Did You Know? NACD has a Presidents Association

The NACD Presidents Association (PA) brings together former and current presidents of state/territory associations so that they may continue to contribute to the improvement of district, state, and national programs that promote natural resource conservation. Everyone who is serving or has served as a presi­dent of a state or territory association of conserva­tion districts is a lifetime member of this prestigious group of conservation leaders.

To this day, the PA strives to keep its members informed and connected, serving as a sounding board for new ideas and encouraging collaboration and partnerships that promote NACD’s mission.

If you are a current or past president and wish to receive updates, news, and special offers related to your work as a conservation leader, or have an interest in participating in areas of your interest, make sure NACD has your updated contact information. You can submit your information to a board member or make any of your changes on NACD’s website.

Did You Know? The Presidents Association:

  • Was added to NACD’s bylaws in 1973 as an affiliate organization to further NACD’s policies and activities by providing a basis for the effective utilization of the talents and experience of current and past state association presidents.
  • Provided leadership and funds to help in purchasing the NACD headquarters building in Washington, D.C., and participated in raising funds to remodel the building.
  • Was a part of the Envirothon study team that recommended the placement of the Envirothon with the National Conservation Foundation (NCF). The PA has a position on the NCF Board of Trustees.
  • Partnered with the NCF for several years to fund a $10,000 competitive award to districts.

Fast forward to 2017…

On a monthly basis, the association’s board holds a conference call. In Denver at NACD’s 2017 Annual Meeting, the PA identified interest areas and volunteered to provide help on a number of tasks, including a strategic plan, partnership and fundraising efforts, Envirothon, Annual Meeting Silent Auction, Hall of Distinction, and the Friends of NACD program.

The PA Strategic Plan committee is chaired by Bill Wilson (bwilson5720[at], 405-202-5691), PA vice president, and has developed a draft strategic plan that will be discussed and voted on at the 2018 annual business meeting in Nashville. The Silent Auction committee, chaired by John Redding, is hard at work planning for NACD’s 2018 Annual Meeting. You can help the PA at this meeting by biding on an auction item, donating one, or volunteering at the PA Auction Booth.

Realizing the need and importance of documenting NACD development over the years, the PA has identified a need for a “historian” on the board. When the League City office in Texas was closed, for instance, its contents were sent to Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames. “Those who helped were careful not to throw anything away that would be necessary and/or helpful in maintaining our history,” Bill Wilson said of the move.

This year, the association also launched a “Regional Reps” Outreach Ambassadors program. PA regional representatives for all seven NACD regions were selected in Denver (and their contact information is below). Some of their responsibilities and actions are to:

  • Represent their respective region.
  • Involve the region presidents more frequently in PA activities.
  • Obtain ideas from regions.
  • Develop relationships with state presidents in the region.
  • Serve on the NACD PA Board of Directors.
  • Serve as liaison from NACD PA to Regions.
  • Participate in monthly/quarterly conference calls.
  • Help develop those items that should be shared nationally.

PA region reps have been speaking at regional and state association meetings…

Ernest Girouard (ernest.girouard[at], 337-852-3986) covered the South Central Region Meeting, and those presidents who were present took on the task of updating contact information for current and past state presidents in the NACD database.

Denise Savageau (denise.savageau[at], 203-918-9693) presented information on the PA at the Northeast Region Meeting that she said was “well received.”

North Central representative Kris Swartz (ks85[at], 419-467-1711) attended the annual CTIC tour/meeting and noted that in 2018 the tour/meeting will be in the Chesapeake Bay area.

Southwest representative Jim Berlier (berlierranch[at], 505-705-3333) said he received good questions from state presidents about the association at the Southwest-Pacific Region Meeting.

Pacific representative Tom Wehri (wehritom[at], 916-447-7237) reported that he is “working on gathering and formatting information for entry into the NACD database for PA members” from his region.

Steve Hedstrom (bsranch[at], 406-738-4332) prepared for the Northern Plains Region Meeting as he and others were dealing with extensive wildfires in his area.

Barbara Perlman-Whyman (bpwhyman[at], 775-842-1140), PA president, reported that after the Denver meeting, she had opportunities to follow up with several key partner contacts during the NACD Spring Fly-In. She met with or called on NACD CEO Jeremy Peters, NCF Chair Steve Robinson, Past NACD President and Past Chair of NCF Rudy Rice, and NACD President Brent Van Dyke. She also spoke with Karen Smart, chair of the NACD Auxiliary. In all cases she reports, “there was enthusiastic support for working with the Presidents Association to reach our mutual goals.” Jeremy added that “aligning the interests of all of the groups is an important step in going forward.”

Barbara also gave a presentation to the NACD board at the summer meeting in Iowa.

A message to all…

If you are a member of the PA and you want to be involved, please contact one of the group’s current board members referenced above or below. The association is here for partnership and greater utilization of our leadership skills and lessons learned!

Irvil Kear, PA Secretary-Treasurer



Pat Sueck, Past PA President



Robert Harbison, PA Southeast Region Representative



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