Leaders

CEO Notes
It's the giving that leads to the getting

Our convention and sport show is growing, and so are we. We are firmly rooted as an organization, but now it's time to reach for the sky. It's time to rise and fly. Rise and Fly isn't a new mission or initiative. It's a call to action. 

George Thornton
NWTF CEO

NWTF Board of Directors

Vern Ross
Chairman of the Board
Vern Ross

Vernon Ross has been a dedicated member of the NWTF since 1983. He is a Diamond Life sponsor and president of the NWTF National Board. Ross also served as vice president and chairman of different committees.

He served in the U.S. Army for three years as a corporal in a recon unit. He's held several management positions, such as CEO of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, where he supervised a $72 million budget. He also served as senior sportsmen advisor for Gov. Tom Ridge.

He cofounded the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation and serves as executive director. The Foundation has raised more than $3 million to enhance wildlife habitat, research and education programs.

Ross has been married to Carolyn for 53 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. Three of the grandchildren are serving in the U.S. Army. Dusty is a 1st Lt. 82nd Airborne, Tyler is a 2nd Lt. and Collin is finishing basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Marvin Hartley
President
Marvin Hartley

Marvin Hartley is a Patron life Sponsor of the NWTF. He has been a dedicated NWTF member for more than 30 years and has served on the national board for 12 years. 

During his terms as national director, he attended 100 percent of the board meetings. Marvin serves on several committees and task forces and currently serves as chairman of the Super Fund Committee.

Marvin also has served on the Florida State Board of Directors and as the Jacksonville Chapter president and banquet chairman for several years. He was the first district director for north Florida. His wife, Edie, is vice president of the Florida State Chapter. They are members of several conservation organizations as well as local gun clubs in Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Marvin and his family hunt, fish and enjoy outdoor activities together. he also serves as vice president of his local hunting club.

Vincent Rosdahl
Vice President
Vincent Rosdahl

Vince Rosdahl, member of the NWTF National Board of Directors since 2006, currently serves on the Executive Committee as treasurer. He is a Patron Life Sponsor Member.

Rosdahl has been involved with the NWTF since 1997. He has served as California State Chapter President, California State Chapter Treasurer, local chapter president and founding member of his local chapter, Mount Diablo. He continues to be involved with the Mount Diablo Chapter banquet committee.

He is a CPA and partner with Deloitte Tax, LLP in San Francisco. Rosdahl has a Master of Accountancy from Southern Utah University. He brings more than 20 years of public accounting experience to the national board.

Rosdahl and his wife, Diana, have been married for 25 years and have nine children. Diana is a sponsor member of the Women in the Outdoors program and active in the local chapter. Both are active in their church working with youth. Rosdahl has been active in the Boy Scouts of America and is an Eagle Scout. Three of their five sons also have earned the rank of Eagle, and their other two sons are working toward the Eagle Rank.

Robert Higginbotham
Secretary
Robert Higginbotham

Robert Higginbotham has been a local chapter leader since founding the East Mississippi Chapter in 1992 and remains actively involved. He has served as vice president and president of his state chapter and was on the Mississippi State Board for more than 15 years, until elected to the NWTF National Board in 2008. He currently chairs the Strategic Planning committee for the national board and serves on the Development, Super Fund, Awards and Constitution and By-Laws committees.

Higginbotham is a radiology director at Winston Medical Center in his hometown. He and his family are members of First Presbyterian Church.

“I consider the NWTF a God, family, country organization,” Higginbotham said. “It is a blessing and honor to serve our volunteers, and I am thankful for the opportunity. But I realize that with the blessing comes a responsibility to listen to and communicate with our members.”

Harlan Starr
Treasurer
Harlan Starr

Harlan Starr has been a dedicated turkey hunter and NWTF volunteer since 1984. He has been a member of the national board of directors since 2008, having served on numerous committees.

Harlan helped start the Coosa Valley Chapter in Rome, Ga., and the Northeast Alabama Chapter.

He served on the Alabama Board of Directors for 10 years. He has worked as local chapter president, banquet chairman and district director. He has coordinated JAKES and Women in the Outdoors outreach events and has provided opportunities for people with disabilities to hunt on his farm.

“As a member of the national board, I’m proud to represent the NWTF’s volunteers who work so hard to protect our hunting heritage,” Starr said. “I understand the issues that face state and local chapters and members, and will continue to ensure they have a voice at the national level.”

