What do you get when you combine the talents of a hometown publishing mogul, a celebrated college head football coach and a nationally renowned artist – all promoting the same cause?
Board members of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation are about to find out.
Less than a week ago, they promoted one of their own, Dan Hammond, to chair the organization’s board of directors, while also adding former UT Head Football Coach Phil Fulmer and wildlife artist Phillip Crowe to the mix, according to a news release.
Hammond’s company, American Hometown Publishing, runs several of West Tennessee’s hometown newspapers, including the TriCity Reporter in Dyer, The Brownsville States-Graphic, The Chester County Independent, and a percentage of the Herald-Gazette in Trenton and The Humboldt Chronicle.
Hammond founded the company in 2007, where he is chairman and chief executive officer.
Crowe will serve on the board of directors, and Fulmer will become a statewide ambassador, having recently joined the organization’s advisory board, the release said.
Since 1946, the federation “has a 65-year track record of success in protecting the interests of wildlife, habitat and those who care about them, and I have been honored to be a part of it for the last decade,” Hammond said.
Mike Butler, the federation’s CEO, spoke of the tag team’s potential.
“All three of these men have contributed significant time, effort and resources to wildlife through their work with the federation,” Butler said. “Their continued support will facilitate our growth and multiply our impact, and we’re lucky to have them on our team.”
When asked Thursday evening about the federation’s top goals, Butler mentioned serving all Tennesseans, not to mention the abundant wildlife that calls the state home.
The No. 1 goal is “to serve as an advocate for our state’s wildlife and its habitat,” and Butler emphasized that the organization’s second goal is to “protect the interests of those who love our wildlife and our outdoor traditions.”
He also mentioned youth, student-athletes and Tennessee’s less fortunate, saying another goal is “to introduce kids (including those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity) to the wonders of nature through our Great Outdoors University program, which provided meaningful outdoor opportunities to more than 1,700 underserved youth in 2010.”
Among other goals outlined by Butler are “to continue to develop the Scholastic Clay Target Program, which encourages more than 2,000 student-athletes (boys and girls) to compete at the national level;” and to continue to benefit the ‘Hunters for the Hungry’ program, “which provides more than 400,000 meals to food banks across the state each year.”
Habitat management and wildlife restoration initiatives also will be top priority, Butler said.
Coming tomorrow: Find out more about Fulmer’s role and Crowe’s work, which has benefited wildlife and habitat in the millions of dollars.
Coming Saturday: Read a short Q&A with Mike Butler, CEO of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Coming up: I hope to talk with Hammond, Fulmer and Crowe this week to learn more about their vision for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation this year, so be checking back frequently.