OWAA is governed by the organization’s officers and board of directors. Members of the board are elected annually by the active membership, while officers are elected annually by the board. Dozens of volunteer committees, staffed by OWAA members, also provide a foundation for OWAA’s prosperity and growth. The executive director and headquarters staff handle the day-to-day operations of the association, including the production of the magazine and other publications.


Pat Wray, President & Board Chair
Christine Peterson, First Vice President and President-Elect
Kris Millgate, Second Vice President
Tom Wharton, Secretary (through 2022)
Colleen Miniuk, Treasurer (through 2023)


William Jay Powell, Legal Counsel
William W. Forgey, M.D., Medical Counsel
Katherine K. McKalip, Supporting Group Liaison


Chez Chesak, Executive Director
Suzanne Downing, Communications Manager & Outdoors Unlimited Editor
Bethany Miller, Office Manager

Board of Directors

Terms expiring in 2021
Ruth Hoyt
Ken Keffer
Kelsey Roseth

Terms expiring in 2022
Nick Lowrey
Gary Moore
Emily Stone

Terms expiring in 2023
Bill Brassard
Steve Griffin
Matt Miller

NOTE: Six candidates selected by OWAA’s board nominating committee will compete for three seats on the OWAA board of directors. They will replace Ruth Hoyt, Ken Keffer and Kelsey Roseth. Those elected will begin their three-year term in July, 2021. Candidate profiles will appear in the April/ May issue of Outdoors Unlimited. Active, senior-active and life members will vote in an online election in April. Below is the slate in alphabetical order:

  • Matthew Dickerson – Middlebury, Vermont
  • Brian Geiger – Herndon, Virginia
  • Amy Grisak – Great Falls, Montana
  • Dan Nelson – Olympia, Washington
  • Kelsey Roseth – Duluth, Minnesota
  • Kris Thoemke – Daytona Beach, Florida

Endowment Trustees

Endowment funds are accepted, managed and disbursed by the Endowment Trust. OWAA has five Trustees: the OWAA Treasurer and four people selected by the OWAA Board.

Colleen Miniuk (Chair)
Mark Taylor (2021)
Phil Bloom (2023)
Terry Brady (2024)
Dennis Scharadin (2025)


Bylaws-Mandated Committees

Awards Committee
Charge: Chaired by the immediate past President. Shall supervise the selection of the recipients of the J. Hammond Brown Memorial Award, the Circle of Chiefs Award, the Excellence in Craft Award, the Madson Fellowship  and any other such awards (as distinguished from contests) that may be established. The Awards Committee shall be divided into a subcommittee for each award consisting of all living past recipients of that award.
Chair: Tim Mead
Members (most recent award recipients): Dan Small (Circle of Chiefs), Mark Taylor (Ham Brown), Guy Coheleach (Excellence in Craft), current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Board Nominating Committee
Charge: Comprised of five members plus a chair, none of whom have served on the committee within the prior five years. Responsible for making nominations of at least six candidates for Director at the next election of Directors in accordance with the bylaws and any Board-approved procedures. (Members: see also the Board Nominating Procedure in the Directory section of the Members area of the OWAA website.)
Chair: Mary Terra-Berns
Members: Larry Stone, Ashley Stimpson, Ruth Hoyt, Ken Dunwoody, Tony Dolle, Mike Zlotnicki

Conference Program Committee
Charge: Chaired by the First Vice President. Shall be responsible for planning the annual conference.
Chair: Christine Peterson
Members: Kris Millgate, current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Contests Committee
Charge: Administer the OWAA Excellence in Craft contests
Chair: David VanWie
Members (Chief Judges): Current Executive Director (ex officio), EIC Coordinator (ex officio), others to be named

Craft Improvement Committee
Charge: Solicit and disseminate information to help members improve their craft and business practices and their use of technology. Contribute at least two pieces for each publication of Outdoors Unlimited. Reaches out annually to contest winners to ask them to submit.
Chair: Steve Griffin
Members: Glenn Sapir, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), Suzanne Downing (ex officio)

Development Committee
Charge: Responsible for funding raising initiatives that aid the furtherance of OWAA’s mission, with particular focus on the Bob Smith Memorial Fund
Chair: Nick Lowrey
Members: Rich Patterson, Dan Small, Mike Zlotnicki, current President (ex officio), Kevin Rhoades, Ashley Stimpson current Executive Director (ex officio)

Education Committee
Charge: Establishing criteria for and selecting recipients of OWAA scholarships and the Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest awards, and increasing involvement of student members.
Chair: Emily Stone
Members: Ann Simpson, Ruth Hoyt, Thomas Dillon, Larry Morgan, Larry Larsen, Richard McCabe, Holly Endersby, Matthew Dickerson, Suzanne Downing, Eileen Davis, James Smedley, Nicole Atkins, Amy Grisak, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

Ethics Committee
Charge: Review any ethics charges submitted against a member and if necessary recommend an action to the OWAA Board of Directors.
Chair: Terry Brady
Members: Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

