Author: Cassie Gasaway
The Archery Trade Association’s Matt Kormann, Dan Forster and Jennifer Mazur honored the Quality Deer Management Association and Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries with the ATA’s R3 Partnership Award for their efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate hunters.
The ATA presented the awards during a luncheon on Monday, Sept. 23, at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.
These awards signal the ATA’s appreciation for partners and leaders who grow archery and bowhunting participation. Each partnership and relationship is powerful and unique. Your ATA works with partners on all scales including local, state and national levels, while maintaining and evolving our strategic and collaborative relationships to help grow the sports.
“Your ATA is fortunate to work with great partners throughout the conservation and outdoor recreation communities,” said Matt Kormann, ATA’s CEO/president. “The efforts on behalf of our members in the archery and bowhunting industries have a much greater impact than if we worked alone.”
Chuck Sykes, Alabama’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries director, accepted the award on behalf of the state agency; and Brian Murphy, QDMA’s CEO, accepted the award on behalf of QDMA.
“Selecting a single state for recognition proves challenging each year, but the efforts in Alabama under the direction of Chuck Sykes have improved access and appeal to bowhunting and target archery in a way that we know can benefit every state in the nation,” Kormann said. “Similarly, Brian Murphy and QDMA’s trailblazing effort in its Field to Fork program has brought hundreds of new bowhunters into the woods. Both deserving organizations have been selfless in their efforts to ensure their work gets shared throughout the conservation community.”
Sykes shared his appreciation. “Recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and anglers is a top priority for everyone at our division,” he said. “The ATA has always been a leader in assisting us in achieving this portion of our mission. It’s an honor and a privilege to receive the ATA R3 partnership award on behalf of my entire staff.”
Dan Forster, ATA’s vice president and chief conservation officer, was grateful to give both partners the well-deserved award.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to work with dedicated state agencies and other NGO partners on our shared vision to grow archery and bowhunting participation,” Forster said. “It was especially gratifying to publicly recognize two strong partners for their exemplary collaboration and dedication to growing archery and bowhunting participation.”
The QDMA team is savoring the moment, but recognizes the work is never complete and looks forward to continuing its recruitment efforts.
“QDMA is truly honored to be recognized with this prestigious award,” Murphy said. “Only through strong partnerships, like we enjoy with the ATA, can our industry attract and retain the next generation of hunters. I’m excited to see what we can achieve together in the months and years ahead.”
Natural resource agencies and other industry groups share a common goal of providing outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations. The ATA supports all parties in their efforts to expand the outdoor industry.
“Our work with partners like QDMA and Alabama has benefitted our members through archery and bowhunting participation growth,” said Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s senior director of outreach and education. “The ATA cannot do it alone, but with strategic partners and a shared vision we can really move the needle.”
The selection process for the 2020 R3 Partnership Award begins in July 2020.