Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

RMEF Co-Founders, Wives to Lead Habitat Council

Charlie Decker and Bob Munson
(left to right)
“We suck at retirement!”

Those words came out of the mouth of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation co-founder Bob Munson, followed quickly by a hearty laugh. Munson spent 14 years on staff at RMEF including several years as president and CEO. His wife, Vicki, has a lengthy RMEF resume as well. She entered RMEF’s very first member on a computer in the couple’s living room in 1984 and carried out a wide range of responsibilities with RMEF until 1992.

Come early 2016, the Munsons along with co-founder Charlie Decker and his wife Yvonne will step up their volunteer efforts by becoming co-chairs of the Habitat Council (HC), a group of members who show their commitment and dedication to the RMEF mission with their enthusiasm and their philanthropic giving.

“It is a full plate,” said Charlie Decker. “I think everybody knows us so it has some up-sides. She (Yvonne) chewed on me constantly about what we should be doing so it’s a good thing. We really enjoy going and meeting the volunteers and other folks.” 

Decker continues to oversee a family logging business in northwest Montana. The Munsons are “retired” in the greater Seattle area where they enjoy their six children and 18 grandchildren who all live nearby. 

Yvonne Decker and Vicki Munson
“We want to give and train and impart all the love that we can for our personal family. I believe that is what drives both the Deckers and us to get involved with the RMEF family so we really immerse ourselves in it and it’s a huge blessing,” said Munson.

Bob and Charlie remain intimately involved with the conservation organization they founded. Both are lifetime honorary board members. Along with their wives, they log thousands of miles each year traveling to dozens of banquets, Habitat Partner receptions and other RMEF gatherings and events from coast to coast. 

“When we were told that the founders were being considered as Habitat Council chairman, we were very excited. The selection of the ‘Fab Four’ demonstrated the commitment of the organization to the HC. Who better to represent this group? Knowing the personalities it's going to be fun,” said current HC co-chairs Nancy and Howard Holland.

The Hollands wrap up a three-year term as HC co-chairs in February 2016. Under their leadership, the HC continues to grow in scope and in size. Their mentoring of members led to the addition of 10 new couples who attended the 2015 HC Summer Meeting in Park City, Utah.

Nancy and Howard Holland
“I think that was a great thing that created a new asset with new people. Both Howard and Nancy have been both innovative and creative in terms of involving themselves within the membership of the Habitat Council. Their leadership transcends the HC as they’ve been really great ambassadors for the RMEF wherever they traveled,” said Munson.

“The Hollands did an awesome job and they leave pretty large shoes to fill. My wife made the comment that maybe it will take four of us to replace the two of them to get the job done,” said Decker.

The Deckers and Munsons have goals of their own for their tenure. Among them are to continue the growth and excitement generated by the Hollands, reach out to additional corporate and business partners, establish a new development plan which would trigger a new era for philanthropy in the RMEF as a whole, and establish a transition process for more leadership coming out of HC membership.

In the meantime, the founders and their wives will continue to travel around the country in their spare time to rub elbows with those who support and strengthen the organization they established back in 1984.

“I’m blown away by the energy. That has always amazed me! That kind of chemistry where you see people so engaged in something because of the feeling that they own it inspires us to just want to be around more people with the RMEF,” said Munson.

“We’ll get ‘er done,” said Decker.

Determined words from a foursome of go-getters who excel at carrying out a conservation-related vision, but maybe not so much at “retirement.”

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