Finance Committee
Charge: Chaired by the Treasurer and including four other members. Supervise the finances of OWAA. Oversee the annual review of OWAA’s financial records by a Certified Public Accountant which is required by OWAA’s bylaws. Develop and maintain sound financial practices for OWAA. Help the executive director prepare the annual budget and present it for board approval. Develop strategies to ensure the long-term financial health of OWAA and present them to the Board. Recommend fiscal actions according to the financial status of the organization. Administer the Operating Fund and all property owned by OWAA except that within the control of the Endowment Trustees.
Chair: Colleen Miniuk
Members: Terry Brady, Dennis Scharadin, Kevin Rhoades, Bill Powell (ex officio), current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Marketing Committee
Charge: Identify target audiences and create marketing plans for all OWAA programs and products. Focus on the 100th Anniversary of OWAA.
Chair: Kelsey Roseth
Members: Bill Bowers, Joe Albanese, Bob Ford, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Membership Recruitment Committee
Charge: Establish and implement plans to recruit members for all classes and categories of membership. Review and suggest revisions to OWAA’s Criteria for Membership and coordinate its work with the Member Services Committee.
Chair: Matt Miller
Members: Kelsey Roseth, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Member Services Committee
Charge: Communicate regularly with all members about OWAA’s member services and benefits. Evaluate the services and benefits offered. Coordinate its work with the Member Recruitment Committee. Make recommendations to the Board about membership matters.
Chair: Bill Brassard
Members: Amy Grisak, Paul Smith, Charles Witek, current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

National Affairs and Environment Committee
Charge: Keep the Board and membership informed of national environmental issues that affect the interests of members. Contribute articles to Outdoors Unlimited on national affairs of interest to members of the outdoor community and environmental issues. Provide content for OU.
Chair: Drew YoungeDyke
Members: Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

Officer Nominating Committee
Charge: Comprised of the Directors in the second year of their terms on the Board, one of whom shall be designated by the President as chair. Nominate candidates for the offices of Second Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer in accordance with the bylaws and any Board-approved procedures. (Members: see the Officer Nominating Procedure on the Get Involved page in the Directory section of the Members area of this website)
Chair: Gary Moore
Members: Nick Lowrey, Emily Stone

Past Presidents Council
Charge: Chaired by the immediate past President and comprised of all living past-Presidents of OWAA. Shall act as an advisory council to the Board.
Chair: Paul Queneau
Members: OWAA past-Presidents

Sections Committee
Charge: Comprised of the Chair of each Section. Address the interests of the sections. Coordinate Section submissions to Outdoors Unlimited. Run the section business meeting at the annual conference. Coordinate section suggestions for and activities at the annual conference.
Chair: Ken Keffer
Members: Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

Strategic Planning Committee
Charge: Conduct such planning as necessary to keep OWAA focused on accomplishing mid- and long-range goals. Keep OWAA’s strategic plan updated. 
Chair: Glenn Zinkus
Members: Matt Miller, Colleen Miniuk, Brett Prettyman, Paul Queneau, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio

Ad Hoc Committees

Diversity Committee
Charge: Create a measurable outreach plan for promoting OWAA to minority journalism organizations. Also, expand the women’s outdoor communicators session at annual conferences. Serve in an advisory capacity to the Conference Program Committee to reach out to and invite more peoples of color to annual conferences to attend, present and hold leadership positions.
Co-Chairs: Christine Peterson & Kelsey Roseth
Members: Amy Kapp, Jazzie Johnson, Holly Endersby, Rob Annis, Ann Simpson, Emily Stone, Katie McKalip, Danielle Taylor, Steve Griffin, Drew Youngedyke, Matt Miller, Nicole Adkins, Phil Bloom, Tom Sadler, Tom Carney, Ruth Hoyt, Shawn Perich, Eric Morris, Glenn Sapir, current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

History Committee
Charge: Gather content to update OWAA’s history in advance of the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2027.
Chair: Pat Wray
Members: Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

History Website Committee
Charge: Explore and develop funding sources to support the creating of an OWAA History Website that will include three sections. The first section will accept unedited print, audio and video contributions from all members. The second section will have access limited to designated editors as they review and manage submissions. The third will house the completed (to that point) history. The committee will explore all possible funding options with particular emphasis on those which offer long term support.
Chair: Tony Dolle
Members: Ken Keffer, Chris Madson, Gail Veley, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be named

Online Content Development Committee
Develop content for online events such as webinars, virtual conferences, etc. 
Christine Peterson
Amy Kapp, Matt Miller, Kris Millgate, Colleen Miniuk, Emily Stone, Carmen Alex, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Outdoor Market Committee
Charge: Contact magazine editors, publishers, show producers, and other sources to solicit content needs and/or job listings that can be shared with OWAA members either on the OWAA website, Outdoors Unlimited, or other methods.
Chair: John Kruse
Members: Paul Queneau, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Site Selection Committee
Charge: Evaluate the conference site selection process used by OWAA and other comparable organizations, including at least two regional outdoor communicators organizations and at least one non-outdoor communicators organization (e.g., North American Nature Photography Association). Assess reasons for OWAA discarding the previous method in which conference sites were selected by a vote of the Board of Directors. The committee shall make recommendations relative to conference site selection to the Board of Directors.
Chair: Kris Millgate
Members: Gary Moore, Ashley Stimpson, Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio)

Supporter Relations Committee
Charge: Keep Supporters informed about OWAA initiatives and programs. Act as a liaison between Supporters and the Board. Recommend to the board ways in which OWAA can better encourage the involvement of Supporters in OWAA. Help recruit and retain OWAA Supporters.
Chair: Katie McKalip
Members: Current President (ex officio), current Executive Director (ex officio), others to be name



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