- The Artist
We started our adventure in Charleston at the inaugural Award for Conservation Excellence awards ceremony. Ace is a nonprofit award acknowledging exceptional contributions to wildlife conservation. The mission of Ace is to honor the legacy of conservation through the recognition of men and women who share their passion to conserve the great outdoors and contribute to the sustainability of nature and wildlife.
We were guests of our friends Tom and Kathy Leiden and sat with members of the Crane Conservation Foundation and ACE awards nominee, George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation.
Conservationists from all over the world attended this prestigious award ceremony. One of the most interesting speakers was the Secretary Ryan Zinke, U.S. Department of the Interior. We also enjoyed getting to know a number of incredible people including former head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Secretary of State John Turner, his wife Mary, and his daughter Kathy Turner (who is a 2018 featured artist at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition). During the course of conversation with comedian and conservationist Jeff Foxworthy,we discovered Jeff is also an avid ,although "recreational " artist. It turns out his wife Gregg, grew up in New Orleans just a half mile from Jim and that she attended the same grammar school. It's a small world!
The award ceremony was really fun with various endangered and interesting animals circulating the formal event before the awards began including my personal favorite, "joey" -- a baby kangaroo! A night to be remembered!