Richard Morgan
Chief Legal Counsel
Richard Morgan
Sherry Crumley
Virginia
Sherry Crumley

Sherry Crumley is a Diamond Life member and has attended every convention since 1985. She is a past chairman of the Roanoke Valley Chapter, organized its first Woman in the Outdoors event and has served as an advisor for the Virginia State Chapter for several years. She served two terms on the NWTF National Board from 1994 to 2000 and has since spoken at several Diamond life events. 

Sherry has been a member of the Virginia Hunters for the Hungry advisory board since 1991. In 2000, she chaired the Virginia Heritage Foundation, which passed a constitutional amendment that guaranteed Virginians the right to hunt and fish. She is a past chairman of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, as well as an NRA life member who served on the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Committee at the request of three NRA presidents.

She is retired from Trebark Camouflage, the company founded by her husband, Jim. The Crumleys have two sons and daughters-in-law and five grandchildren to who they are passing along their love of hunting and the outdoors. 

Robert Dettmer, M.D.
Missouri
Robert Dettmer, M.D.

Dr. Robert Dettmer is a Diamond Life Sponsor who has worked tirelessly to promote wild turkey conservation and defend our hunting heritage since becoming and NWTF member in 1978. He has served at every level of the NWTF, including its national board of directors, on which he has served since 1995. He is a past president and chairman of the NWTF.

His efforts have been widely recognized with a number of state and national awards, the two most prestigious being the Roger Latham Award in 1989 and the C.B. McLeod Award in 1999.

"Doc" is a retired family physician, a fervent patriot and a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

This lifelong hunter and angler is a life member of the NRA, a longtime sustaining member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and a supporter of Wildlife Forever. 

With never wavering enthusiasm for the NWTF and a passion for its mission, he is honored to serve on the national board of directors. 

Mike Evans
Oklahoma
Mike Evans

Mike Evans, a Guardian Life Member, has served on the national board of directors since 2011. He is chairman of the Hunting Heritage committee and a member of the Constitution and By-Laws, Audit, Building and Development committees.

Evans served as Oklahoma state chapter secretary, vice-president, and president for five years. He continues to serve on three local chapter banquet committees — The Camo and Pearls, Boggy Bottom Longbeards and Little Dixie chapters. Evans was instrumental in developing the Oklahoma Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt and continues to serve on that committee.

Evans and his wife, Becky, have been married for 43 years and have two children and four grandchildren.

“I am thankful my family has always had a rich conservation and hunting legacy,” said Evans. “To have the opportunity to serve and represent the greatest group of volunteers in conservation is a high honor. I am truly excited about our new initiative, Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.”

Jim Hinkle
Arkansas
Jim Hinkle
Scott Hill
New Jersey
Scott Hill

Scott Hill is a past president of the New Jersey State Chapter and founding member of the Highlands Chapter. He has been an active NWTF member for 25 years and currently is a Diamond Life sponsor.

As a board member, Hill currently sits on six committees, chairing one of them. He also belongs to the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance. Both groups help defend our hunting and angling rights in the state. Hill also attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

"I am very honored to have served a term on the NWTF National Board. It has been a privilege to meet so many of our awesome volunteers and be part of the great accomplishments by our members," Hill said. 

Sam Mars III
Tennessee
Sam Mars III

Sam Mars is a Diamond Life member who is completing his fifth term on the national board of directors. His career with the NWTF began nearly 30 years ago and has served the organization in many capacities, holding offices on local and state levels, including Tennessee State Chapter president. he has also served as a national convention chairman.

Sam has received accolades for his work with the NWTF, including his local chapter's outstanding service award, named to the Tennessee Turkey Hunter's Hall of Fame, and the national Roger Latham Service Award. Sam currently serves as president of the national board and is active on numerous committees. He also served as secretary and vice president. 

He is a partner in Mars Properties, a family-owned real estate ventures company neighboring Middlesboro, Ky. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. Sam also serves on other boards, including Commercial Ban and Lincoln Memorial University locally, as well as the Tennessee Wildlife Federation board.

Sam and his wife, Debbie, have five grown children and five grandchildren. 

Jere Peak
Alabama
Jere Peak
Bryan Perry
North Carolina
Bryan Perry

Bryan Perry is a Diamond Life Member who has served eight years on the North Carolina state board, the last four as state president. He also serves his local chapter as banquet chairman.

During his tenure as state chapter president, North Carolina experienced a 200 percent growth in Super Fund revenue, made possible by reinvesting in the local chapter system.

Perry, a 2012 NWTF Roger Latham Award winner, currently serves on the North Carolina Legislature’s Sportsmen’s Advisory Council.

He has been married to his wife, Tammy, for 23 years and they have four children, all of them avid sportsmen. Perry is a graduate of Campbell University and a business owner in Raleigh, N.C.

