Illinois Chapter Chairman Named Delta Waterfowl’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Eric Weber of Kankakee, Illinois, is Delta Waterfowl’s 2021 Stoeger International Volunteer of the Year.

Eric WeberFrom record-breaking fundraising to effective local duck production efforts, Weber’s commitment to the future of waterfowl as chairman of the Kankakee River Chapter is nothing short of praiseworthy.

“Eric Weber has truly demonstrated an unsurpassed level of dedication and passion within my region,” said Brian Moyse, Delta’s regional events director for Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, who nominated Weber for Volunteer of the Year. “His energy and vision have led the Kankakee Chapter to the ‘next level’ in terms of fundraising, local Waterfowl Heritage Funds projects and community involvement.”

Following in the footsteps of his father, a previous chapter chairman, Weber oversaw the chapter’s transition from another conservation organization to its affiliation with Delta Waterfowl in 2003. Since then, Weber has held the reins and continued to be an impactful leader with the support of his wife Tricia, and children, Aiden and Elle.

In 2019, Weber and his committee made a commitment to become the largest net revenue chapter in the Illinois/Indiana/Michigan region. Together, they increased net revenues by 40 percent. When faced with what could have been paralyzing adversity in 2020, the chapter delivered on its mission once again, raising more than $20,000 through grassroots fundraising efforts when a traditional in-person event was not an option.

“It is more of a committee effort than it is a single-effort,” Weber said. “A lot of recognition goes to the committee members I work with. We continue to grow and that is because of their leadership and the community they have built. I also have to give recognition to Brian Moyse. He has been outstanding to work with.”

Weber, a union electrician for 27 years, has also steered chapter efforts toward becoming an innovative force in duck production. Through trial and error, the Kankakee River Chapter has more than 120 mallard-producing Delta Hen Houses in service being used at an impressive rate of 90 percent. These numbers were thanks to innovative alterations and their own development of a unique predator guard.

“The Hen House project is a brainchild of a few committee members,” Weber said. “Through the Delta efforts of Waterfowl Heritage Funds, they are able to take it beyond what they originally envisioned. The fruits of their labor is seeing more birds in the fall flight. It also creates a visual aspect. It is a positive thing for the whole community.”

Weber was chosen as Delta’s 2021 Stoeger International Volunteer of the Year from a field of 255 local chapter nominees throughout the United States and Canada. Delta’s International Volunteer of the Year program is generously supported by Stoeger, which produces “Every Day Tough” inertia-driven shotguns. In honor of Weber’s service to ducks and duck hunters, he will receive a Stoeger M3500 Waterfowl shotgun, an M3500 Predator/Turkey model and an M3020 Upland Supreme.

“All of us who enjoy waterfowl and duck hunting should be grateful for every Delta Waterfowl volunteer,” commented Stoeger Industries president and general manager, Tom DeBolt. “Stoeger is especially proud and thankful for those stand-out individuals who have worked tirelessly in their regions to further conservation and protect our passion for hunting.”

The longtime Delta volunteer accepted the award in selfless fashion, demonstrating once again the leadership qualities that led to his nomination.

“I am 100 percent speechless and humbled by it,” Weber said. “I never started this (chapter) to be in it for myself. I have always looked at it through a business aspect, always wanting to learn, grow and be better than before.”

Delta’s more than 3,800 dedicated and passionate chapter volunteers are the lifeblood of The Duck Hunters Organization.

“Our work to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowling is made infinitely more impactful through the efforts of each Delta volunteer and their genuine commitment to waterfowl conservation,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl. “We extend our thanks and congratulations to Mr. Weber, as well as to all of the outstanding finalists and local chapter nominees for their unmatched drive, passion and devotion.”

2021 International Volunteer of the Year Finalists

Andy Wycoff
Missouri River Valley Chapter, Blue Springs, Missouri
Big Muddy Chapter, Higginsville, Missouri

Jey Yancey
Mount Pleasant Chapter, Mount Pleasant, Texas

Jamie Floyd
Southern New Brunswick Chapter, Sussex, New Brunswick

Daniel Spencer
Coastal Palmetto Chapter, Conway, South Carolina

Collin Wirt
Capitol Callers Chapter, Des Moines, Iowa

Shannon Christie
Pymatuning Chapter, Pymatuning, Pennsylvania

Eric Weber
Kankakee River Chapter, Kankakee, Illinois

Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.