About Wetlands America Trust

About Wetlands America Trust

Wetlands America Trust is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, scientific and conservation purposes for the sole benefit of Ducks Unlimited. Established in 1955 as the Ducks Unlimited Foundation, Wetlands America Trust provides specialized business expertise, financial and philanthropic support to Ducks Unlimited.

The Trusts' principal role is to provide the fiduciary responsibility for Ducks Unlimited's endowment and land holdings. Wetlands America Trust is one of the nation's largest and most respected accredited land trusts, holding conservation easements on more than 445,589 acres. Not only has the Trust been successful with this charge, its trustees have individually taken up the mantle to introduce Ducks Unlimited and conservation programs to their friends, family and colleagues.

Three committees lead the day-to-day activities of the Trust. Chaired by Doug Frey and using the trustees' vast personal and business networks to recruit new conservationists, the Development Committee undertakes highly individualized and directed fundraising for Ducks Unlimited. Past DU President John Tomke chairs the Government Affairs Committee to build strong relationships with policy makers and to educate public officials on policy issues essential to DU's conservation mission, while the Governance Committee –chaired by Doug Oberhelman– identifies and recommends potential trustees and manages Wetlands America Trust's governance considerations.

In addition, trustees work closely with DU's staff and volunteers in pursuit of significant philanthropic support. The WAT and DU boards work as cohesive partners to put DU's mission at the forefront of all decisions regarding support for the organization and for wetlands conservation.

WAT trustees are recognized leaders in business and their professions. Each is passionate about wetland and waterfowl conservation.

WAT Officers

  • Steve Maritz – President
  • Doug Oberhelman – Vice President
  • Wendell Weakley – Secretary/Treasurer
  • Dan Thiel – Chief Operating Officer

WAT Trustees

  • James Ayers
  • Paul R. Bonderson, Jr.
  • David G. Bunning
  • Gary C. Butler
  • Richard A. Corbett
  • John S. Dale
  • Bill D'Alonzo
  • Paul M. Dickson
  • Skipper Dickson
  • George H. Dunklin, Jr.
  • Douglas D. Frey
  • David Grieve
  • David F. Grohne
  • Jerry Harris
  • Rogers Hoyt
  • Orrin H. Ingram II
  • James C. Kennedy
  • James Konkel
  • Bruce Lauritzen
  • Andrew D. Lundquist
  • David McLean
  • John L. Morris
  • John Paul Morris
  • John L. Nau
  • Robert Pace
  • Adam Putnam
  • Dan Ray
  • Doug Schoenrock
  • Joe Sivewright
  • Chuck Smith
  • Mark Stitzer
  • Matthew G. Stuller
  • John W. Thompson
  • John A. Tomke
  • William E. Walker, III
  • David K. Welles
  • Steve Whatley

WAT Emeritus Trustees

  • John W. Berry, Jr.
  • Rosemarie Buntrock
  • John W. Childs
  • Peter Coors
  • William B. Dunavant, Jr.
  • Gene M. Henry
  • Robert S. Hester, Jr.
  • Jim Hulbert, M.D.
  • Bruce Lewis
  • L.J. Mayeux, Jr., M.D.
  • Philip H. McNeil
  • John W. Newman
  • Saf Peacock
  • John R. Pope
  • Donald L. Rollins
  • Tod Sedgwick
  • Reed B. Turner

Assistant Secretary

  • David A. Marrone