By Brook Minx, Safari Club International Foundation President
As a young recently graduated college student many years ago, I found myself in a spot that is not unique. I had pursued and obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry but realized it wasn’t a field where I wanted to spend my entire life. I wanted to use and build on my education and training background to pursue other endeavors.
I knew I was passionate about wildlife but couldn’t see a career path that allowed me to accomplish my personal goals in that field. I had always been told that I would make a great attorney, but the additional schooling and passing the bar seemed daunting. It was in this process I made a commitment to God, that if He would help me make it through the additional schooling, pass the bar and bless me with success, I would use the means He blessed me with for the benefit of wildlife. It’s not a story I’ve shared with many folks, but here, now, as I represent you, I thought it fitting to share this with you.
It’s been many years since that pivotal moment in my life, and I’ve felt very blessed to have seen some of the wildest places on the planet, hunting some of the most spectacular animals. He held up His end of the bargain, and I’m continuing to work at holding up my end. I know that holding up my end means more than just supporting conservation through my hunting dollars. To me, it has meant supporting groups that are doing work that protect wildlife, fi-nancially and with my time and abilities.
I tell you this because I want those of you who support the work we’re doing to know that I’m committed because I have always been passionate about wildlife, but also because of something deeply personal to me. From shooting and eating my first rabbit at 6 years old with my grandpa Paul and my dad Beau, to traipsing all over Africa with outstanding PHs and videographers, I love the great outdoors, hunting and the extreme happiness it has brought to me, my family (Barb, Colin and Kenz) and friends. It’s a passion of mine as it is for you. I know that each donor and volunteer with SCI has his or her own reasons why, and am grateful to be part of a group of people with such values.
The way SCI Foundation is set up allows for a single two-year term for each President. The President’s role isn’t to change the strategic direction of the Foundation but to help execute on the direction the SCIF Board of Directors has set. The Foundation has made tremendous progress through the leadership of our past Presidents, Board members and CEO.
My hope for the next two years is to continue to build on that progress. As a trial lawyer, I’ve learned that questioning everything is a critical component to my work. Those questions have become second nature to me, even to my own detriment at times, as my wife Barb will readily tell you. I also know that it can be the catalyst to great progress. Over the next two years, I hope to challenge the Foundation Board and volunteers to constructively question everything that we do, in an attempt to build on the success of the last several years. As a donor to SCI Foundation myself, it is critical to me, not only that our dollars are being put to work, but that they are put to work as efficiently as possible.
I open the door. If you, as a member or volunteer of SCI, have questions about why we do things a certain way within the Foundation, I would love to hear from you. If you have ideas on how to make the Foundation better, please let me know. I can promise you that your comments will be considered, and if the SCIF Board of Directors agrees with your thought for improvement, it may get a positive vote and become reality.
We’re all in this together, and it takes all of us to improve SCIF and fulfill our mission of sustainable-use conservation. If you’re so inclined, send me an email at [email protected] or give me a call at (713) 802-9117. I’m here to help and advance our cause. Ask yourself this simple question and I think you’ll find a way to help SCIF’s sustainable-use conservation program; if we don’t do it, who will?