Jerome Ringo Elected NWF Chair

First Ever African-American to Hold Leadership Post

04-04-2005 // NWF Media Team

RESTON, VA -- The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Board of Directors has elected Louisiana conservationist Jerome Ringo from Lake Charles as Chair of the Board during the organization's annual meeting in the nation's capital. Ringo is the first-ever African-American to hold such a post with a major national conservation organization, a position he will fill for two years.

For more than 20 years, Ringo has been a champion for wildlife and the communities that depend on it for their everyday life at the local, state and national level. Like NWF, Jerome is dedicated to giving hope to the future of wildlife.

"We are proud to welcome Jerome as the leader of our Board of Directors," said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of NWF. "His passion and commitment will enhance the leadership of the organization and strengthen our ability to reach out to all Americans as we seek solutions to keeping our wildlife heritage alive for future generations."

Louisiana has a history as a sportsman's paradise – wild landscapes were Ringo, now 50 years old, would fish, catch crabs and hunt for duck, goose and deer. He is distraught to see those local resources diminishing and is fighting to halt the environmental destruction of Louisiana's coastlines along with the country's other places of natural beauty including the Everglades and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Jerome grew up in a poor Southern Louisiana community, giving him a connection to the land and water that runs deep. After a 20 plus-year career in the petrochemical industry, Ringo has a clear understanding of the impacts of poor environmental practices on the communities that surround those petrochemical plants. His company, Progressive Resources Inc., focuses on improving the quality of life within those communities.

"Leading the power and commitment behind America's conservation organization dedicated to protecting wildlife is an honor and a challenge I eagerly anticipate," says Ringo. "I will help guide the National Wildlife Federation to unite all Americans who share a conservation ethic so that the wildlife legacy we leave future generations is one we can be proud of."

Ringo has served as a member of the NWF Board since 1996 and has chaired several NWF Board Committees. He has served on the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the North Lake Charles Economic Development District, and the Calcasieu Estuary Environmental Task Force. He was named the Dupont Corporation's Volunteer of the Year in 1985 and one of the best community activists by The Times magazine of Louisiana in 1998.

The NWF Board oversees the organization's administrative affairs, ensuring that it delivers on its critical conservation mission to protect wildlife for our children's future. Founded in 1936, NWF is America's mainstream conservation organization with more than four million members and supporters. A truly grassroots organization, NWF represents a network of 47 state and territorial affiliates that elect the board of directors and guide the organization's national conservation policies.

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