FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2019
Washington, D.C. – The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) recently hosted their 109th annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. A segment of this meeting features an awards banquet where several of the year’s most influential individuals are recognized for their work and contributions to the Association. This year, the Council’s own Director of Operations, Samantha Pedder, was presented the Mark J Reeff Award, recognizing a distinguished young professional, under 35 years old, in the field of fish and wildlife. The nomination to present Pedder with this award was backed by the regional R3 Committees of AFWA, industry and NGO partner organizations including Archery Trade Association, Wildlife Management Institute, and the Council, as well as a several individuals.
To quote Kris McCarthy, Associate Director/CFO of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, “Samantha, at the young age of 30, has already become a legend in the world of R3. Through her current position as the Director of [Operations] for the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports and her previous work with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Pennsylvania Game Commission she has become a trusted advisor to state directors and other R3 leaders across the nation.”
Tom Decker, Wildlife Biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service noted, “We all know there are huge challenges facing fish and wildlife agencies in general, and Samantha is clearly in a key position to influence and lead organizational changes across our profession.”
Former Chief Wildlife Biologist for New York, Gordon Batcheller shared the sentiment, “ I believe that if Mark could somehow see Sam in action, he would smile, laugh, and rejoice in the knowledge that our profession and the future of hunting, shooting, and angling is in good hands.”
Pedder commented, “It is an honor to be recognized for this award and to share the stage with other champions in our field. To know that so many people support our efforts and recognize the work we are pursuing is both humbling and motivating. As a profession we have many opporutnities ahead of us and I hope that we can achieve just a portion of the impact that Mark Reeff had. The work is just beginning and I am honored to have a chance to make those opportunities a reality.”