James Hambrick, seated, hopes his support of MDC inspires others to help Delta make ducks.

$10 Million Gift Boosts Million Duck Campaign

Monumental support from James Hambrick propels Delta’s efforts to maximize duck production

James Hambrick is pursuing what he terms as a “golden opportunity to help ducks” by donating $10 million to Delta Waterfowl’s Million Duck Campaign.

Hambrick, a retired chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 specialty chemical company, committed to making his major contribution soon after Delta launched its landmark Million Duck Campaign last July. The MDC is a visionary $250 million fundraising effort with a goal of adding 1 million ducks to every fall flight by maximizing the impact of Delta’s innovative Duck Production programs.

“Within this domain of helping wildlife and helping ducks, the MDC is the best thing I’ve seen—bar none,” Hambrick said. “I’ve thought my way through it, and compared it to the alternatives. Let’s work on producing more ducks on the habitat we already have set aside.”

Hambrick grew up in East Texas, where he hunted waterfowl on the Trinity River bottoms, farm ponds, and the saltwater marshes of the Gulf Coast.

“As a youngster, I hunted with my father, and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. “Hunting ducks was cool. If you went and killed a couple of ducks in the woods shooting mallards, that was a great morning.”

Hunting ducks remained a passion for Hambrick, but his career arc steered him away from the pursuit for many years. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1978, then worked his way up the ladder, which included living in Asia as an expert in strategic planning and business development. Hambrick returned to the United States in 2003, and reignited his waterfowl hunting roots in 2008 by joining the Winous Point Shooting Club of Port Clinton, Ohio.

“I was too busy to go hunting—for lots of good reasons,” Hambrick said. “But there was always a desire. So, there came a point in my early 50s when I had worked overseas for many years, then I came back to the States. I had a young son and wanted to introduce him to hunting, so I made more time for it and really focused on duck hunting. I’ve continued to focus on my two passions: fly-fishing for trout and duck hunting.”

Hambrick expressed gratitude for being introduced to Delta Waterfowl’s conservation programs in 2015 by his friend, David “Deke” Welles, a fellow member of the Waterhen Lodge in Manitoba. Now 68 years old, Hambrick recently was presented with the opportunity to help ducks in an enormous way through a major gift to Delta’s MDC.

Pull Quote: “In our quiver of arrows to help ducks, (MDC) is our best arrow. Let’s shoot it. Let’s help the ducks. “ James Hambrick, Delta Waterfowl donor

Hambrick points out that he has worked on process improvement and scalability throughout his career. He credits his success in business largely to being able to conceive and recognize good ideas and then help to launch them.

“I wanted to focus a gift on ducks,” Hambrick explained. “It’s natural to think about land and habitat. I was introduced to a new concept by Delta Waterfowl, and that’s ‘What can be done to serve ducks?’ Let’s scale up Delta’s Duck Production programs and make the habitat we’ve already protected much more productive.”

Hambrick’s generous gift propels the MDC, and it will boost all of Delta’s work as The Duck Hunters Organization strives to fulfill its mission to produce ducks and secure the future of duck hunting.

“James Hambrick is demonstrating extraordinary leadership and an amazing commitment to ducks and duck hunters throughout North America,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Delta Waterfowl is honored and grateful to be entrusted with his incredible donation to the Million Duck Campaign.”

Jeffrey Howell, vice president of major gifts for Delta Waterfowl, appreciates the impact of Hambrick’s support for MDC.

“James Hambrick cares as much for ducks and conservation as anyone I’ve ever known, and his inspirational gift will resonate with many people for decades to come. He is one of Delta’s great champions,” Howell said.

Hambrick did not seek public recognition for his donation, but agreed to share his motivations for backing Delta’s MDC.

“For me, this is a huge gift,” Hambrick said. “This is the best place to put my money for ducks. I want to encourage others to consider a similar donation and join what I consider to be a fantastic opportunity. I feel strongly that I need to make a contribution to help Delta launch this effort.

“The Million Duck Campaign will be appreciated by a lot of people beyond just duck hunters. It’s good for habitat conservation, and for the notion that we have to reinvest in our natural resources, including wildlife. I’m quite confident the Million Duck Campaign is going to be very successful. In our quiver of arrows to help ducks, this is our best arrow. Let’s shoot it. Let’s help the ducks.” —Paul Wait