Conferences offer something that online learning can’t—a real human connection.
Online communication is the norm now, making it rather commonplace. Being able to meet in person has become a special event.
Speaking to someone live is a much more dynamic experience. Often, when we engage with others online, it’s asynchronous. They post something. We respond. And then we wait for their return volley.
The lack of real-time spontaneity and momentum in communication results in lost ideas and missed opportunities. Online conversations are fragmented, where a human connection is much more holistic.
You get the tone of voice, the facial expression, and the energy of the person you’re speaking with. As such, both parties will be better able to understand the exchange of information.
Additionally, when you’re taking an online course, it feels very one-sided.
When you’re at a live event, you get to sell back. It’s an opportunity to show what you have to offer and to forge relationships with others based on mutual benefit. And let’s not forget what a professional conference is—an incredible aggregation of resources.
Conferences offer several courses, multiple opportunities to converse with brands and countless chances to network.
There’s no need to hunt for each piece individually. They’re all right there.
Even though this can be overwhelming, it’s still an incredible opportunity to completely immerse yourself in your profession with a community of like-minded peers.
Once you get checked in to your hotel room, come to the Belmont Ballroom downstairs and check-in with us to receive your conference materials and to say hi.. (We are a friendly bunch here in Tennessee)
Start the conference off right with a welcome dinner at the Country Music Hall of Fame. A easy 3 minute walk from the hotel. Casual Business Attire.
Wynn came to love country music at a very young age when he discovered his dad’s collection of classic country vinyl albums. He even traded his big brother’s “Grand Funk Railroad” for a copy of Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John”, and he still has a scar to prove it! Around the age of 14, a neighbor showed Wynn a few chords on an old guitar. Before long, Wynn was playing on his own and writing his own songs.
After many years of playing in honkytonks & bars, Wynn decided to make the move to Nashville. His first radio single was “Fit to Be Tied Down” by Sammy Kershaw. Since then, Wynn has had numerous hits including three number ones... all three were nominated for "Song of the Year" by the CMA and/or ACM. Wynn's three number one songs are: “Have You Forgotten” by Darryl Worley, “Waitin’ on A Woman” by Brad Paisley, and “I’m A Little More Country Than That” recorded by Easton Corbin. In addition to his number ones, Wynn's had songs recorded by artists such as Garth Brooks, Cody Johnson, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, Mark Chesnutt, Kellie Pickler, Lee Ann Womack, and many others.
In 2009, Wynn received the Nashville Songwriters Association's Songwriter of the Yer Award. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2011. Additionally, Wynn has appeared on several tv shows and was featured weekly on the Joey & Rory Show for several years. Wynn writes nearly every day and tours extensively. He is currently signed with BMG Music Publishing.
Billy Montana has achieved five #1 country records: Lee Brice's “Memory I Don’t Mess With”(2021) and “Hard To Love”(2012), Garth Brooks' “More Than A Memory”(2007), Sara Evans' "Suds In The Bucket" (2004) and Jo Dee Messina's "Bring On The Rain" (2002). "Bring On The Rain" was nominated for awards by both the Recording Academy (Grammy) and the Country Music Association and reached Number 6 on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Suds In The Bucket" was the most played song by a female country artist in 2004 and has logged over 4 million broadcast performances. “More Than A Memory” is the fastest rising single in the history of country music, debuting at #1 on both the Billboard and R & R charts. Montana also hit top 5 on the country music charts with the Jon Pardi single, “Night Shift”(2019). All the aforementioned singles have reached or exceeded platinum status (a million+ in sales). Montana's song “What If I Was Willing” was featured on several of the 2013-14 episodes of the popular television series “Nashville.” First inspired to pick up a guitar as a teenager in rural upstate New York by his musician father, Montana soon formed a country/rock band with his brother. After graduating with a degree in agriculture from Cornell University, Montana decided to try music full time and traded his dream of becoming a farmer for a record deal on Warner Brothers. His 1996 Magnatone Records release "No Yesterday" received great critical acclaim from USA Today, Music Row magazine, and Billboard magazine. Many prominent artists have recorded Montana's songs including Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Lee Brice, Jon Pardi, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, David Nail, Pat Green, Jo Dee Messina, Trace Adkins, Eli Young Band, Kellie Pickler, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Sister Hazel, Steve Holy, Kenny Rogers and Lee Ann Womack.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Executive Director (Interim)
Dr. Chandra Alston serves as the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she has held several positions supporting faculty, staff and students throughout her twenty-two years of service. She is the founder of the Women’s Resource Group and senior sponsor of the Young Professional’s Group. Dr. Alston holds a BS in marketing from UT Martin, MBA in management from Union University, and doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Memphis. She holds an Associate Diversity Coaching Certification from the Howard University Coach Diversity Institute and a Certificate from Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business in Leading Workplace Diversity.
