Board of Directors
William M. Yandell III
Yandell, 63, has been chairman of the board since 2017, and he has served on Delta Waterfowl’s board since October 2012.
He has a diverse business background with experience in agriculture, oil and gas, wireless telecommunications and real estate. In 2010, he became a partner at Heritage Land and Development, a company that redevelops historical buildings. Yandell holds degrees from Woodberry Forest School, Rhodes College, and the University of Mississippi Law School. He has been a member of the Mississippi Bar since 1981.
His hunting career began at age 6, taking a single-shot .410 afield for doves. He went on his first duck hunt two years later at a flooded timber club in Mississippi.
“I love any type of wingshooting, but duck hunting is my favorite,” Yandell said. “I like to hunt ducks in all types of environments – marsh, pond or green timber. When I as young, my favorite duck was the ring-necked ducks because they are so fast. I remember when hunting with my father, I would want to shoot the ringnecks and he wanted to shoot the mallards.”
Of his role on the board, he said, “With Delta’s strong commitment to duck production, conserving breeding duck habitat, hunter recruitment and retention, we are poised to make an even greater impact for duck hunters. Our goals for Delta are to increase membership, revenues and operational capacity to make more ducks and more hunters now and in the future.”
Michael H. Mooney
Mooney, 52, joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in May 2018.
An investment advisor for Goldman Sachs, Mooney is an avid waterfowl hunter. He spends several days each season at Swan Lake in Illinois and Heron Lake in Minnesota.
Mooney was introduced to duck hunting by his father-in-law in 1996, and has since become dedicated to waterfowl conservation.
“Delta has done so much for ducks and duck hunters,” he said. “Delta’s research on Hen Houses for mallards led us to install 100 in the Heron Lake area, and we want to install another 100 this winter. Delta also has invested the time and energy to introduce young people and women to duck hunting, an effort I am passionate about.”
In addition to joining Delta’s Board, Mooney currently serves on the boards of Footwear Unlimited Corporation and Catholic Charities of Chicago. He is a founding board member of the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools, and of the advisory board for Hindsight, which provides scholarships and mentoring for at-risk, inner-city youth.
“I have been fortunate to serve on the boards of many non-profit organizations, and I believe I can leverage my experience to help ensure Delta continues to be effective in its mission as The Duck Hunters Organization.”
Charles C. Hager Jr.
Hager, 70, a past chairman, has been on Delta’s Board since January 2007.
A St. Louis native, Hager retired from Hager Companies, where he was vice chairman, president and chief operating officer. He was the 8th president of the company that has borne the family name since the mid-1800s.
Long an advocate for waterfowl and flood plain conservation, he has been on the Board of St. Louis’s Great Rivers Habitat Alliance since its founding in 2000.
Hager’s father introduced him to duck hunting when he was 8 years old, which is when he shot his first mallard drake. Hager has passed the passion on to his son, just as his father did for him. Moving to Montana upon retirement, Hager also became an avid big-game hunter and fly angler.
Hager was introduced to Delta by former president Rob Olson, and he soon became an ardent and constant supporter.
“It is clear to me Delta is The Duck Hunters Organization that supports local access issues, introduces women and youngsters to waterfowl hunting, and above all, works to raise more ducks for the fall flights,” Hager said. “We will never restore enough waterfowl habitat to offset our annual losses, but I know Delta can make the habitat we have more productive through its Hen House and Predator Management programs.”
Robert E. Bartels, Jr.
Carmical, 63, joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in October 2018. He was raised on and still lives on a cattle, timber and ag farm on the edge of the Mississippi Delta.
The Arkansas native is chief executive officer of The Price Companies, a diversified forestry and ag company. This includes FIREHUNT, known for sustainably managing land, balancing wildlife and agriculture.
“There are big challenges in agriculture that negatively impact ducks,” Carmical said. “These changes date back from the original clearing and draining of the nesting and wintering grounds to today’s precision land leveling, earlier harvest of crops, absentee ownership and high input costs.”
Good science, political savvy and committed people such as those at Delta Waterfowl are key to the future of ducks and duck hunting, he said.
“The right to hunt faces many challenges as people become more urban and less connected to the land. In the 1990s, loggers and farmers were unfairly viewed as environmental villains. Today, with the focus on sustainability and a clearer understanding, society accepts farmers and loggers as guardians of our natural resources,” Carmical said. “My hope is with time and clear messages we can affect a similar shift in the perception of hunting. No one has brought back, preserved and protected species better than wise-use conservationist/hunters.
“Delta Waterfowl gets it. More hunters equal more ducks.”
Angus R. Cooper, III
Cooper joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in March 2019.
As president of Cooper/T. Smith, a leader in the maritime industry, Cooper is the fourth generation in his family to run the company, with his brother, Scott.
Cooper started duck hunting at age 8 with his father in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He hunted almost every weekend, which inspired him to get involved in conservation. At age 14, he put up six wood duck boxes at his family’s farm in Alabama. The population grew from 23 wood ducks to more than 400, and Cooper learned that people who care can make a difference. Cooper raises more ducks every year than he kills, and he has passed his love for duck hunting on to his sons and friends.
