SEAFWA directors honored and celebrated the commitment, dedication, and leadership of Gordon Myers as he retired from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) after over 30 years of professional experience serving the public in the field of fish and wildlife conservation; including 12 years as Executive Director.
Gordon thrives on new challenges and encourages this attitude in all who work for him; he approaches problems with an open mind and listens to diverse opinions and ideas; he has a strong belief that the public should be involved in conservation decision making and this conviction is evident in his efforts to create consensus and partnerships and is reflected in his favorite quote from Walt Disney, who said, “Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort;” and his inclusive character is, in large part, why he has achieved significant accomplishments with lasting impacts to natural resource conservation at the local, regional, and national scale. Gordon’s leadership within NC has improved policies, practices, and leadership within the agency; forged strong partnerships with federal leadership; successfully advocated for conservation and recreation funding; and provided financial management, oversight, and advocacy that led to substantial gains for conservation.
Gordon’s regional leadership has cultivated greater collaboration and coordination on conservation efforts in the Southeast, through various roles; Gordon sought to incorporate North Carolina’s wildlife conservation priorities into the larger landscape-scale conservation of species within the Southeast Region.
Gordon served as a tireless national leader, offering thoughtful, collaborative, and visionary perspectives to such issues as private forest conservation to migratory birds; he forged strong working relationships with federal partners and advanced mutual priorities while encouraging innovative, out-of-the-box thinking.
As Executive Director of NCWRC, Gordon was a steadfast and effective leader, possessing a keen ability to analyze and assess, with forbearance and wisdom beyond his years; he is naturally enthusiastic yet invokes an appropriate level of thoughtfulness and calm; his assessments are always well respected and his proposed actions are readily accepted in the pursuit of common goals; he understands and embraces both the great privilege and responsibility to lead in seeking conservation outcomes that serve both the resource and the people in balanced yet effective ways.
SEAFWA expresses its gratitude for his immeasurable contributions serving in the NCWRC; where he was appointed to the NC Waterfront Access Study Committee; advocated for public access leading to the NC General Assembly creating a $20 million fund to acquire, develop or improve waterfront properties for public and commercial waterfront access; grew the NCWRC endowment fund to over $130 million; initiated and continued support of the NC Wildlife Leadership Development Program; developed a Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Recovery and Sustainment Program partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Gordon served as Vice President of SEAFWA in 2015 and President in 2016; he was a Charter signatory to the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability; he served as the Chair of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Steering Committee; was appointed to the Forest Resources Coordinating Committee; and to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council; served as Chair of AFWA’s Bird Conservation Committee; and on AFWA’s Executive Committee as Treasurer; served as Chair of Resolutions Committee; and Vice-Chair of the President’s Task Force on the Multi-State Conservation Grant Program; was a member of the Nominating Committee; and testified before Congress five times.