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    NWTF Names New CEO

    From the Southern Sporting Journal:

    Breaking News: NWTF Names New CEO
    Respected agribusiness leader to bring extensive experience to helm of second largest single-species conservation organization in North America. He replaces longtime leader and face of the organization, Rob Keck, whose resignation took effect June 1.

    Agribusiness leader and avid sportsman George C. Thornton was named the new CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation on Tuesday following an extensive search and round of interviews by the organization’s board. The search began after the Federation’s longtime leader, Rob Keck, announced his resignation in March. His last day on the job was Friday.

    Thornton most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Agriliance, LLC, a leading agricultural distributor in North America that provided retailers and producers with crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and equipment. He retired from the company in August 2007. The National Agri-Marketing Association named him Agribusiness Leader of the Year in 2006. Thornton has also served in various positions with American Cyanamid, ICI Americas, ICI Australia PLC, Griffin/Dupont, LLC and AgWeb.com. He has also served on the Minnesota Zoo’s Board of Directors.

    “We are thrilled to have George leading this organization,” said Jere Peak, NWTF chairman of the board. “His background heading up Agriliance, which became the largest agricultural products distributor in North America under his leadership, and his commitment to the same conservation principles and hunting heritage values that the NWTF family holds dear, makes him a perfect fit to take us to the next level.”

    Several of the companies Thornton has worked for have been financial supporters of the Federation’s efforts.

    Thornton will begin work immediately. He will attempt to fill the void left by Keck who commanded the organization for nearly 30 years. As outspoken leader of the organization and host of it’s Turkey Call Television show, Keck has been the face of the NWTF through its rise from a fledgling conservation group representing a relatively small band of turkey hunters back in the late 70s to more than 500,000 members of hunters and conservationists today.

    Revered by many for his seemingly endless energy in support of America’s hunters and reviled by others for his ego, Keck announced his resignation following the controversial firing of the organization’s COO Carl Brown and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dick Rosenlieb in March. Both Brown and Rosenlieb have filed suit against the NWTF alleging that their jobs were wrongly terminated.

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