Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation CEO resigns

I am deeply upset and saddened by this news. I have dedicated years to this organization and tons of my own money and I believe in the organization tremendously and I believed in J. Dart as the leader of that organization for many more years to come. With that being said, Peter J. Dart(or J. Dart as most know him) will be a tremendous loss to the Elk Foundation. His shoes will be incredibly hard to fill! He was a leader, He inspired people, He is a someone I will always look up to in life and be motivated by. He is a conservation god!

I am sure I will have a ton more to say on this as time goes on. As a volunteer for this organization and as a life member I want to be led, I want to be inspired and I want this organization to grow in members and in the habitat that it protects. I hope the board of Directors understands the immense shoes it now has to fill and I hope they never forget the tremendous responsibility they have in choosing a leader that will inspire the volunteers as strongly as J. Dart has done in the last 4 years.

Here is the news story.

Elk Foundation CEO resigns


MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation chief executive announced he is resigning after four years with the conservation group.

Peter J. Dart, president and CEO at the foundation, oversaw the organization's move to a new $5 million facility in Missoula and conservation of more than 1 million acres of elk habitat nationwide.

Dart sent a letter to staff on Wednesday announcing his decision.

"It is with mixed emotions that I wish to inform you of my decision to resign as the Elk Foundation's president and chief executive officer, effective June 15," Dart said in his letter. "This difficult decision will allow me to spend more time with my family and pursue new opportunities."

The board is expected to meet next week to start talking about a replacement.

Dart was not asked to leave and the decision was unexpected, said David Parcell, RMEF vice president of marketing and communication.

"As an organization, we want to recognize Js important contribution," he said.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently celebrated its 23rd anniversary.

"We're well-positioned," Parcell said. "A lot of that has to do with J.'s work over the last four years."

Dart's annual compensation was $210,880 according to a 2006 filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

Dart previously held positions with Safari Club International and the SCI Foundation. Before that he was president of Dart International Inc., a for-profit company that invented and produced interactive video target systems for use in the shooting sports industry.


J. Dart's Bio from The RMEF Website:

President & Chief Executive Officer
Peter J. Dart

A recognized leader in the shooting sports and hunting industry for over 17 years, Peter J. Dart is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s president and chief executive officer. Dart has long been passionate about the organization’s mission—he is an Elk Foundation Life Member and Habitat Council Member.

Dart also has great passion for the challenges associated with running a successful business, whether for-profit or non-profit. Before coming to the Elk Foundation, he was the executive director of Safari Club International and the SCI Foundation. Prior to that, for 11 years, he was president of Dart International Inc., a for-profit company that invented and produced interactive video target systems for use in various aspects of the shooting sports industry, including hunter education. After several years of rapid growth, he negotiated the merger and sale of Dart International Inc. in 1998 to Firearms Training Systems Inc., headquartered in Atlanta. Dart continued as President of the company until Jan. 2001.

Dart currently serves on the Sporting Conservation Council, which is a Federal advisory committee developed to advise the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture on wildlife resource conservation issues of interest to the hunting community. He has served on the board of the Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization (now the Archery Trade Association), and was its chair from 1998-2000. He served on the industry advisory board for the International Hunter Education Association, as well as the board of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation in Washington, D.C. Dart is a life member of several conservation organizations. He also actively volunteers for a variety of professional associations.

Dart earned a business degree from the University of Colorado in 1981. He is an avid hunter and outdoors enthusiast as well as a devoted family man. He and wife Cheryl and son Justin enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities from hunting to fishing to skiing.