NWTF announces newly elected board members

EDGEFIELD, SC — The success of any organization begins with leadership, and the success of the National Wild Turkey Federation is made possible in part by its volunteer-run National Board of Directors. Focused on the mission of the NWTF, setting goals and objectives for the organization and working on strategy and planning, the national board guides the delivery of the future mission.

The NWTF welcomed its new board members in 2023 and thanked those who continue to serve on its National Board of Directors. Six members were elected to serve on the board for three-year terms beginning in 2023. Marc Brinkmeyer, Parks Shackelford (Vice Chairman) and Bryan Perry (National President) were re-elected. Additionally, Craig Harris and Joe Shults were chosen to serve.

Sadly, Robert Higginbotham, a long-serving board member and former national president who was re-elected to the board in February, passed away in early March after a long illness. Higginbotham’s position may be filled as determined by the board of directors.

bryan perry

Zebulon, North Carolina

Bryan Perry currently serves as Chairman of the NWTF National Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Board of the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees. He previously served as vice president and secretary of the national board and has served on various committees to help steer the future of the NWTF.

Prior to his election to the National Board of Directors in 2014, Perry served 10 years on the North Carolina State Board, leading as chapter president for four of those years. As a dedicated and active NWTF volunteer for more than 25 years, Perry won the NWTF Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award in 2012 as a vital volunteer who has made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation. He was a founding member of his local Franklin County Longbeards chapter in Louisburg, North Carolina, where he continues to be involved in chapter activities.

Shackelford Parks

Arlington, Virginia

Parks Shackelford grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana and moved to Virginia about 30 years ago. He is a lifelong avid hunter and fisherman and is a Guardian Life patron. Shackelford is completing his fourth term on the NWTF National Board and has participated in all board meetings. He has served as Chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee, as Secretary, and is currently Vice Chairman of the Board. He has been active on governance, conservation and hunting heritage issues and has a particular interest in the NWTF partnering with other entities to leverage and multiply our organization’s dollars to increase our members’ return on investment. Shackelford is a member of numerous conservation organizations and his local gun club.

Mark Brinkmeyer

Sandpoint, Idaho

Marc Brinkmeyer is the owner and CEO of the Idaho Forest Group, one of the largest lumber producers in the United States. Since its inception, IFG has been the largest lumber producer in the Intermountain West, producing more than 1.2 billion board feet annually.

Born and raised as a fifth-generation Iowa farmer, Brinkmeyer graduated from Buena Vista University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1968. He began his career at Arthur Anderson and Company, before becoming chief financial officer and a member of the board of directors of the brand. -S Corporation

Brinkmeyer has decades of involvement with conservation and industry organizations. He has served as president and committee chair of the Softwood Lumber Association, American Wood Council, and Western Wood Products Association. He is a member of the Lakes Commission, appointed by the governor of Idaho, and has served as the US delegate to the International European Softwood Lumber Conference.

He is an accomplished business leader, a champion of education and innovation, and a longtime philanthropist. His commitment to education includes funding wood products research with MIT and LSU. Brinkmeyer is a member of Boone and Crockett and the National Wild Turkey Federation, and sponsors both organizations’ memberships with the Western Governors Association. He and his wife, Vicki, have two children and are active in supporting their communities and regions where IFG is located.

craig harris

Eufaula, Alabama

Craig Harris has been a dedicated NWTF volunteer since 1989. He has been a founding member of two local chapters and has been the Barbour County chapter president and banquet chair since 1996. Harris has served on the board of directors for the state chapter of Alabama for 22 years, serving two terms each of the following offices: secretary, treasurer, and vice president. He is currently serving in his second term as state chapter president. During his time as president, Alabama has been a national leader in fundraising. Nationally, he currently serves on the Super Fund task force. Representing the NWTF, Harris has worked on the Alabama Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt since its inception in 2002.

Harris recently retired from the Southern Company after 38 1/2 years of service. He held various positions over the years in engineering, marketing and operations. For the last 10 years of his career, he served as the distribution support manager for Alabama Power’s Southeast Division.

Joe E Shults

Newport, Tennessee

Joe Shults has served on the Tennessee State Chapter Board of Directors for 21 years. During that term, he was vice president for nine years under two different presidents and served two terms as state chapter president. Shults was a founding member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter, as well as a founding member of the French Broad River Longbeards, where he served as chapter president for nine years and currently serves as chapter treasurer.

He has been the owner and CEO of Joe’s Sporting Goods for 30 years and has also worked as an affiliated real estate broker for 16 years and as a real estate appraiser for 15 years. Shults is also the co-owner and co-founder of The Rival, a digital hunting show. He was also the co-owner/founder of Elev8 Marketing, an advertising company for which he was the company’s CFO.

Current National Board of Directors:

Harlan Starr – President
Bryan Perry – President
Shackelford Parks – Vice President
Ronnie Reagin – Treasurer
Phil Savage – Secretary
david baron
Mark Brinkmeyer
richard childress
Ray “Bear” Davidson
Linda Demmer
Dr Robert Dettmer
dal dyches
craig harris
chris hinkle
ben noble
marcia polhamus
joe shults

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.

2023 is the 50th of the NWTF he anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.