This is a very exciting time for me. I am writing you for the first time in my new role as managing director of the Coldwater Conservation Fund, TU's premier group of conservation-minded supporters.
Growing up I had two passions: baseball and fishing. After college, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to play baseball professionally and pursue my childhood dream of playing in the big leagues. Although I ended my baseball career over 3,000 hits shy of the hall of fame in Cooperstown, I am fortunate to have had an older brother who taught me how to fish, how to be a steward of the environment, and how to support conservation. My brother was 12 years older than me and took the time to take me fishing on the farm ponds and bass lakes around our small hometown of Morehead, KY in the Appalachian foothills. I am reminded of those years learning to fish each time that I step foot in a river or stream today. And it is the accumulation of all of those angling experiences (and my inability to hit the curveball consistently) that brought me to TU six years ago.
Whit Fosburgh hired me in July of 2004 as TU's development director, and I learned a tremendous amount from him while I was in that role. Now that I am directing the CCF, my goal is to continue the long tradition of being certain that our CCF members are comfortable on our exciting fishing trips, well-educated about our projects, and well aware of how important their financial contributions are to TU's work.
When I came to TU after that career as a professional baseball player, I felt very fortunate to have an opportunity to pursue my other passion—protecting trout and salmon habitat—with people who hold that same vision. I look forward to working with all of you to make America's great coldwater rivers cleaner, healthier and more fishable. Even Cooperstown can't offer a better legacy than that.