I will discuss the generous grant of $70,000 that our collegiate outdoor adventure program was awarded by the TWRA this year to integrate fishing into our existing curriculum. You will learn what the grant entails, how we made decisions on what to purchase, and how we plan to get college students involved with fishing in Middle Tennessee. Additionally, I will share what kind of programming we already offer for Gen Z college students, how we recruit them, barriers and challenges that we face, and success stories of changing lives and career paths for students. Hopefully you will leave with a few ideas, strategies, and a little inspiration to take back to your organizations so that your team can get more young people excited about the outdoors!
I have worked in collegiate outdoor recreation field since 2013, received an MS Sport Management and Recreation in 2015 from MTSU, and am currently working toward a PhD within the same program. I ran an outdoor program Kent State University for a couple of years and worked closely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cuyahoga National Park rangers, and have been running a similar outdoor recreation program at MTSU since 2018. My favorite outdoor activities are white water kayaking and backpacking, but my true passion is getting college students involved in nature and how to safely recreate outside.
The topic of regulated trapping can be among the most contentious and least understood subjects within wildlife management programs. Many wildlife professionals are unfamiliar with trapping and readily shy away from trapping-related discussions with their peers and the public because of their lack of knowledge and familiarity with it. Yet, it is essential that wildlife professionals, especially communicators, understand modern regulated trapping and how to communicate about it effectively. This presentation will help attendees understand and be able to better communicate the benefits of regulated trapping and the many ways in which it contributes to wildlife management programs. Information will also be provided that will include a review of public opinion data on trapping, focus group and human dimensions studies on the topic of trapping, and the lessons learned and effective communication measures to use when discussing this topic among varied audiences. We will present scientifically sound information on trapping and effective messages that can be used by agencies to help the public understand this activity.
Tom is a certified wildlife biologist and works for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Tom administers wildlife research, survey, population management, and wildlife disease grants under the Wildlife Restoration Grants (WSFR) and State Wildlife Grant programs. He also administers grants for the development, construction, operation, habitat management and maintenance of over 1,060 state wildlife management areas including shooting ranges on public lands. Tom serves on the national steering committee for the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Program (CLfT) and is Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of The Wildlife Society’s quarterly publication The Wildlife Professional. Tom is the USFWS representative to the US Furbearer Conservation Technical Work Group. He also serves as the WSFR liaison to the Northeast Deer, Furbearer, Black Bear, Upland Game Bird and Habitat Committees.
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic resources. Join Joanne Martonik to learn more about current fishing participation, updates to the national Take Me Fishing™ campaign, and research and resources to recruit, retain, and reactivate anglers and boaters.
Southwick Associates is proud to serve the R3 and conservation community. In the past year, we have been engaged in numerous R3 projects. At ACI, we will share the latest tools and insights now available from Southwick Associates including the latest participation trends as reported by the R3 dashboard, new lessons regarding how to best recruit instructors and students for mentoring programs, interesting insights from a pilot marketing campaign between states and industry, latest findings from ACI’s email best practices exploration effort, and work conducted for the hunting and shooting sports industry about the personas who make up the U.S. firearms market. Plus, there are new projects underway that will help participating states improve their virtual and in-person education classes your state can join and more. We look forward to seeing everyone in Nashville!
This presentation will provide an update on a national campaign to build support for and awareness of hunting. In 2021 the National Wild Turkey Federation partnered with Responsive Management and The Truth marketing agency to assist in the development of branding elements and messages to increase cultural support for hunting. The research-based campaign is funded by a Multistate Conservation Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, administered by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and backed by a variety of conservation organizations. The campaign will apply unique and memorable branding to hunting as a concept, thereby building awareness and support. Mandy Harling, National Director of Hunting Heritage Programs, NWTF Mandy leads NWTF’s integration of Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) and is also responsible for the organizations national education and outreach efforts. During her 18 years at NWTF she has worked to train and empower a network of grassroots volunteers to work with state and federal agencies and partners across the country to pass on the traditions of safe, ethical hunting and to teach conservation principles. She served on the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports Development Workgroup assisting with writing the National Hunting and Shooting Action Plan and currently serves on The Assessment Group (TAG) review panel. She holds a BA from Winthrop University and is also a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute.
