A lifelong duck hunter raised in a small community northeast of St. Paul, Minnesota, John Devney has been at the forefront of Delta Waterfowl’s mission since November of 1998. Previously an aspiring attorney with a degree in political science from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, a chance encounter shifted his career path.
“After being a Delta member for several years, I met Delta’s Jim Fisher and former president Rob Olson at Game Fair in Anoka, Minnesota, in August of 1998,” Devney said. “I offered to contribute complimentary freelance articles to the Delta Waterfowl Report (precursor to Delta Waterfowl magazine). That led to a discussion of creating a new communications and marketing position, and I jumped in with both feet.”
In addition to a myriad of responsibilities, Devney directed Delta’s communications for more than a decade. Today, as vice president of U.S. policy, he works to ensure positive outcomes for ducks and duck hunters on the local, state and federal levels. Notably, he partnered with members of the agriculture community to engineer Delta’s Working Wetlands program, an innovative, incentive-based habitat initiative that focuses on protecting the best duck-producing wetlands.
“I’ve worn a number of hats throughout the organization, from the fledgling stages of our communications, marketing, membership and events program to today’s work on development and policy,” he said. “I have been fortunate to survey a diverse landscape, which allows me to have a broad view of Delta’s value and how to communicate it.”
If you ever have the opportunity to chat with Devney, you’ll instantly recognize his intricate understanding of the issues facing ducks and the future of waterfowling. And you’ll note he’s still just as motivated to find solutions as he was two decades ago.
“Delta is making a unique, critically important impact,” he said. “Whether it is hunter recruitment, duck production, new solutions to long-vexing habitat problems or issues of declining hunter access, Delta’s solutions are best-in-class and represent the best hope for ducks and duck hunters.”
In addition to duck hunting, Devney enjoys fishing, training his black Lab and running hunt tests. He lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, with his wife and three children.