Cooper has served on the Alabama Wildlife Federation board for 20 years, including two years as president. He has also served as chairman of the board for UMS-Wright Preparatory School, a top private school in Mobile, Alabama. He is past chairman of the Alabama State Port Authority, the 10th-largest port in the United States. He serves on the Board of Alabama Power, Bryant Bank and other Mobile civil and mystical organizations.
John H. Dobbs Jr.
Dobbs, 52, has served on the Delta Waterfowl Foundation Board of Directors since May 2013.
He is the CEO of his family business, Dobbs Equity Partners. The firm owns car dealerships, behavioral health companies, automobile parts companies and non-standard auto insurance companies.
Beyond the Delta Waterfowl board, Dobbs is a member of the International Order of St. Hubertus – a worldwide organization and knightly order of hunters and wildlife conservationists who promote traditional hunting ethics and practices. He’s also on the board of the Memphis College of Art.
Like most of Delta’s board members, Dobbs began hunting from an early age, nearly before he can remember. His primary passion is for duck hunting, but he also enjoys pursuing quail, pheasants, turkeys and doves.
Dobbs was introduced to Delta by fellow board member Will Yandell. He values increased duck production, which aligns well with the mission of The Duck Hunters Organization.
“My hope is to make a significant difference in the hunting experience for all duck hunters across North America,” Dobbs said.
George R. Eaton
Charles A. Elcan
Elcan, 55, joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in February 2019.
Currently, he serves as a partner in Frisco Partners, a leading global equity firm specializing in investments in technology and technology-enabled businesses. Previously, Elcan was the founder and president of China Healthcare Group organized in 2008 to build hospitals in China. He also served as executive vice president-medical office properties for Health Care Properties Investors, Inc.
In addition to Delta Waterfowl, Elcan is deeply involved with many charitable and conservation organizations. These have included board positions with the Frist Foundation, the Land Trust for Tennessee, the Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Trust, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Foundation, YMCA of Middle Tennessee and others.
Elcan was introduced to Delta Waterfowl by fellow board members Will Yandell and John Dobbs, but his hunting history and passion go back much farther. At age 7, he was introduced to hunting by his father, and has been devoted to it ever since.
The Delta Waterfowl pillars of producing ducks and ensuring the future of duck hunting align with Elcan’s views.
“Association with Delta supports my passion for hunting by helping with wildlife conservation and habitat,” he said.
George C. Freeman III
Thomas G. Henning
Daniel C. Hughes Jr.
Hughes, a former chairman, has served on the Delta Board of Directors continuously since 1993.
Hughes’ business career includes ownership of companies involved in real estate development, securities investment and trading, construction equipment sales, and healthcare facilities. He also worked as a certified public accountant and management consultant.
Hughes serves on many boards and committees for his alma mater, the University of Mississippi. He has served as a director of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Delta Land Trust, Capital City Petroleum Club and Magnolia Speech School for Children.
Born and raised in a small town in Mississippi, he still considers the outdoors his playground. Duck hunting has been a passion from an early age. He hunts both close to home in the Mississippi Delta and far-flung locations such as Canada, and Central and South America.
Hughes enjoys golf, pigeon shooting, and college sports. Along with his real estate enterprises, he acquires farms and timberland seeking to conserve and enhance quality habitat for wildlife.
“Delta has grown impressively, but never changed its essential mission of conserving and growing the valuable habitat waterfowl require to thrive,” Hughes said. “Hen Houses and Predator Management are critically important programs, as are our efforts in affecting public policy. Equally important are the initiatives to create access for those who might otherwise never have the chance to try hunting.”
Kenneth M. LaGrande
John A. MacQuarrie
MacQuarrie joined Delta Waterfowl’s Board as a director-at-large in February.
He has long served in Canadian government, working first in the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture before becoming the Deputy Minister of Agriculture from 2001 to 2004. From 2004 to 2011, MacQuarrie was Deputy Minister for the Department of Environment (which included fish and wildlife). During this term, he facilitated Delta’s Alternative Land Use Services to become a province-wide program in Prince Edward Island, holding numerous meetings with Delta Waterfowl staff to develop and implement the successful ALUS program there.
MacQuarrie was again appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture in 2011, and held the post until becoming Deputy Minister responsible for transportation, infrastructure and energy in 2015. In 2017, he went to work for Cavendish Farms — a large potato processor — as director of environmental sustainability.
A lifelong hunter and angler, MacQuarrie enjoys pursuing these passions and sharing them with his children.
“Issues relating to the environment and wildlife have always been close to me, and I am fortunate that my working career has allowed me opportunities to provide positive influence,” he said. “Hunters and anglers share a deep connection to the natural world. I have looked upon Delta Waterfowl as an organization that has not lost sight of the importance of meeting the needs of hunters, and in turn, has influenced good public policy.”
