Who is OWAA?

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Recently, a former member asked an interesting question about OWAA’s membership. He wanted to know what the breakdown was by subject matter. I was curious about that as well, so I asked our membership coordinator, Jessica Pollett, to run the numbers for me. I thought you might like to see how the top 10 subjects rank.

  • Freshwater Fishing               56%
  • Hunting                                   55%
  • Outdoor Travel                      41%
  • Natural Resources                40%
  • Nature                                     39%
  • Firearms and Shooting        31%
  • Environmental Affairs         31%
  • Camping & Backpacking     31%
  • Saltwater Fishing                 29%
  • Archery & Bowhunting       26%

That exercise got me thinking about our membership. As a 59-year-old white guy, I suspect I am typical of many of our members — older, white and male. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, I do believe we may be missing out when it comes to the outdoor communications pool. To that end, when I started my tenure as executive director I made a special effort to recruit someone other than guys like me. Here is a look at three new members I am especially excited to introduce. I have the good fortune to know them, greatly admire what they have accomplished, and take pride in having a role in recruiting them.
Janet Lebson used to be a member — she was Janet Tennyson then — and I am delighted she agreed to return to OWAA. Janet and I have worked on many projects together over the years, and she brings a wealth of experience from her time in the government and with the fishing industry. Janet shares my interest in diversity, and we can expect her to engage the leadership on the way to nurturing a more diverse membership. You can read her bio in the July Association Update online at https://owaa.org/ou/2013/07/association-update-july-2013/ and learn more about her at http://www.glintcommunications.com.
I learned about Jessica McGlothlin via the Chi Wulff blog. She is the talent behind the camera at Fire Girl Photography. Like a little sister pursuing all those things I wish I could still do, Jess has an infectious sense of adventure and for  doing her own thing. Her aspiration to be a foreign correspondent means we can look forward to exciting dispatches from her. Board member Katie McKalip also put the “join OWAA” bug in Jess’ ear. You can read her bio in the July Association Update online at https://owaa.org/ou/2013/07/association-update-july-2013/ and learn more about her at http://www.firegirlphotography.com.
When you meet Sarah Grigg, wolverines and fight club don’t immediately spring to mind. At least they didn’t for me. But Sarah’s byline has appeared on those story subjects and many more. To say she has a storyteller’s curiosity sells her short. I am always excited when Sarah calls to tell me she has a new article in the works because I know it will be both interesting and unique. You can read her bio in the September Association Update online at https://owaa.org/ou/2013/09/association-update-september-2013/ and learn more about her at http://anatomyofawolverinetrap.wordpress.com/.
As OWAA continues to evolve as an organization, a diverse membership, be it age, race, gender or subject, means our members and supporters benefit. We learn more from each other, find more opportunities to ply our craft and are given the chance to mentor the next generation of outdoor communicators. I think you will agree that these ladies are wonderful additions to our ranks and share with me the excitement of having them as part of OWAA.♦
—OWAA Executive Director Tom Sadler, tsadler@owaa.org

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