Four Days In May

By John McLaurin, SCI President

Our annual Convention is unquestionably the biggest fundraising event for SCI. But institutionally, there are four days in May that are of equal import. During those four days, we will chart the course for SCI in the coming year. I am talking about the May Board of Directors meeting and the several activities that occur there.

SCI’s Board of Directors meets three times a year (twice in person and once online): at the Convention in Nashville in January or February, depending on the specific year; in Washington, D.C., in May; and via zoom in August.

The Board of Directors is the voice in SCI policy matters. When the Board is not in session, the Executive Committee of the Board conducts monthly meetings to carry out decisions by the Board and to act in the Board’s stead, coordinating ongoing programs and policies. The professional staff, led by the CEO, carries out day-to-day functions and coordinates with both the Executive Committee and the full Board.

SCI has a very structured hierarchy, and for good reason. It is how we chart our course and stay on track over time, adhering to a Board approved strategic plan. That strategic plan is coordinated with the Board and presented for vote at the Convention board meeting. This is how SCI can be fiscally responsible and mission effective. Indeed, passage of the strategic plan each year is the beginning of budget planning for the next fiscal year which starts July 1. That budget is brought forth at the May board meeting for consideration and approval. the budget is just one of three extremely important matters taking place in May. 

I am addressing all three here but not in order of importance as they all are equally important.

Second, SCI’s mission is to protect the freedom to hunt and promote sustainable use wildlife conservation worldwide. The May Board meeting is held in Washington, D.C., where SCI’s Headquarters, known as the Hunters’ Embassy — home to the Armand and Mary Brachman Advocacy Center — is located.

SCI Washington DC Headquarters

SCI’s advocacy team is located literally on the edge of the U.S. Capitol. It is there for good reason — it is the most efficient and effective way to meet with decisionmakers in the federal government and advocate for pro-hunting and sustainable use wildlife conservation measures.

Currently, SCI is conducting a Capital Campaign to raise the funds needed to pay off the mortgage on the building in D.C. — a move that will make more money available for advocacy initiatives in the future. SCI is committed to be in the fight to save hunting and wildlife because anything less is not an option. I encourage everyone to donate to the Capital Campaign. Visit to donate.

The May board meeting also includes what is known as Lobby Day. This is when SCI members go to Capitol Hill and meet with elected representatives (Senators and Congressmen) to discuss the future of hunting and wildlife as well as current legislative issues. If you have never done it and even if you have done it many times as I have, I encourage everyone to participate. To personally walk the grounds and hallways of the U.S. Congress and become a part of the history of hunting and wildlife conservation is impressive certainly but emotionally fulfilling knowing you are speaking up for what means so much to all of us.

Third, May is when the Board elects those members who they want to represent them on the SCI Executive Committee (known as the EC). The EC represents the Board when it is not in session. It meets at least once a month, and more frequently, if necessary, to deal with SCI matters. So, it is easy to appreciate the significance of this election. If you are able to attend in person this is an opportunity to interact and speak with candidates if you have not had the opportunity to do so via all the electronic means that exist nowadays or at Convention and other meetings. There are also other elections taking place, such as those for Directors at Large and International Directors.

So, it goes without saying that the May Board meeting is critically important to SCI. Literally, SCI’s future and the future of hunting and wildlife conservation are heavily impacted during those four days in May. 

I invite all members who can to attend the May meetings! And I appreciate you all for being involved in SCI’s critical mission.

Thank you for being members of SCI!

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