By W. Laird Hamberlin, SCI/F CEO
Originally published in the November/December issue of Safari Magazine.
As 2023 winds down, it is time to discuss some of the many things SCI has accomplished during this past year. These are just some of the highlights. Not in chronological order, accomplishments have included:
• The Brachman Center in the SCI Washington, D.C. building was dedicated in October, recognizing the most generous donation of Armand and Mary Brachman. That facility is becoming known as the “embassy” for hunting in Washington, D.C.
• At the August Board of Directors meeting, SCI announced a capital campaign to pay off the mortgage on the D.C. building that was purchased from SCI Foundation. This major fundraising effort and retirement of the mortgage will help further SCI’s advocacy efforts in the nation’s capital. This is a big step, and all members are encouraged to donate, whether it is a whole lot or just a little. It all counts.
• SCI has entered a relationship with Cinegética, the biggest hunting show in all of Europe. This business arrangement will help SCI expand its presence on that continent. SCI is making more headway in Europe now than ever before, thanks to our partners and members there.
• Through a new long-term partnership, SCI and Grand Slam Club/Ovis will hold their respective events consecutively under one roof, beginning with the 2024 SCI Convention in Nashville. This is another example of the way everyone involved is better off when like-minded folks join together.
• Texas Trophy Hunters Association’s Extravaganzas this year were successful as that organization continues to expand its operations. There is a really bright future for TTHA. Since TTHA came under the SCI umbrella, we have worked diligently to help make it all it can be. Look for more good things to come out of Texas in the future.
• SCI has experienced positive membership growth during 28 of the last 30 months. The bigger we are, the stronger we are and the brighter the future becomes. If every SCI member would sign-up just one additional member, our ranks would double overnight. Invite your friends to join.
• Convention booths were sold out early, bringing in roughly $1 million more this year than last year — and last year set a record. Moving the SCI Convention to Nashville has proven to be magic. It was the right thing to do at the right time, and things there just keep getting better and better.
• SCI now has 143 Chapters, and that number is growing. Two new Chapters were chartered at the August Board meeting.
• SCI’s digital footprint is expanding. Whether it is on the social media, with the SCI website or any of the other digital communications properties, SCI continues to expand its reach, both among hunters and with general audiences around the world.
As I stress continually, the future of both SCI and hunting rests on six pillars: Advocacy, Chapters, Convention (Event Services), Membership, Hunting and Conservation.
With that in mind, plan to attend the SCI Convention Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2024, in Nashville. I look forward to seeing all members there.