as OWAA president in 1990-91 and is a Life Member, with his membership originating in 1961.
Jay Cassell, of Katonah, N.Y., received OWAA’s Excellence in Craft Award. The award honors an OWAA member “for outstanding effort in upholding the OWAA Creed and continued excellence in craft.” An OWAA member since 1977, Cassell is the deputy editor of Field & Stream Magazine. “Jay is the editor’s editor,” said Dave Richey, when presenting Cassell with the award. “Anyone who can thrive working for all three of the Big Three is a brilliant editor.”
Jim Low of Jefferson City, Mo., news services coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation, received OWAA’s top conservation award. The Circle of Chiefs award represents an affirmation of OWAA adherence to and support of the principles of conservation. Low served as OWAA president in 2006-07. He holds degrees in journalism and wildlife management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
• The recipient of the 2009 Jackie Pfeiffer Memorial Award is Kay Richey of Buckley, Mich. Recipients exemplify Pfeiffer’s genuine warmth and radiance, goodwill, helpfulness, generosity and kindness to others, especially at conference. Richey is a book designer and publisher specializing in layout of outdoor books and newsletters.
Mark Taylor, outdoors editor of The Roanoke (Va.) Times, was elected third vice president by the board of directors. The board also honored Taylor with the 2009 Outstanding Board Member Award, awarding the honor after Taylor’s first year on the board.
Mary Nickum is OWAA’s newest board member. Nickum will serve the remaining two years on Mark Taylor’s board seat, vacated when Taylor was elected third vice president.
• Conference attendance in Grand Rapids matches last year’s conference in Bismarck, N.D. – just a hair under 400.
• OWAA’s Community Night Auction netted $10,000. OWAA’s board of directors and staff thank the South Kent Chapter of Ducks Unlimited for facilitating the event.
• OWAA’s board of directors and staff trust that you enjoy Outdoors Unlimited Online, which will be posted anew on the first of each month, except July. See OU Online at https://owaa.org/ou/.
• At it latest meeting, the board of directors voted to authorize staff to create a hard-copy “OU Digest,” which will be paginated and mailed to members on a quarterly basis. Expect to receive yours via U.S. Mail the first week of September.
• OWAA Executive Assistant/Bookkeeper/Contest Coordinator Ashley Schroeder will be promoted to publications editor on Aug. 1. Schroeder finished her journalism degree in December, first working for OWAA as our journalism intern last fall. On Jan. 2 she was promoted to her current position, also finding time to help design and implement Outdoors Unlimited Online. Schroeder will replace current OU Editor Sarah Prodell, who has served as editor for the past two years. Congratulations to Ashley, and a great big Thank You to Sarah, whom we’ll miss.
Photo info: A camper enjoys a canoe trip on a lake in the Upper Peninsula near Paradise. Photo by Terry W. Phipps, courtesy of Travel Michigan.
kevin-mug-2008-webBy Kevin Rhoades, Executive Director.

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