Terry Wilson – Election for Vice President of NAVHDA
NAVHDA BACKGROUND – I have been an active NAVHDA member for 16 years on both local and International levels. As a longtime member of the Yankee Chapter, I volunteer regularly as a gunner and bird planter. I have trained and tested my German wirehairs to multiple NA and UT prizes and Versatile Champion titles. I am a NAVHDA judge and an Invitational volunteer.
Over the years I have helped many chapters through fundraising and donations for their programs, equipment, and other major purchases. I arranged and underwrote the Wingshooting USA filming of the 2015 Invitational. I was co-designed and underwrote the large display panels used in the NAVHDA Pheasant Fest booth, the annual meeting, and elsewhere.
My company, Ugly Dog Hunting, has been a NAVHDA International corporate sponsor for 16 years and an event donor for the Annual Meetings and Invitationals.
Seven years ago, I co-founded the NAVHDA Youth Endowment Fund – the catalyst for two out of the three NAVHDA youth programs today.
PLATFORM – I am running independently, not aligned with anyone else running for a NAVHDA office.
- Corporate Sponsors – We have four corporate sponsors. There is no reason why we cannot add three or four more. An organization with 11,000 members offers significant impact to potential sponsors in terms of exposure and reach. Additional sponsors would not only bring in funds but would also broaden NAVHDA’s visibility. As VP, I would use my industry contacts in the wingshooting and hunting dog community to help bring in more corporate sponsors.
- Conservation Partners – Many of our members hunt waterfowl and support Ducks Unlimited. I would work hard to create a partnership with DU and more conservation organizations. As with our current partners, sharing support and chapter connections would be a win-win situation for all.
- Invitational – Due to the increase in yearly participants, the Invitational faces tremendous pressure to meet its needs for staffing, grounds, and funding. I have heard many feasible options for relieving that pressure. I would work with the EC, Invitational Committee, chapter leaders, members, and the Managing Director to develop a fair, balanced plan accommodating more than one event per year and making the Invitational more accessible to members in different regions.
- Apprentice Judge Scholarship Program – With local chapter support and International’s program combined, our ability to attract and retain new apprentices will be substantial. Several chapters offer their own apprentice judge scholarships. I would help other local chapters set up similar programs.
- Anti-Hunting Dog Legislation – Every year, a number of states propose legislation that would inhibit or outright ban hunting with dogs. These bills usually address the “low-hanging fruit” such as bear or coyote dogs, acknowledging that rabbit and bird dogs would be next. I would set up a network reaching out to other dog clubs and hunting organizations to share information on pending bills and collaborate in the fight for our right to breed, own, train, and hunt with our dogs.
THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MOVING FORWARD
The dramatic growth of NAVHDA’s membership necessitates growth in its leadership. If I’ve learned one thing on the RGS/AWS Board, it is that the member-volunteers are the backbone of an organization like ours.
The Executive Council has led NAVHDA well over the years in many ways, but given the size and diversity of our current membership, the EC should evolve its leadership style into one with far greater trust in the perspectives and skills of both our Managing Director and chapter leaders.
According to NAVHDA Bylaws, each newly elected or re-elected President appoints the Directors with approval by vote of the officers. Thus, just four people pick the rest of the EC. In the past, individuals from the general membership have not been encouraged to apply for these directorships. I hope many of the talented and experienced members across the country will step up and ask to be considered for these positions. NAVHDA has a terrific untapped resource there from which to draw its very best leaders.
What would I bring to the EC?
With well over a decade on the Board of Directors of RGS as well as involvement with other conservation and wingshooting organizations, I am skilled at solving problems based on input from the membership rather than solely through the perspective of the board. I also know a board is most effective when it works in a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration.
Having worked my entire career in the corporate world, I understand the reciprocal value of sponsorships. I know how to talk to potential sponsors, and I have insider’s knowledge of the different sectors of our sporting dog community – merchandisers, habitat organizations, legislative groups, and, of course, hunting dog organizations. This gives me a unique view of NAHVDA’s place in this community as we continue to evolve as one of the best hunting dog organizations in the country.
NAVHDA Life Member
- Founder and owner of the Ugly Dog Hunting Company (20+ years), wingshooting and hunting dog supply retailer
- Before Ugly Dog, I worked in several different industries including ten years as Purchasing Director for the Rossignol Ski Company. In 1990, I formed Carts Vermont, manufacturing big-wheel wooden garden carts. Upon selling the company in 2000, I launched Ugly Dog, crediting its inspiration to Scrub, my first German wirehair.
- Former chair and current member of the Board of Directors of the Ruffed Grouse Society / American Woodcock Society
- Life member of Ducks Unlimited
- Life member of Pheasants Forever
- Life member of Quail Forever
- Chair of the Green Mountain Chapter of RGS / AWS
Co-Founder of the Track2wing Project
- Track2wing grants Action trackchairs to individuals with mobility challenges who currently hunt or train with hunting dogs or would like to do so. Since its inception in 2020, Track2wing has granted 19 trackchairs to hunters across the country, many of whom are or have become NAVHDA members.