QDMA Announces 2017 Branch Achievement Award Winners

QDMA announced the winners of its 2017 Branch Achievement Awards at their 17th annual National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year QDMA recognized many outstanding achievements in volunteer efforts. QDMA Branches work to help raise funds, recruit members, and promote the Quality Deer Management philosophy at the grassroots level.

The 2017 awards and recipients are as follows:

Branch of the Year: Southwestern Wisconsin Branch

The Southwestern Wisconsin Branch was named the Branch of the Year for their community involvement and impact. The Branch made multiple donations, including two robotic deer decoys to local DNR conservation wardens, a $2,300 donation to a local QDMA member injured in a farming accident, over 100 QDMA memberships to high schools, public libraries and area businesses with waiting rooms, and a $3,000 donation to local high schools for their National Archery in the Schools programs. Accepting the award from QDMA Senior Regional Director Ryan Furrer (left) on behalf of the Branch was the Wisconsin State Chapter Vice President Brian Ruesch.


Branch President of the Year: Ben Caillouet of Louisiana

Ben Caillouet of the Bayou Branch in Louisiana was named the Branch President of the Year. Ben (right) has been the president of his local Branch since its inception a decade ago, and his tireless efforts have been instrumental in his Branch receiving countless awards during that time, including the 2017 Membership and Fundraising Branch of the Year.


New Branch of the Year: Alabama’s Heart of Dixie Branch

While there are dozens of new QDMA Branches deserving of recognition, Alabama’s Heart of Dixie Branch ultimately rose to the top, earning the New Branch of the Year award. Its inaugural banquet netted over $23,000 and captured more than 100 members. Senior Regional Director Ryan Furrer (right) presented the award to Branch President Chris Guest.


Volunteer of the Year: David Matthews of Vermont

This year’s Volunteer of the Year award went to David Matthews of Vermont. David has been a QDMA member for nearly 15 years and formerly served as president of his local Branch. He is also a Deer Steward III graduate and a hunting mentor. David and his wife Roxanne are seen here receiving the award from QDMA CEO Brian Murphy.


Branch Event of the Year: River City Branch of Virginia

The Event of the Year was the River City Branch of Virginia’s seventh annual youth hunt. With 28 kids in attendance, it was the largest event in the Branch’s history, and 13 of those kids were able to harvest deer. Accepting the award from QDMA’s Senior Regional Director Ryan Furrer (center) was Branch President Jon Ranck (right) and Rudy Elder.


Sponsor Membership Branch of the Year: Lowcountry Branch of South Carolina

The Lowcountry Branch of South Carolina was named the Sponsor Membership Branch of the Year, having recruited 86 sponsor memberships and hosting a banquet with nearly 600 attendees. The Branch has won the award multiple times. Branch President Michael Cochran accepted the award from QDMA board member Nicole Garris.


Fundraising Branch of the Year and Membership Branch of the Year: Bayou Branch of Louisiana

Louisiana’s Bayou Branch took the honors of both Fundraising Branch of the Year as well as the Membership Branch of the Year. The Branch has long been known for hosting some of the largest QDMA banquets in the country, and this year was no exception. Their fundraising event grossed over $103,000, and the Branch recruited over 500 new QDMA members. Pictured (L-R) are QDMA Regional Director J.B. Wynn, Branch Vice President Jonathan Scallan, his wife Lyndsey Scallan, Branch Secretary Beau Schexnaildre, Branch President Ben Caillouet, and QDMA national board member Nicole Garris.

“We are extremely proud of the record setting year held by our Branches and our volunteers,” said Ryan Furrer, QDMA’s Senior Regional Director. “We hope to continue the trend throughout 2018 and beyond.”

Media Contact: Ryan Furrer, QDMA Senior Regional Director, 724-237-2525