February 25, 2008
Chairman’s Awards Presented to Standout Volunteers
MISSOULA, Mont.—Conservationists from Arizona, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin are the newest recipients of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Chairman’s Awards. The awards recognize volunteers for standout contributions of time and energy toward ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
Chairman’s Awards were given during the Elk Foundation’s 24th annual convention, which concluded Feb. 24 in Reno.
Bryan and Jacque Stark of Tucson, Ariz.
Curtis Christiansen of Giddings, Texas
Frank McMahon of Olympia, Wash.
Gib Kleckner of Madison, Wis.
“The work of these individuals last year was a real inspiration to the 10,000-plus of us who volunteer for the Elk Foundation—and together we enjoyed a tremendous year in 2007,” said Andy Hoxsey, chairman of the board for the Elk Foundation.
Elk Foundation volunteers drove a 2007 banquet season that finished $1.1 million above budgeted net revenue projections. In turn, the organization enjoyed a monster year on the ground. The Elk Foundation last year helped to enhance more acres of elk habitat and complete more land protection projects than anytime in its history, propelling its lifetime total impact to 5.2 million acres. It’s an effort that will benefit hunters and wildlife enthusiasts for generations to come.
Award recipients included outstanding volunteers from each of four regions. Here’s more info about the winners:
Bryan and Jacque Stark, Tucson, Ariz.—In the Southwest Region, the Starks have shown that you don’t need a fancy volunteer title to help conserve elk country. As habitat partners and active committee members on the Tucson Chapter committee, Bryan and Jacque contribute greatly to Elk Foundation events. When a project or event needs financial support, the Starks always lead the pack with a generous donation and then recruit others to follow. Their support and gusto has rubbed off on their family as well, who have all become Elk Foundation members, volunteers or life members.
Curtis Christiansen, Giddings, Texas—In the Southeast Region, Christiansen has been Texas state chair since 2005. After joining as a life member in 2001, he served as chair for the Austin Chapter in 2003. He also helped found and remains a co-chair of the Dime Box Chapter, three-year winner of the No. 1 net-to-gross chapter award. Christiansen has been instrumental in the Trans Pecos Elk Study and attends many functions to offer support as both a worker and leader. Curtis is a Habitat Partner and serves on the Texas State Leadership Team.
Frank McMahon, Olympia, Wash.—In the Northwest Region, McMahon has served as co-chair of the Olympia Chapter, committee member for the Mt. Rainier Chapter, district chair and Washington state chair. He was instrumental in establishing a state leadership team in Washington and breathed new life into the statewide rendezvous. To further a Tieton River Canyon acquisition project, McMahon set up tours, courted potential donors and kept committees informed. He has represented the Elk Foundation as a board member of the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition, and has recruited and inspired volunteers for three state workshops.
Gib Kleckner, Madison, Wis.—In the Northeast Region, Kleckner has been the driving force behind the Badger Chapter for 18 years, never wavering from his commitment to the Elk Foundation. Kleckner co-founded the Badger Life/Sponsor special event and through skilled leadership and salesmanship has helped generate over $60,000 for elk projects in Wisconsin and other Great Lakes states. An avid hunter with an ever-present smile, Kleckner is constantly thinking of new and exciting ideas to generate income and further the Elk Foundation's mission.