The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is pleased to congratulate CEO Brian Murphy on 20 years of service to the organization, which has seen QDMA grow from less than 3,000 members nationwide to 60,000. Murphy was hired as Executive Director on October 11, 1997.
A wildlife biologist, Murphy had just returned from managing deer in Australia when he was offered the job by QDMA Founder Joe Hamilton. As a Charter Life Member of QDMA, Brian knew the organization well, and he accepted the challenge even though he would be the only full-time employee and the national headquarters would be a spare bedroom in his home in Athens, Georgia. He immediately implemented changes that fueled both membership and financial growth. Membership topped 10,000 in 2000 and the first National Convention was held in 2001.
As membership, staff and outreach levels grew, Murphy secured a 23-acre permanent National Headquarters site in Georgia that opened in 2005. The organization continued producing cutting-edge resources for deer hunters and managers like Deer Steward and the Rack Pack youth initiative, and it entered the realm of advocacy to secure sound policy for whitetails and deer hunters. QDMA’s impact during Murphy’s tenure is clear in the nationwide deer harvest trends during this period: Hunters harvested more antlerless deer than antlered bucks for the first time ever in 1999, and they harvested more 3.5-year-old and older bucks than yearling bucks for the first in 2014.
Under Murphy’s leadership, QDMA has grown to 60,000 members nationwide, its staff has increased from one to nearly 40, and the number of QDMA Branches has increased from less than 20 to 175. In 2011, QDMA received the Career Achievement Award from The Southeast Deer Study Group, and that same year Murphy himself was recognized among Outdoor Life’s Top-25 conservation leaders in the United States.
“On behalf of the QDMA Board, staff and members everywhere, I thank Brian for 20 years of tireless dedication and service to advancing QDMA’s mission,” said QDMA Board Chairman Leon Hank of Michigan. “It’s highly unusual in the nonprofit arena for someone with Brian’s talent to remain with a single organization for such a long period. His contributions are in large part responsible for QDMA’s tremendous growth and reputation as one of the most effective and efficient non-profit conservation organizations in North America.”
“It has been both an honor and privilege to lead this great organization over the past two decades,” Murphy said. “I am extremely grateful to work with the most dedicated, hardest-working team of employees and volunteers in North America. Together, we have fundamentally reshaped modern deer hunting and management. Although many challenges remain, I am confident QDMA will continue to tackle each one as it has since our inception.”
Today, Murphy continues to advance the QDMA mission – ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage – aided by the support of numerous members, QDMA Branch volunteers, and corporate sponsors. As the leader of North America’s most respected and influential whitetail conservation organization, Murphy has rapidly increased awareness and implementation of QDM throughout North America, resulting in healthier, more balanced deer populations and more rewarding hunting experiences, and a brighter future for deer and deer hunters.