Childs, 78, began serving on the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in February 2020.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Yale and his MBA from Columbia University. In 1995, he established J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm based in Boston. Previously, he was senior managing director at Thomas H. Lee Company, and spent 17 years as an executive at Prudential Insurance.
Childs grew up hunting Virginia’s Back Bay and North Carolina’s Currituck Sound with his father. Those waters were thick with wild celery, and the bull canvasbacks that flocked there were kings of the duck world. The passions he developed on those historic wetlands fueled his desire to conserve what he loved to do.
An advocate of wetlands conservation for decades, Childs served as president and trustee emeritus of the Wetlands America Trust, which oversees 400,000 acres of conservation easements. Over the years, he has contributed millions of dollars to waterfowl research and conservation.
In 2014, he began funding the lion’s share of a massive Delta Waterfowl research project seeking management options to increase canvasback production throughout the parklands of Canada. That fall, he visited the Delta Marsh for the first time. Then when the historic James Ford Bell York Lodge property came up for sale, he purchased the 400 acres in the middle of Delta Waterfowl’s 3,600 acres. This critical parcel serves as key access to the marsh for Delta’s research.
Child’s acquisition of the property provides major legacy value, and fosters continued potential to advance waterfowl research and management impacting every flyway in North America.