RESTON, Va. — The National Wildlife Federation honored Eric Stiles, emeritus president and CEO of New Jersey Audubon, with its Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award. The award celebrates Stiles’ success in guiding New Jersey Audubon’s extensive local engagement, as well as his dedication to building trust among affiliates to achieve shared conservation goals.
“Eric Stiles is simply one of the most effective and transformative conservation leaders in America. Since bringing New Jersey Audubon into the Federation, Eric has exemplified the benefits of this partnership by coordinating across boundaries to be a united force for wildlife, water, land and people,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Through his innovative local outreach, active presence on affiliate committees, mentorship of affiliate leaders and his persistent support for national priorities, Eric has repeatedly proven his effectiveness on all levels of conservation action. The National Wildlife Federation is forever indebted to Eric for his commitment and leadership in making the vision of One Federation a reality.”
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award from the National Wildlife Federation – our nation’s strongest, most vibrant and visionary conservation leader,” said Stiles. “To me, this recognition represents the great work done by National Wildlife Federation, New Jersey Audubon and the affiliate family working to make conservation a diverse and just movement as we safeguard our nation’s wildlife, habitats and waters.”
Stiles spearheaded the initiative for New Jersey Audubon to join the National Wildlife Federation as an affiliate in 2012, making it the first independent Audubon to do so. In the past decade under Stiles’ leadership, New Jersey Audubon has grown to over 60 staff and 20,000 members, with annual charitable support increasing by over $3 million during this period. During the pandemic in 2020, New Jersey Audubon pushed forward by engaging 400,000 people virtually in addition to tens of thousands of students, teachers and volunteers through STEM programming, nature centers and migration watches.
The Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award honors individuals who have demonstrated a true appreciation for the value and potential of the National Wildlife Federation-affiliate partnership. Stiles was honored during the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting which was held for the third time as a virtual event this year.
This special achievement award was created in Charlie Shaw’s memory to honor individuals whose actions reflect the spirit of his work — first as executive director of North Carolina Wildlife Federation and later as a National Wildlife Federation regional executive. Shaw loved the National Wildlife Federation. In his eyes, the Federation was not simply a relationship between “national” and each affiliate partner. Shaw rightly saw one big family — many different conservationists all working together toward the goal of protecting wildlife and habitat.
The National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Awards began in 1966. Since then, the National Wildlife Federation has celebrated individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. Previous honorees have included former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson and Michelle Obama and other national leaders, including U.S. Sen. John McCain and filmmaker Robert Redford.
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