Hello friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you as CEO of QDMA and the organization that will be formed very soon by the unification of QDMA and NDA. I’ll get right to the point: I am passionate about deer, hunting, and conservation and have been since my first excursions into the outdoors. I grew up in Pennsylvania, which has a rich history of deer hunting, and my love for the animal was inevitable. My dad taught my brother and I how to hunt, and that’s a gift we’ll be forever thankful for. Still, I had a thirst to learn more, and I wanted to be the best hunter I was capable of becoming. That’s when I first learned about QDMA.
I remember the first Signpost newsletters and eventually the earliest issues of Quality Whitetails. When the Deer Steward program was announced, I was among the first groups of people to sign up. I obtained my Level 1 and Level 2 Deer Steward certifications and even had our founder, Joe Hamilton, autography my certificate. Passing on my first yearling buck and killing my first mature buck later that season is forever burned in my memory. I eventually served as a QDMA Branch volunteer and was on a banquet committee, and before I could afford it I became a Life Member. I mention all of this to explain that I consider myself a product of QDMA, and I am both grateful and humbled by this opportunity to lead us into the next chapter of our history.
I’m sure you will have a lot of questions over the next few weeks and months as the team works through strategic planning, deciding on our name, and completing the unification of QDMA and NDA. It’s important to me that I hear from you, and I want to make it clear that your ideas and concerns matter. I don’t want you to ever feel disconnected from your organization, and communicating with you regularly is a priority.
Thank you for the many warm welcomes I’ve received this week, and for those I haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know yet, I am looking forward to it. I look forward to working with all of you to achieve an important mission for deer. Thank you for your patience with the transition process and your dedication.