Plenary Session Details

Monday, October 28 | 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Ballroom

Preliminary Agenda 

  • 8:30 AM | Welcome – Emily Cope, Deputy Director, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
    • Color Guard
    • National Anthem
  • 8:45 AM | Opening Remarks – Robert Boyles, Jr., Interim Director, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • 9:00 AM | Thinking of Land: A Lyrical Wander Through SC with Thoughts on Why Conservation Matters Even More in Small Places – Drew Lanham
  • 9:30 AM | Minding The Gap...Welcome to the Conservation of Tomorrow – Connie Parker
  • 10:00 AM | Coffee Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:30 AM | Your Purpose on Purpose: The First Step in Building Your Personal Legacy and Continuing Ours Together – Tom Davidson
  • 11:15 AM | Closing Remarks & Raffle – Emily Cope, Deputy Director, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • 11:30 AM | Adjourn

About the Presenters & Their Presentations

Tom Davidson

Your Purpose on Purpose: The First Step in Building Your Personal Legacy and Continuing Ours Together

Tom DavidsonIn addition to working in and for the great outdoors, most natural resource professionals will say they are here to make a difference, but what difference will you make that is unique to you? Building a legacy is no accident, and it’s not just for the big names with the big jobs. It’s for each one of us, and it’s the accumulation of small, purposeful acts of individuals who know their talents and own their personal missions in the bigger picture. This session will help you discover, articulate and commit to your personal purpose, so that we build – rather than just maintain – the legacy we have be given.

Tom Davidson is a forester who became vice president of human resources and organization development in the forest products sector by the age of 40. As a business owner, consultant, speaker, author, trainer and executive coach for the last 20 years, Tom has become the most recognized leadership development professional in forestry and natural resources. In addition, he produces the Leadership Nature Podcast, is recipient of the top national communication award from the Society of American Foresters, and is author of The 8 Greatest Mistakes New Managers Make: Surviving your transition to a leadership position. 

J. Drew Lanham

Thinking of Land: A Lyrical Wander through SC with Thoughts on Why Conservation Matters Even More in Small Places

J. Drew LanhamDr. Lanham will go from Upstate to Lowcountry with reflections on how his home place state has managed to become a place for wildness and wildlife to thrive. He'll broach how successes and challenges have converged in the Palmetto State and why the consideration of culture and being intentionally inclusive are critical components for our success going forward.

A native of Edgefield, South Carolina, J. Drew Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and Carolina Writers at Home. An Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, he and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.

Connie Parker

Connie ParkerMinding The Gap...Welcome to the Conservation of Tomorrow

In today’s world of ever shifting conservation values and commitments, we find ourselves in the gap between science and business. The two former mental models are being squeezed into an existence.  Instead of just delivering science and a conservation model we are finding ourselves in multiple dialogues, interacting, communicating, gaining knowledge, and then using that to create new paradigms for science and conservation through the language of business and investor relations.

Our new blending might result in amplifying and rebranding a voice that more people can hear.  Today’s address will talk about the future of our science/conservation work, how we talk about it, and, how we deliver what we do.

Minding the Gap in science and business represents a new innovative model for longevity and success for land, water, fish and wildlife and ultimately for the stewardship of what we all love, the continuation of what we have been given to protect and grow.

Ms. Parker most recently was Director of Stewardship and Corporate Sustainability for Pure Fishing, Inc. a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods, and reels. She also founded, CSPARKERGROUP, a company focused on reorganization, restructuring, and revitalization of mid-market companies in transition, both private and public. She was Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Director of the JE Robert Company located in McLean, Virginia for fifteen years. Prior to JER, Ms. Parker held a management position with Feld Entertainment Company, the parent organization of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey and Walt Disney's World on Ice. Her business career began at Barnett Banks where she served as a Vice President of Corporate and Commercial Marketing as well as a regional Vice President for Human Resources. Currently, Ms. Parker is a board member of Banker's Insurance, in Florida, where she served as Chairman of Audit, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management and is currently the Chairman of Compensation as well as a family board member. Ms. Parker's involvement in the not-for-profit sector spans state and national organizations. She is a Trustee of Florida House, the only State Embassy in America, located in Washington, D.C. She served as Development Chair and on the Executive Committee.  

Her state and national professional involvement is in natural resource conservation. She serves on the Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and most recently, was elected to the National Board of Ducks Unlimited and is also a member of the DU policy council, a council devoted to issues of wetland and waterfowl preservation through public policy initiatives. At the state level, Ms. Parker is a Board member, Executive Committee member, and, Board Secretary of the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. At the national level, she was recognized and named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of Visionaries by the Association of National Fish and Wildlife Directors, to work on issues of funding resources for the nation's fish and wildlife. Ms. Parker holds a master’s degree (MSOD) from American University in Organizational Development; and, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Relations, from Trinity College.