NWTF Receives Award of Excellence
The National Wild Turkey Federation, best known as a first-class national conservation organization with a down home attitude and a home base in Edgefield, S.C. was presented with the 2003 Award of Excellence as one of South Carolina's Fastest-Growing Companies.
The NWTF employs over 225 people in the United States and Canada. In addition to over 140 professionals located at the NWTF's headquarters, staff includes regional directors, Women in the Outdoors coordinators, Wheelin' Sportsmen coordinators and regional biologists. Their offices are located throughout the U.S. and Canada and they work closely with chapters in their region providing services to the NWTF's half-million members.
The Wild Turkey Center includes the Winchester Museum; Federal Conference Center; Turkey Shoppe, the NWTF's gift shop; Outdoor Education Center; and warehouse space.
"The Federation is one of Edgefield's largest employers and is certainly one of our county's crown jewels," said John Kemp, an Edgefield resident who was instrumental in bringing the NWTF to Edgefield in the `70s. "Many of our residents may not be aware of the important role it plays not only here in Edgefield, but all across this great nation."
Kemp also mentioned the Federation has brought in quality people to Edgefield and other towns in S.C. who dedicate themselves to their community through churches, civic groups, athletic clubs and other organizations.
Reflecting the Federation's fast-paced growth, expansion is underway to double the size of the Wild Turkey Center and its warehouse space to support the NWTF's outreach and conservation programs.
"Growth and progress define the NWTF," said Carl Brown, NWTF Chief Operating Officer. "This expansion is critical to manage the growth in membership and to maintain quality programs."
Success like the NWTF's can usually be attributed to a leader, or a group of leaders, with keen business foresight. The NWTF's working board of directors is composed of leaders elected by the membership and the board, who work with Federation management to keep NWTF directives in line with its grassroots base.
"The Federation realizes a major part of the wild turkey success story should be devoted to wildlife agencies, NWTF volunteers and corporate partners," said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. "Our Board of Directors, who are NWTF volunteers, should also be recognized for working closely with our headquarters staff as a voice of the general membership."
The idea of working for the wild turkey was made official in Fredricksburg, Va., on March 28, 1973, when the organization was chartered. But, it didn't take long before a group of turkey hunters would assist the fledgling Federation to set up a permanent shop in Edgefield, S.C.