The members of the Mountaineer Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America are pleased and proud to announce that during the National IWLA Convention that was recently held in Virginia, one of its own was elected to serve as Chairman of the National Executive Board.
Gary R. Meade, of Elkins, transferred to Randolph County, by way of his job with the Reclamation Division of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
He moved his wife and son to Elkins the last week of September 1984. He and his family attended the buckwheat pancake breakfast at the Mountaineer Chapter of the IWLA hosted during the annual Mountain State Forest Festival. He met several of the members of the league that day and picked up an application for membership from Bill Berkel.
Gary R. Meade
Meade remembers commenting to his wife that he really liked what this organization stood for and wanted to find out more about the league. He became a member at the next membership meeting of the chapter.
Ephe Olliver was the chapter president that year. In 1986, Meade purchased a membership for his two-year-old son, which at the time, made him the youngest member in the league. Meade started attending the IWLA National Conventions in 1996 and has not missed a convention since.
He has been to all of the National Board of Director Mid-Winter meetings except two. One absence was due to the flu and the other one was due to a blizzard and road closure.
The following are the offices held and approximate dates of service:Chapter board of directors, 1987 to 1991; chapter treasurer, 1991 to 2003; West Virginia Division board of directors, 1997 to 2001; West Virginia Division treasurer,1999 to 2008; West Virginia Division vice president, 2003 to 2005; West Virginia Division president, 2005 to 2008; national board of directors, 1998 to present; and national executive board 2009 to present.
Today, Meade is retired from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and from the U.S. Army Reserve. He was employed as an environmental inspector and a biologist.
He served in the Army in multiple capacities, including basic, intermediate and senior supervisory positions. He has attended many environmental training programs and workshops, management classes and served as an instructor trainer for hunter's safety, CPR, first aid, EMT/paramedic certification programs and military development counselor.
He is an avid hunter, fisherman and all-round outdoorsman.
One of his passions is to reestablish the American chestnut tree in the forests of Northern West Virginia. He spends countless hours planting and checking on the young trees. He plants wild flowers in a small garden at his home to encourage hummingbirds and butterflies to feed. Recycling, reusing or refurbishing has always been his philosophy for his house and family.
To date, Meade has managed the financial matters for the Mountaineer Chapter and has been responsible for the investments, auditing, budgeting and ensuring non-profit status compliance. He is the co-treasurer for the Mountaineer Chapter, and is chairman of the finance committee. At the IWLA National Convention in July 2013, Meade was elected chairman of the National Executive Board. On the national level for the past several years, he has served on the following committees: sustainability, environmental education, youth convention and served as vice-chair on the energy and environmental committee.
He has been involved in writing and editing several resolutions that have been adopted into league conservation policy.
Meade is a man of integrity and dedicated to the mission of the IWLA, and the Mountaineer Chapter members are very fortunate to have him as a very active member, who also is very active with our youth events.