Jerry McCollum to retire as Georgia Wildlife Federation CEO at year end

By Maria Saporta

Long-time environmental leader Jerry McCollum will be retiring as CEO of the Georgia Wildlife Federation on Dec. 31. McCollumn has worked for the Federation for 25 years.

“Jerry’s leadership is responsible for bringing the Georgia Wildlife Federation to the pinnacle of effective wildlife conservation in Georgia and across the nation,” said Matt Nichols, chair of the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s board. “His are big shoes to fill but we will do our best and that process will begin right away.”

In a news release, the organization outlined several of McCollum’s accomplishments during his tenure leading the Federation. Under McCollum’s leadership, the federation “pioneered many innovative conservation programs now in place in Georgia and around the country,” including the Camo Coalition, Hunters For the Hungry, Turn in Poachers, Georgia’s Camp Charlie, and the Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat.

Georgia Wildlife Federation CEO Jerry McCollum speaks to a group of local college students students before they go on a canoe trip down the Alcovy River in Newton County (Photo courtesy of Georgia Wildlife Federation)

McCollum also was a member of Gov. Zell Miller’s Preservation 2000 Council and served as chairman of the RiverCare 2000 Council. In his position as the Federation’s CEO, he served as liaison between legislators and Georgia sportsmen during the two largest conservation land acquisition programs in Georgia history, protecting more than 160,000 acres of natural areas and habitat.

Prior to taking the helm at the Federation, McCollum spent fifteen years with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, holding positions as a field biologist on the staff of the Resources Planning Program, a Senior Wildlife Biologist for Ossabaw Island, and Assistant to the Director of the Game and Fish Division where he supervised the Natural Heritage Inventory and was the Division’s liaison to Georgia’s organized sportsmen.

Nichols said the Federation will be accepting applications for a new CEO until Aug. 31. The CEO position oversees all aspects of the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s operations including issue development and advocacy, administration, fundraising, staff supervision, event planning, membership, communications, and program activities.

The CEO will supervise all Federation employees, appoint staff, plan and generally direct conservation and education programs conducted by the Federation and formulate position recommendations on a variety of wildlife and natural resources related issues.

Candidates should have a four-year degree in wildlife or natural resources science or a related field. Advanced degree in science is a plus. Candidates with four-year or advanced degrees in other fields will be considered with appropriate nonprofit management experience.

All candidates should possess at least five years of professional level experience in nonprofit management; must be able to demonstrate proficiency in federal and state nonprofit law, rules, accounting, reporting, and regulations; must demonstrate experience working with nonprofit boards and elected officials at all levels of government and must show experience working in complex nonprofit partnerships, with private foundations and with corporate executive level personnel.

Interested candidates should send an application letter and a resume to [email protected]

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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