Through education, partnership, advocacy and leadership, Yamaha Rightwaters™ champions environmental stewardship and supports marine habitat restoration, invasive species control and scientific research.
This update will shed light on the exciting new direction the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports is moving. From releasing new research findings on hunting participation trends to the next phase, real-time license dashboards, Council staff are accelerating work to support state efforts to increase participation in hunting and the shooting sports. Progress on the evaluation and assessment of the National R3 Plan, improvements planned for the R3 Clearinghouse and increased engagement in the R3 Community will also be highlighted.
1) Social Listening Update 2) New Hunter Personas
1) DJ Case & ACI are two-thirds of the way through monitoring social media posts (social listening) on the topics of hunting and fish and wildlife agencies. Matt will share the results of these efforts and give you some tips as to how your agency can harness the power of social media to advance hunting, conservation and your agency's brand.
2) Through focus groups and surveys of adults who recently began hunting, DJ Case & Associates and WMI were able to develop personas for four types of hunters based on motivation. Matt will share the personas, their hunting habits, other activities they participate in as well as demographics and media usage.
Matt Harlow, MBA - DJ Case & Assoc., Engagement Strategist/Project Manager – Matt’s work in conservation has centered around R3, landowner recruitment and communications strategy. He was a major contributor to locavore.guide and the subsequent workshops. He helped facilitate the first CAHSS R3 Symposium and has facilitated focus groups and executed surveys of locavores, new-adult hunters, mentors and young-adult deer hunters. The consummate “people person,” Matt can engage with stakeholders of all types and bring out the information needed to address the issues at hand. Matt has an MBA, a BS in Marketing and a BA in Advertising from The Ohio State University.
Sometimes you just have to hit send Tweet and hope for the best. Knowing your audience, place in the algorithm, and developing a personality with your agency's Twitter account can yield massive results for your communication goals. In this presentation, we are going to learn how to push your conservation content even further into the Twitterverse.
Corinne Gould serves as Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. In that role, she oversees internal and external communications and provides administrative support for media relations, policy development and all agency programs. She also supervises the public relations team and regional staff and administers the Tennessee Agricultural Museum.
No, this is not a sales pitch for Brandt. As part of our work on behalf of state agencies, we put together multi faceted communications and marketing campaigns every year. There are free third party tools that our team uses in order to build smart assets in a organized manner that gets us to the end goal quickly with limited rework. I'll be walking through some tips and tricks that we use on a daily basis, and some ideas you might want to try out for your use.
Join us from 5:30–7 p.m. every evening to enjoy free hot food and cold beverages at our 5:30 Kickback. Try something different every night! Our rotating menu of fresh, hot food and beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks are served every day.
Join us for a delicious dinner followed by a live auction with auctioneer Eddie Allred.
Wind down from a busy day and relax with your fellow attendee's.
OPTION A Field Trip
An exciting and informative trip to Buffalo Ridge Refuge. Wear your outdoor clothes and get ready to have some fun! Lunch at The Log Cabin. After lunch there will be a trapping demo.
OPTION B Field Trip
9:00 am - Dennis Tumlin in Belmont Ballroom
9:30 am - GovDelivery in Belmont Ballroom
10:30 am - You will get a personal tour of Nashville including historic sites and venues. Lunch is on your own.
Join us at 5:30 p.m. every evening to enjoy free hot food and cold beverages at our 5:30 Kickback. Try something different every night! Our rotating menu of fresh, hot food and beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks are served every day.
This is YOUR time to enjoy what Nashville has to offer. Choose from traditional to contemporary honky tonks, along Broadway Street, you will not be disappointed!
