QDMA announced today that Brian Murphy has resigned from his position as CEO effective immediately. Murphy had on March 3 announced his intention to transition from CEO to a part-time role after 23 years with the organization to travel and spend more time with his family, and a search for his replacement is already underway.
In the interim, the QDMA Board of Directors has empowered a group of five department leaders to temporarily handle executive functions of the organization. The leadership team includes Director of Finance & Administration April Robertson, Director of Conservation Kip Adams, Director of Communications Lindsay Thomas Jr., Assistant Director of Conservation Matt Ross, and Assistant Director of Hunting Heritage Programs Hank Forester. They will be working closely with Board Chairman Rick Dahl until a new CEO is named.
“I’ve decided it is best for QDMA, me and my family for me to pass the torch sooner and give staff leaders the freedom to implement new strategies to address new challenges,” said Murphy. “I am confident in each of them and their ability to work as a team, continue pursuing the QDMA mission, and assist in the selection of the new CEO.”
“These five staff members collectively have over 60 years of experience at QDMA, and the Board is confident in their ability to effectively guide QDMA at this time,” said Dahl. “Most of them have been in managerial roles at QDMA during other challenging periods like the Great Recession, and I know they will see QDMA through the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and into the new period of growth and accomplishment.”
QDMA is well positioned for current and future challenges, having diversified its outreach and fundraising methods and demonstrated a penchant for innovation. QDMA’s groundbreaking Field to Fork hunter-recruitment program has been hailed as a successful and fresh approach to attracting new hunting participation by food-focused adults, and plans for expansion are in development for the new deer season in fall 2020. The popular Deer Steward education program took its Level I course online in 2013 and has already seen a surge of participation as hunters shelter in place at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The same is true with QDMA’s Deer Hunting 101 online course for new hunters, a partnership with Today’s Hunter. Meanwhile, QDMA staff and Branch volunteers are developing new outreach, education and fundraising approaches to compensate for the postponement of large group events around the nation and in Canada.
The interim leadership team also has the support and assistance of Joe Hamilton, QDMA Founder and Senior Advisor, who has been instrumental in assembling a network of major donors known as the Brothers-Hamilton Society. Recently, members of the society have volunteered additional assistance by hosting Field to Fork hunts on their lands and mentoring new adult-onset hunters interested in wild venison for food.
As CEO, Murphy led the organization through a period of unparalleled growth and accomplishment for the non-profit organization. During his tenure, deer and deer hunting experienced significant improvements in quality as the principles of Quality Deer Management became commonplace throughout the whitetail’s range.
Media Contact: Lindsay Thomas Jr., 800-209-3337