EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The success of any organization begins with leadership, and the National Wild Turkey Federation’s success is made possible in part by its volunteer-led National Board of Directors. Focused on the NWTF mission, setting goals and objectives for the organization, and working on strategy and planning, the national board guides future mission delivery.
The NWTF welcomed its newest board members in 2023 with thanks to those who continue to serve on its National Board of Directors. Six members were elected to serve on the board with three-year terms beginning in 2023. Marc Brinkmeyer, Parks Shackelford (vice president) and Bryan Perry (national president) were reelected. In addition, Craig Harris and Joe Shults were elected to serve.
Sadly, Robert Higginbotham, a long-serving board member and former national president who was reelected to the board in February, passed away in early March following a long illness. Higginbotham’s seat may be filled as determined by the board of directors.
Zebulon, North Carolina
Bryan Perry currently serves as president of the NWTF National Board of Directors and is board chairman for the Strategic Planning and Executive committees. Previously he served as the national board’s vice president and secretary and has been a member of multiple committees to help direct the future of the NWTF.
Prior to his election to the National Board of Directors in 2014, Perry served for 10 years on the North Carolina State Board, leading as chapter president for four of those years. A dedicated and active NWTF volunteer for more than 25 years, Perry won the NWTF Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award in 2012 as a vital volunteer who has made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation. He was a charter member of his local Franklin County Longbeards Chapter in Louisburg, North Carolina, where he remains engaged in the activities of the chapter.
Parks Shackelford grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana and moved to Virginia about 30 years ago. He is a lifelong avid hunter and fisherman and is a Guardian Life Sponsor. Shackelford is completing his fourth term on the NWTF National Board and has participated in every board meeting. He has served as chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee, as secretary, and is currently vice president of the board. He has been active in governance, conservation and hunting heritage issues and has a particular interest in the NWTF partnering with other entities to leverage and multiply our organization’s dollars to increase the return on our members’ investment. Shackelford is a member of numerous conservation organizations and his local gun club.
Marc Brinkmeyer is the owner and CEO of Idaho Forest Group, one of America’s largest lumber producers. Since inception, IFG has been the largest lumber producer in the Intermountain West, producing more than 1.2 billion board feet annually.
Born and raised a fifth generation Iowa farmer, Brinkmeyer graduated from Buena Vista University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1968. He began his career with Arthur Anderson and Company, before becoming chief financial officer and a member of the board of directors for the Brand-S Corporation.
Brinkmeyer has decades of involvement in industry organizations and conservation. He has served as chairman and committee chair of the Softwood Lumber Association, American Wood Council and Western Wood Products Association. He serves on the Lakes Commission, appointed by the governor of Idaho, and has served as a U.S. delegate to the European International Softwood Conference.
He is an accomplished business leader, a champion of education and innovation, and a longtime philanthropist. His commitment to education includes funding wood-products research with MIT and LSU. Brinkmeyer is a member of Boone and Crockett and the National Wild Turkey Federation, and sponsors both organizations’ memberships with the Western Governors Association. He and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, and remain active in the support of their communities and regions where IFG is located.
Craig Harris has been a dedicated NWTF volunteer since 1989. He has been a founding member of two local chapters and has been president and banquet chairman of the Barbour County Chapter since 1996. Harris has been a member of the Alabama State Chapter board of directors for 22 years, serving two terms each of the following offices: secretary, treasurer and vice president. He is currently serving in his second term as state chapter president. During his time as president, Alabama has been a national leader in fundraising. On the national level, he currently serves on the Super Fund work group. Representing the NWTF, Harris has worked the Alabama Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt since its inception in 2002.
Harris recently retired from Southern Company after 38½ years of service. He held several positions through the years in engineering, marketing and operations. During the last 10 years of his career, he served as the distribution support manager for the Southeast Division of Alabama Power.
Joe E. Shults
Joe Shults has served on the Tennessee State Chapter Board of Directors for 21 years. During that tenure, he was vice president for nine years under two different presidents and served two terms as state chapter president. Shults was a charter member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter as well as a charter member of the French Broad River Longbeards, where he served as chapter president for nine years and is currently serving as chapter treasurer.
For 30 years, he has been the owner and CEO of Joe’s Sporting Goods and has also worked as an affiliate real estate broker for 16 years and a real estate appraiser for 15 years. Shults is also co-owner and co-founder of The Rival, a digital hunting show. He was also a co-owner/founder of Elev8 Marketing, an advertising firm of which he was the company’s chief financial officer.
Current National Board of Directors:
Harlan Starr - Chairman
Bryan Perry – President
Parks Shackelford – Vice president
Ronnie Reagin - Treasurer
Phil Savage – Secretary
Ray “Bear” Davidson
Dr. Robert Dettmer
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF's 50 th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization's mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50 th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF's people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.
National Wild Turkey Federation
PO Box 530
Edgefield South Carolina 29824
For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698 or email@example.com