WildCast features host, Jason Harmon, TWRA Information Specialist, Don King, Multimedia Development Chief, and longtime “voice of the TWRA.” They bring to the air a variety of guests covering a huge array of outdoor content from fishing and hunting, boating, wildlife watching and wildlife management. Other regular co-hosts include the regional TWRA Information Specialists, Amy Spencer, covering West Tennessee, Barry Cross in Middle Tennessee, Mime Barnes, from the Cumberland Plateau area and Matt Cameron, with East Tennessee news and information. The show also provides periodic insight behind some of the wildlife management decisions made by our governing board, The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission
Partner with a Pro My presentation will focus on how State Agencies can grow their reach and audience by creating a partnership with Professionals in different outdoor activities. From fishing, hunting, trapping, shooting, and other outdoor activities, we will present multiple avenues to help educate and maximize your efforts through focused and strategic relationships. My story starts at a young age with a love of entrepreneurship. By (27) years old, I had created and sold (4) business before beginning a (15) year career in the Fuel & Transportation Industry. During this time, my love of fishing was a consistent driving force to eventually combine my career and passion together. During this time, I immersed myself in every aspect of the outdoor industry while maintaining a demanding career. From President of one of the oldest fishing clubs in TN, managing partner in a tackle manufacturing company, and Pro-Staff Coordinator of over (100) anglers across the country, all personal time was dedicated to growing in the fishing business. On top of all this, I was a bass tournament angler traveling all of the country competing at multiple tiers. In addition, I have traveled the world fishing, from the harsh Amazon jungle, to the seclusion of Canada and glacier rivers of Alaska, my passion for fishing has kept me motivated. From these adventures, I began focusing on building a following on social media through videos, podcasts, and all other forms of media dedicated to all things fishing. After years of hard work and persistence, my dream became a reality! I am now Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at Cashion Fishing Rods while continuing to fish competitively, travel the world fishing and creating content for the outdoor industry.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, Inc. (TWRF) was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1999 to promote habitat conservation, responsible land stewardship, and the preservation of Tennessee’s hunting and fishing heritage. TWRF assists TWRA with youth education programs as well as strategic land acquisitions to provide opportunities for habitat conservation/restoration and public hunting.
Michael Butler has served as Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s chief executive officer since June 2002. Michael works with elected officials, state and federal agencies, and civic leaders to implement sound natural resources policy. He joined the Federation as technical advisor to the executive director in 1996, working with the organization’s Conservation Policy Advisory Council and board of directors to develop natural resource policy. Prior to his role at the Federation, Michael earned his master’s degree in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University.
In this session, we will discuss political issues in conservation and how communicators can support grassroots advocacy and keep the public informed. Emily grew up on a cattle and dark fired tobacco farm in rural Tennessee, where she was active in 4-H and FFA. Her love for agriculture and rural lifestyles turned into a career sharing the stories of farmers, ranchers, and outdoorsmen. She currently represents the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as Director of Communications and Outreach, which includes media relations, digital content, and education and outreach programs. Prior to joining TWRA, Emily was a producer, reporter, and anchor for RFD-TV, a national cable channel dedicated to agricultural news. As Washington News Bureau Chief, she worked with the White House, USDA, and Congress to tell the political stories that can't be found on mainstream media.
Outdoor Stewards Presentation
Is your Marketing Strategy (and Data Strategy) going to survive 2023?
What is an automated marketing platform, and what does it take to successfully establish and maintain a digital marketing program in a state wildlife agency? These kinds of technologies may seem unattainable at first, but potential partnership opportunities could help agencies make marketing dreams a reality. And with a dedication to strengthening customer engagement combined with the right technical team to take on the job, any agency could use these technologies to take their R3 and relevancy efforts to the next level. In this session, Heather Bokman will tell the story of the Ohio Division of Wildlife's experience in adopting a marketing platform and establishing a campaign program. She will share the challenges, lessons learned, and successes that her team experienced using the platform in partnership with Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), as well as examples of simple and complex campaigns (because the choice is yours!) that Ohio has created.
PIO - Social Media and Podcast Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Join us at 5:30pm every evening to enjoy free hot food and cold beverages at our 5:30 Kickback. Try something different every night! Our rotating menu of fresh, hot food and beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks are served every day.
Join us for good food, great drinks and Nashville's best music. Ranked #1 music museum in the world by Forbes, Conde' Naste, and National Georgraphic Traveler.
Mom, Home, Apple Pie, and The Road Crew! This upbeat rockabilly band will move you and make you laugh as they spread the joy of traveling down Route 66 through their Songs From The Mother Road! Feel their passion for America's Main Street and hear their stories from the most famous highway in the world. Spend an evening with The Road Crew!
Wind down from a busy day and relax with your fellow attendee's.