“As do all volunteers, I have a passionate belief in the mission of the NWTF,” Perry said. “As a chapter leader, I recognize planning and fiscal responsibility are equally important. These priorities are my compass as an NWTF volunteer.”

Ronnie Reagin
Georgia
Ronnie Reagin

For more than 30 years, Ronnie Reagin has strived to support the mission and goals of the NWTF. Founding and serving as president of the Double Gobble Chapter in Moultrie, he takes pride that it has been a Golden Gobbler Chapter since established and is a Diamond Life Chapter. He has been a member of the Georgia State Chapter Board for 14 years, where he has served as vice president and is currently in his second term as president. Reagin is a Diamond Life sponsor of the NWTF and a Life Member of the NRA.

Reagin is a licensed real estate agent and auctioneer in Florida and Georgia. He's been married to Susan for 41 years and has two children and four grandchildren. He serves as a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Moultrie.

"I pledge to make sure your voices are represented on the national level and respectfully ask for your support," Reagin said. "Together we will fulfill our mission to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt."

Parks Shackelford
Virginia
Parks Shackelford

Parks Shackelford grew up on a farm in Louisiana and moved to Virginia about 25 years ago. He is a lifelong avid hunter and fisherman and is a Diamond Life Sponsor. Shackelford was elected to the NWTF National Board for his first term in 2011 and has attended every board meeting. He has been most active on the Conservation and Hunting Heritage committees, and has a particular interest in the NWTF’s relationship with and participation in federal and state government agencies and programs. Shackelford is a member of numerous conservation organizations and his local gun club.

Although not a product of the chapter leadership system, Shackelford strongly supports the NWTF’s local and state chapter structure and recognizes our volunteers are the strength of the organization and their dedication is what makes NWTF so unique. Shackelford is committed to reaffirming our public image as “the hunter’s advocate.”

Parks and his wife, Julie Anna, spend much of their time raising three young children and teaching them to love hunting and the outdoors.

Peggy Anne Vallery
Arizona
Peggy Anne Vallery

Peggy Anne Vallery is an accomplished hunter and conservationist who wants to use her experience to further the impact of the NWTF. More than 20 years into her membership, she is a past president and former chairman of the NWTF National Board.

One of the greatest accomplishments in her NWTF career is keeping past national board members involved in the organization.

This Guardian Life sponsor of the NWTF has spent many hours in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the NWTF, protecting our Second Amendment rights and preserving our nation's hunting heritage.

Her hunting career has taken her across the globe, including: Africa, Europe, China, Australia, Mexico and North America, but says wild turkey are her favorite. She's completed her wild turkey World Slam.

Vallery is involved in NWTF programs across the country, but her devotion to wildlife and hunting extends beyond our ranks, having served on numerous boards for wildlife and conservation groups. She was inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame in 2010.

Louis Yount
South Carolina
Louis Yount

Louis Yount began his NWTF career in 1979 on the South Carolina Board of Directors. He was elected to the national board in 1987 and has served as vice president, president and chairman. 

He has missed only one board meeting in his 25-year tenure and is a Patron Life Sponsor. He received the Roger Latham and C.B. McLeod service awards and has attended more than 215 fundraising events. He co-chaired the Black Creek Chapter banquet for its first 15 years and has served as sponsor chairman and banquet emcee for the last 12. The chapter has been recognized for raising more than $1 million for the wild turkey.

"I'm proud to have been involved with the start of our banquet program, which has funded Target 2000, Making Tracks and the Hunting Heritage Super Fund. Without the hard work of our national staff, the Technical Committee, chapter leaders and other dedicated volunteers, the NWTF would not be the best conservation organization in existence."

NWTF Executive Staff

George C. Thornton
Chief Executive Officer
George C. Thornton
Becky Humphries
Chief Conservation and Operations Officer
Becky Humphries
Ellen Lintal
Chief Financial Officer
Ellen Lintal
Doug Saunders
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer
Doug Saunders
James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D.
Development Advisor
James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D.

James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D. is the Development Advisor to the CEO and is the Chief Conservation Officer emeritus.  He has been employed by the NWTF for 35 years.  Prior to joining the NWTF team for 10 years he was a tenured Assistant and Associate Professor at Auburn University.  He is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club. 

He has a B. S. in Game Management from Auburn University and M.S. and Ph.D. in Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University.

Dave Mahlke
Senior VP of Field Operations/Volunteer Relations
Dave Mahlke
Karen Lee
Vice President of Communications
Karen Lee