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Advocacy at the Forefront of SCI

By W. Laird Hamberlin, CEO of SCI and SCIF

Originally published in the May/June 2024 Issue of Safari Magazine.

This is the time of year when safari season kicks into high gear in the Southern Hemisphere. So it would be logical in an organization whose name is Safari Club International to focus on safaris.

Certainly, for members who are traveling to Africa on safari this year, they are thinking of nothing else. That was me back when I was a proud Life member of this tremendous organization, and before I became the organization’s chief of staff.          

But as the CEO, I must mind the store while others are out there having the hunts of their lives. For me and the professional staff I lead, this is the institutional season when several crucial things must be done, and we are the ones who help make them happen.

For example, there is the May Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C., where members also go to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected representatives on what is known as Lobby Day.

Advocacy is one of the six pillars upon which the future of SCI and hunting rest. The other pillars are Chapters, Event Services (Convention), Hunting, Membership and Conservation.

An important stop for members while on The Hill in D.C. is a visit to the Armand and Mary Brachman Advocacy Center, often referred to as the Hunters’ Embassy. SCI recently purchased that building from SCIF, and it is important for all members to help pay off the mortgage through donations, both large and small.

No other organization in the hunting world has such a high-profile, vibrant presence on Capitol Hill as SCI. It is something we all can be proud of, so please join with me in the capital campaign. Our donations can help assure a bright future for hunting.

The May Board of Directors meeting is where SCI leaders are elected for the coming year (SCI’s fiscal year goes from July 1 through June 30). It is also at the May Board meeting that the budget for the coming year is adopted.

I can assure all members that SCI is in great financial condition, and that we are budgeting for growth. SCI has been growing steadily for the past few years and there are no plans to slack off now. It’s pedal-to-the-metal time because SCI must grow if it is to help save hunting for future generations.

Then the Grand Opening of SCI’s new business operations center in San Antonio, Texas will happen June 29. I invite all members to attend and celebrate this momentous occasion for SCI.

On July 1, a new fiscal year begins and the focus changes as both members and staff prepare for the SCI Convention in Nashville on January 22-25. I hope to see everyone there. It promises to be even bigger and better than last year, so don’t miss out on the fun.

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