W. Frank McCreight
McCreight joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in January 2018.
The 63-year-old Mississippi native is the president of a private equity-backed oil and gas exploration and production company in Texas. He has been an oil and gas company executive since 1982.
An avid duck hunter since his childhood, McCreight fondly recalls those youthful trips with his father to hunt in green timber. Over the years, he has enjoyed a wide range of outdoor experiences, including hunting big-game on other continents. But he always comes back to waterfowl.
“My true passion is shooting mallards and running Labs,” he said.
McCreight became aware of Delta Waterfowl a decade ago through acquaintance with Will Yandell, who is now Delta’s chairman of the board. McCreight said he appreciates Delta’s values and mission as The Duck Hunters Organization, so he wanted to get more involved.
“I’ve met a lot of people in the south and southeast, so I think I can help raise Delta’s profile as we grow the organization,” he said. “I’m a true believer that Delta’s work to raise more ducks is good for every duck hunter.”
G. Ruffner Page Jr.
Page, 60, has served on the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors since fall 2016.
Page is president and CEO of McWane, Inc., which manufactures and sells water infrastructure materials and technology solutions and support. He has been with McWane since 1999. Previously, he held management positions at National Bank of Commerce, the Remington Fund and Bankers Trust Company in New York and Atlanta. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and holds a graduate degree from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Beyond Delta Waterfowl, many causes benefit from Page’s board participation. He’s especially supportive of local causes in and around Birmingham, including Birmingham Museum of Art, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Birmingham Education Foundation and the Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation, among others. He’s past chairman of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra board of directors.
Page grew up duck hunting near his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. He remains active in two duck clubs in the Mississippi Delta: Walnut Bayou and Snow Brake.
“Being part of a truly science-based effort to understand and increase duck breeding success is of great interest to me,” he said.
Timothy B. Robertson
Robinson joined Delta Waterfowl’s Board as a director-at-large in February.
As an active third-generation rancher west of Calgary, he has always been interested in the outdoors, animals, wildlife, fish, upland game and especially waterfowl. Robinson lives and works on the ranch with his family, son, grandchildren and staff.
He enjoys annual hunting trips in Europe, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Robinson was introduced to Delta Waterfowl by board member friends Don Morrison and Don Douglas.
Robinson’s interest in Delta has resulted in hosting 13 very successful fundraising dinners at his ranch. The events include an afternoon of shooting clays, fellowship and gourmet dinners. Funds raised are well into the seven figures to help support Delta’s mission.
“I have a lifetime passion for hunting — particularly waterfowl,” he said. “I’m honored to contribute to Delta Waterfowl for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Robinson belongs to and supports several organizations that encourage youth, gun safety, hunting, fishing and conservation.
Patrick J. Rothwell
Robert D. Sopuck
Sopuck, 67, joined Delta’s Board of Directors in May 2019.
He is a member of the Canadian Parliament, first elected in 2010 to the House of Commons representing the Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette District of Manitoba. Most recently, he was appointed Parliament’s Critic for Wildlife Conservation and Parks Canada.
Sopuck currently farms in central Manitoba, but previously has held numerous positions related to environmental management. These included fisheries biologist, director of environmental programs at Pine Falls Paper Company, vice president of agricultural policy for Delta Waterfowl in Western Canada (2000 to 2009), and environmental consulting for several industries and organizations, including Exxon and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
In 2014, he became a published book author. “A Life Outdoors: Essays on Hunting, Gathering and Country Living in the 21st Century” is a collection of columns written for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Sopuck also serves as chair of the Fish and Lake Improvement Program for the Parkland Region, and a is board member of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.
Sopuck’s father introduced him to hunting at age 10, and he has been afield ever since. He enjoys duck, goose, and upland hunting with his yellow Lab, and big-game hunting.
“Delta Waterfowl combines the best evidence-based waterfowl management along with a passionate advocacy for waterfowl hunters and waterfowl hunting,” he said.
Robert B. Trainer, Jr.
Trainer joined the Delta Waterfowl Board of Directors in February 2019.
He was raised in Milwaukee and has lived for the past 22 years in Houston. Trainer is retired from Gyrodata Inc., an oil service firm based in Houston which provides down-hole surveying and directional drilling services to the worldwide oil and gas industry. He serves on the boards of both Gyrodata and Schroeder-Manatee Inc., a real estate development company in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. He holds a registered representative license with Carl M. Henning Inc., a securities brokerage firm in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Trainer was introduced at age 10 to duck hunting on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin by his grandfather, and has been an avid enthusiast of hunting and conservation ever since. As a young man, he frequently hunted with his uncle, David Uihlein, a former Delta director. Uihlein introduced him to Delta Waterfowl, and Trainer has been a member since he was in his 20s.
“I feel strongly aligned with and supportive of Delta’s mission to boost duck production through through research, Predator Management, Hen House expansion and advancing Working Wetlands in North America,” Trainer said. “In addition, I fully support protecting the tradition of waterfowling through hunter advocacy and recruitment.”