Ducks Unlimited had its national convention in Milwaukee last week and announced the election of California native Paul Bonderson, Jr. as the organization’s 43rd president. Bonderson has spent the last nine years on DU’s board of directors, including spending time as its vice president.
Here’s a 2009 profile from the Contra Costa Times with some additional background on Bonderson, who was a successful electrical engineer and businessman while being a dedicated supporter of wildlife conversation in both the Bay Area where he lived and throughout Northern California.
From Times reporter Robert Jordan:
Bonderson became actively involved with Ducks Unlimited in 2000, when he and his wife, Sandi, began purchasing land in the upper Butte Basin south of Chico.
Nine years later, the Bondersons own a 2,500-acre ranch of which 1,500 acres have been restored from rice fields back to natural wetlands.
“His primary interest is in wildlife,” said Rudy Rosen, director of the Western regional office for Ducks Unlimited. “He would not have done what he did to make a place to hunt. He could have done a whole lot less.
“What he has done has nothing to with hunting. It has to do with restoration of habitat and protecting wildlife.”…
Bonderson inherited the conservation bug from his father, Paul Bonderson. The elder Bonderson spent his life dedicated to water issues in California as the executive officer of the state Water Resources Control Board.
The elder Bonderson was also an avid duck hunter and conservationist, taking his son hunting any chance he got.
When he wasn’t working on ways to improve California’s water quality or finding ways to keep Lake Tahoe blue, the elder Bonderson was teaching his son the importance of conservation.
“I have always been an outdoor person,” Bonderson said. “I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and am aware of how much it’s been destroyed. I have been focused on preserving it for future generations.”
Here’s the Ducks Unlimited release:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 2, 2015 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) welcomed Paul Bonderson Jr. as its 43rd president during DU’s national convention in Milwaukee on Saturday, May 30. Bonderson succeeds George Dunklin Jr., who now serves as the chairman of the board.
“I was honored to be elected as president of such a great organization,” Bonderson said after the election. “I have worked with Ducks Unlimited for quite some time, and I couldn’t be more proud to serve as its president for the next two years.”
Bonderson delivered his acceptance speech immediately following the elections and said he will focus on several priorities during his presidency including the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign, which seeks to raise $2 billion for waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
“The success of this campaign will in great measure shape not only our organization, but the future of wetlands conservation for many years to come,” Bonderson told the audience. “Rescue Our Wetlands is a continental wetlands and waterfowl conservation effort and comprehensive in nature – meaning everyone at every level within Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Ducks Unlimited de Mexico has a role to play.”
Bonderson said his other priorities included overseeing the implementation of DU’s next strategic plan, a continued focus on DU’s policy work in Washington, D.C., overseeing a new IT system upgrade, continued growth in DU’s youth and education programs and ensuring DU has a voice in addressing severe drought issues in his home state of California.
“As a native of California and a lifelong duck hunter in the Central Valley, our current drought situation is of great concern to me and all residents of the state,” Bonderson said. “Ducks Unlimited has long played a role in resolving water issues in the West. However, we have reached a point where water use and availability will now be a primary factor in our ability to engage effectively in conservation delivery and policy with our partners in this part of the country.”
Bonderson has been a member of DU’s board of directors for the past nine years, serving as first vice president, regional vice president, senior flyway vice president and senior advisory vice president for conservation. He is also a member of the Wetlands America Trust board – the land trust foundation arm of Ducks Unlimited. Bonderson and his wife, Sandi, live in Sunol, Calif., and have two children. He is retired from Brocade Communication Systems where he was co-founder and held various positions including Vice President of Engineering and CTO.
“My time spent on DU’s board of directors has been amazing, and I look forward to continuing my work as president,” Bonderson said. “I can’t wait to see all the great things we will accomplish over the next two years.”
This year’s convention also featured presentations from U.S Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack; Virtual Instruments CEO, John Thompson and Caterpillar Inc. CEO, Doug Oberhelman. Next year’s convention will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, June 1-5.