Vetter becomes 3rd CEO in the organization’s 40-year history following Howard Vincent’s retirement later this year
The Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National Board of Directors has selected Marilyn Vetter as the organization’s next President and CEO. She brings twenty-five years of strategic leadership, business management, and volunteer experience to the role. Vetter has served as a member of the organization’s National Board of Directors since 2015, most recently as Vice President, and will succeed long-time President and CEO Howard Vincent upon his retirement later this year.
“Marilyn rose to the top after an exhaustive nationwide search that drew interest from an impressive and diverse list of candidates,” said Matt Kucharski, PF & QF National Board of Directors Chairman. “She brings a unique set of skills, experience and vision, and has a firm understanding of the organization’s future strengths and opportunities. Her story as a dedicated volunteer, lifelong birddog lover, and winghunter passionate about our habitat mission and long-term success will resonate with members, donors, conservation partners, and staff at Pheasant Country and the quails”.
Vetter’s professional experience has focused on strategic management, government affairs, marketing and communications. She has held leadership positions at Horizon Therapeutics, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Organon, Inc. and has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks.
Vetter was born and raised in a family of hunters and farmers in Anamoose, North Dakota. His professional career took her to the Chicago area for three years. She now calls New Richmond, Wisconsin home, where she and her husband Clyde own and operate Sharp Shooter’s Kennel. In addition to serving on the PF & QF National Board of Directors, she has also served on the Executive Council of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association for over two decades and on the Board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
“Working alongside stellar employees, dedicated volunteers and chapter members, and committed partners and patrons is an honor few leaders experience,” Vetter exclaimed. “Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are remarkably healthy organizations with a strong and established vision. I look forward to continuing the critical work of the organization and delighted to be a part of its dynamic future.”
Vetter becomes the third CEO in the organization’s 40-year history. Jeff Finden served in that position from the organization’s formation in 1982 until Vincent succeeded him in 2000. During Vincent’s tenure, Pheasants Forever has become one of the nation’s most respected wildlife conservation organizations dedicated to developing of habitat, education and defense. The organization, which includes Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, has more than 425 employees and 400,000 members, supporters and partners. In its history, “The Habitat Organization” has been responsible for delivering more than 24 million acres of upland habitat that benefits pheasants, quail and other wildlife.
“Howard’s leadership has transformed Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever into the leading upland habitat organization in the country. His enthusiasm and his commitment to the mission and to the employees and members of the organization is an example of his character. I am lucky to be able to learn from him these next few months before he goes into his well-deserved retirement,” Vetter said.
“I am delighted with the Board’s selection of Marilyn as our next CEO. Our volunteers, members, partners and employees will find in her a passionate conservationist, collaborative leader and dynamic personality,” added Vincent. “I have great confidence that our mission is in capable hands.”
Vetter, who will join on February 1, will participate as incoming CEO at the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Minneapolis from February 17-19. She is scheduled to speak with volunteers from the PF and QF chapters during a National Convention luncheon on Saturday, February 18.the and will also be performing on the main stage at the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic at noon on Sunday, February 19.the for a “State of Conservation Panel” that will also include Vincent and the executive directors of the Ruffed Grouse Society, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wildlife Management Institute, among others. Find more information about the event at www.PheasantFest.org.
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters, and partners is dedicated to protecting our highlands through habitat improvement, public access, education, and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent—the only national conservation organization to operate through this grassroots structure. Since its inception in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.