Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever announces Tom Henning, Jeff Erickson, and John Thames as newly elected members of the organization’s National Board of Directors
. Sharing a lifelong passion for wildlife conservation and upland hunting, the trio now serves on Pheasants Forever’s 19-member board, which meets quarterly and oversees the operations of Pheasants Forever, Inc. & Quail Forever.
“The knowledge, talents and geography represented by our new board nominees reaffirms the impact of ‘The Habitat Organization’ on a national scale,” stated Howard K. Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever. “Tom Henning, Jeff Erickson, and John Thames have been devoted conservationists for many years – we’re thrilled to have them serve on our national board and help guide the future influence of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation efforts.”
Tom Henning – Lincoln, Nebraska
A lifelong businessman and entrepreneur, Tom Henning is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is currently serving as chairman, president and CEO of Assurity Life Insurance Company based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Henning is active in numerous nonprofit, economic development and corporate boards, including Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Chamber Economic Development Corp., University of Nebraska Foundation, Great Western Bancorp, Inc., Nelnet, Inc., and Lincoln Industries. Henning joins the national board of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever with leadership experience that is second to none.
No stranger to the local model of “The Habitat Organization,” Henning is a Life Member of both Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever with an innate passion for the environment. Having worked extensively with the organization’s Farm Bill Biologist Partnership to promote wildlife-friendly practices in his home state of Nebraska, he and his wife, Candy, now operate Henning Farms, which is devoted to developing quality upland gamebird habitat.
“It’s an honor to be part of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s national board. I’m anxious to help the important causes of habitat conservation and encouraging more young people to experience the great outdoors through upland bird hunting.”
Rounding out an impressive list of life achievements, Henning is a recipient of the distinguished service award from the American Council of Life Insurers. Additionally, he was awarded the Burnahm Yates Citizenship Award bestowed by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, and was a 2016 inductee of the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame.
Henning sets aside as much time as possible in the fall to pursue his favorite hobby of upland bird hunting with his two French brittany’s, “Roux” and “Tache.” Tom and Candy have two adult daughters, Maddie and Cassie, as well as two grandsons, William Thomas and Callaway Thomas.
Jeff Erickson – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
An avid wingshooter and current resident of “The Pheasant Capital,” Jeff Erickson joins the national board of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever as an ardent supporter of wildlife conservation in South Dakota and a Patron Member of Pheasants Forever. He developed a passion for upland wildlife as a graduate of Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Erickson is the current owner of E&E Management, LLC, manager of Border Plains, LLC, a board member of The Schwan Company, and Vice Chairman for the Board of American Bank & Trust. His civic commitments currently include; Chairman of the South Dakota Banking Commission, Chairman of the South Dakota Board of Economic Development, and Vice Chairman of the South Dakota Community Foundation. Previously, Erickson served as president and CEO of Great Western Bank.
“There is nothing better than having family and friends together in north-central South Dakota hunting wild pheasants on a brisk fall afternoon. In our hunting group, we have young teenagers all the way up to social security recipients enjoying the great outdoors together. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever supports these types of moments with their conservation work, and I’m excited to be part of that mission as a national board member.”
In 2008, Erickson was named “Distinguished Alumni” by Northern State University for his business achievements and community interaction. The entire Erickson family – including his wife, Linda, their four grown children and 10 grandchildren – firmly believes in giving back to their communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. In addition to spending time with loved ones, Erickson enjoys sharing sporting events and pheasant hunting with friends and Pheasants Forever members.
John Thames – Alexander City, Alabama
As the CEO and publisher of Covey Rise
, a national publication celebrating the upland sporting lifestyle, John Thames joins Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors with a focus on renewed conservation efforts in the Southeast. A founding member and current supporter of the Alabama Covey Rise Chapter of Quail Forever, Thames embraces the organization’s local model as a Life Member of both Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.
Growing up on 2,000 acres in South Alabama owned by his grandfather’s timber company, Stallworth Timber, Thames gained an appreciation for hunting and conservation before earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Auburn University in 1996. Upon graduation, Thames was promoted to Lead Developer for Russell Lands Company before starting his own venture, Thames Construction Company, in 2006. In addition to his current responsibilities for Covey Rise
, Thames is the present owner of Docks Unlimited – a marine construction company with operations on Lake Martin in central Alabama.
“I am honored to be elected to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors. I look forward to moving the conservation and youth program initiatives down the field. We are at a pivotal point in this country in regards to conserving public lands and broadening conservation efforts for all types of wildlife. I’m excited to get to work with the board to help sustain and enhance what we all enjoy.”
Thames resides in Alexander City, Alabama, with his wife, Margie, and their three children, David, Laura, and Libby. Also a part of the family are their two English springer spaniels and a German shorthaired pointer. During the fall months, Thames can be found wingshooting at all ends of the earth, or spending quality time with his family around their small lake town in Alabama.
About Pheasants Forever
, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever
, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $708 million on 517,000 habitat projects benefiting 15.8 million acres nationwide.