2021 Virtual R3 Forum

The 2021 Virtual R3 Forum will provide an opportunity for R3 professionals to connect virtually to share updates. This event will cover data surrounding participation increases and demographic shifts over the past year and engage national R3 efforts in "Keeping the COVID Cohort." Join us on May 5th, 2021 from the comfort of your home and connect with colleagues from across the nation.

A detailed agenda is provided below and a PDF can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. Registration is free, but required. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

2021 Virtual R3 Forum Agenda
'Keeping the COVID Cohort'
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 from 12 to 5 PM Eastern


There will be a panel discussion with all presenters at the end of each session that will allow for question from attendees.


J.D. Strong - Director, OK Department of Wildlife Conservation; Chair, Council Board of Directors


Since inception in 2009, the Council has remained dedicated to our mission to “Facilitate the promotion and growth of hunting and the shooting sports and the education of the public on the contributions that hunters and shooters make towards wildlife conservation.” We will provide an overview of the to-date impact of the Council, introduce new staff, and discuss the future direction of the organization. 

Dr. Steven Leath - Executive Director, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
Swanny Evans - Manager of Partnerships, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports

THE COVID COHORT – A holistic view of participation (12:30PM – 1:30PM) 

With increases across the board creating what we might loosely term as the “COVID Cohort” the question now becomes how do we keep participants engaged. We are going to kick the meeting off with a comprehensive overview of the recent trends in participation and demographic changes to set the stage for the following sessions. 

Stephanie Maez - Managing Director, Outdoor Foundation
Stephanie Hussey - State R3 Program Director, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Nephi Cole - Director of Government Relations State Affairs, National Shooting Sports Foundation
Swanny Evans - Manager of Partnerships, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports

ENGAGING NEW PARTNERS – Time to break out of the silo (1:30PM – 2:30PM)

Alongside participation numbers and demographic shifts, we have seen many newer organizations/initiatives experience substantial growth. Reaching out to develop partnerships in a changing landscape will be crucial to keeping The COVID Cohort. This session will provide a platform for a few of these organizations/initiatives to provide an overview of their mission, the growth they have experienced, and identify how the R3 community can partner with them moving forward.

Jimmy Flatt – Founder & Programs Coordinator, Hunters of Color
Ashley Chance - Southeast Coordinator, Artemis Sportswomen
Stephanie Maez - Managing Director, Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Community
Philip Smith - President & Founder, National African American Gun Association

BREAK (2:30PM – 2:40PM)

TAKING THE CONTENT TO THEM – Going online (2:40PM – 3:40PM)

With the overwhelming majority of Americans using the internet on a daily basis, online learning and certification in the R3 space has been steadily increasing and saw a surge in demand with COVID. This session will highlight the demonstrated increase in demand, potential merits of going online, and the future possibilities.

Alex Baer - Executive Director, International Hunter Education Association
Greg Gulliver - Vice President of Agency Relations, Kalkomey
Ben Berka - President & Executive Director, Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation

ADAPTING TO THEIR NEEDS – Shooting sports considerations (3:40PM – 4:20PM)

As we experience positive trends associated with participation and demographics, there emerges the need to up our capacity and adapt to new audiences’ needs. This session will focus on considerations to take into account when looking at the substantial increases in shooting sports participants, how state agencies can adapt, and highlight a foundation that may be able to help. 

Peter Novotny - Assistant Chief, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife
Scott Reynolds - Executive Director, MidwayUSA Foundation


With the initial proposal deadline fast approaching, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies will provide an overview of the R3 Multistate Conservation Grant Program funds including their origin, who is eligible, the priorities, deadlines, and answer any questions surrounding the process.

Silvana Yaroschuk - Program Manager, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
John Lord - Chief Operating Officer, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies


Close out the 2021 Virtual R3 Forum and announce what to expect for the in-person National R3 Symposium in 2022.

Swanny Evans - Manager of Partnerships, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports