David Hawkins – Chairman of the Board
David Hawkins, a Mississippi native, began his outdoor writing career in 1990 with a weekly newspaper column in the Scott County Times. He joined SEOPA in 1992. Through the years Hawkins’ credits have grown to include: Mississippi Outdoors, Mississippi Sportsman, Mississippi Woods and Waters, Mississippi Lands and Lodges, Crappie, Camping Life, Cabela’s Online, Rifle and Shotgun Sport Shooting, Mississippi Game and Fish, Mississippi Digital Daily, and more than a dozen newspapers.
Bobby Dale – President
Like many outdoor communicators, Dr. Bobby Dale has a full-time or part-time career in another field. Two days a week you can find him at the local clinic. Dale writes an outdoor medical column for Delta Wildlife and occasional features for other outdoor magazines. He published a children’s book in 2009 and three turkey hunting books since then. Dale joined SEOPA in 2007 and has enthusiastically attended conferences and served on the board of directors. He and his wife Martha grew up in Tupelo, Miss. They have two married daughters, two grandchildren, five “rescue” dogs and a cat.
Alan Clemons – First Vice President
Alan Clemons has been writing and photographing interesting things for 30 years. He has lived and worked in Huntsville, Ala., since 1988 at two newspapers, and began freelance writing in 2001 for magazines, websites, and newspapers. Clemons has hunted and fished throughout North America, enjoys just about anything outdoors and pursues other interesting stories related to food, golf, and travel whenever possible. He is a SEOPA past president, has served as a committee chairman or on the board of directors since 1997, and is curmudgeonly. Clemons is married to the former Shannon Jones of Montgomery and they have two college-aged children, two dogs, a cat.
Kevin Tate – Second Vice President
Kevin Tate is vice president of Media Productions for Mossy Oak, in West Point, Miss. He works with an in-house team of professionals who produce more than 100 episodes of original broadcast television per year, airing on Outdoor Channel and Pursuit. Tate has been with Mossy Oak since 2000 and is also past chairman of the board of the Professional Outdoor Media Association. He produces a weekly outdoors page for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo. He and his wife Amy have two children, Avery and Walker.
Mike Giles – Secretary
Mike Giles is a Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff Member as well as an accomplished outdoorsman, award-winning wildlife photographer and author who has spent a lifetime in the outdoors. He is a Life Member of The National Rifle Association and the Bass Anglers Sportsmen’s Society. Giles has been a columnist for The Meridian (Miss.) Star newspaper since 1992 and a regular contributor to the Mississippi Sportsman and various magazines with credits in Mississippi Outdoors, Louisiana Sportsman, Mississippi Woods and Waters, Mississippi Game and Fish, NWTF’s Wheeling Sportsmen and others. As a gifted inspirational speaker, Giles promotes positive interaction with youth in the outdoors and urges people to “Imagine the Possibilities” and make a difference in our world.
Giles regularly devotes time helping as a guide and journalist with the NTWF Wheeling Sportsmen, Women in the Outdoors, and Jakes events. He also conducts youth fishing seminars and casting contests and has guided many youngsters and ladies to their first bass, deer, and turkey harvests. He and his wife Kathy live in Meridian, Miss., and they have three daughters, Chandler, Jackie, and Mikayla.
Tes Jolly – Director (2018)
A lifelong avid hunter, Tes Randle Jolly entered the outdoor and hunting industry in 1994 as a turkey hunting guide at Alabama’s White Oak Plantation. Since 1995 Jolly has served as archery instructor in the Alabama Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. Her career shifted into full-time in 1996. She and her husband Ron co-produced 10 whitetail and turkey hunting videos. Jolly is an award-winning freelance writer who also offers wildlife, nature, and forestry management photography services through her company, Jolly’s Outdoor Visions.
Jolly’s work has appeared in Turkey & Turkey Hunting, Deer & Deer Hunting, Quality Whitetails, Turkey Country, Get In The Game, Farming For Wildlife, Southern Trophy Hunters, Wildlife Trends Journal, Whitetail News, Outdoor Alabama, and in hunting books and wildlife calendars. Jolly joined SEOPA in 2002 and was voted into her first term on the board in 2008. She was presented the Tom Rollins Award — SEOPA’s highest honor — at the 2017 conference at Kentucky Dam Village.
Charles Johnson is serving on the SEOPA board for the first time by filling the remainder of Mile Giles’ term left vacant when Mike accepted the nomination of Secretary. Charles joined SEOPA in 2004 and has attended 12 conferences. He and his wife Ann live in Eastaboga, Ala., where Charles is the outdoor editor for the nearby Anniston (Ala.) Star. He also hosts a weekly radio segment.
Stan Kirkland – Director (2018)
Stan Kirkland is no stranger to the SEOPA family. He’s been a SEOPA member since 1994 and served on the board from 2004-2009 in all offices. He spent an entire career of 38 1/2 years working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a law enforcement officer and public information officer, retiring on Dec. 31, 2014. Stan now stays busy working with a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Panama City, Salvation Army Board and on occasion looks after two small grandchildren. He loves to hunt and fish and tell others about the wonderful opportunities we have. He and his wife Pam live in Lynn Haven, Fla., and they have three grown children.
Karen Lee – Director (2018)
After graduating from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., in 1999, Karen Lee sought a career that catered to her degrees in biology and journalism, as well as both sides of her ever-running brain. Internships in forestry and outdoors communications led her to a job at the NWTF in Edgefield, S.C. A mere seven months after graduation, Lee helped launch Women In The Outdoors magazine, landing the position of editor at age 22. Two years later, Lee launched Wheelin’ Sportsmen magazine as a benefit to NWTF members with disabilities. Karen worked her way up to become vice president of Communications whereby she oversaw NWTF magazines, publications, TV shows, website, social media, graphics and the NWTF Convention and Sport Show.
She recently accepted the position of Director of Communications for Hope for the Warriors, a charitable foundation dedicated to helping post-911 veterans and their families adjust to civilian life. When she is not working or hunting, Karen is trying to keep up with her energetic young son and her husband, who also works in the hunting industry. She loves road trips and live music, mostly 80s hairbands and especially Def Leppard.
Richard Hines – Director (2019)
Richard Hines is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in stream fishing as well as waterfowl and small game hunting, with credits in books as well as in state and regional magazines. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, and he recently retired from US Fish and Wildlife and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources after 39 years. He is a Boone and Crockett Measurer Emeritus, and he currently serves as vice president of the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA).
About serving on the board, Richard said, “I feel honored that SEOPA has asked me to serve such an outstanding group of professionals dedicated to the outdoors and to our nation’s natural resources. I look forward to working with the board and membership in providing additional insight that will further improve and continue building the organization.” Richard has been a member of SEOPA since 2007.
Chris Holmes is a past president of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, and an award-winning columnist, field reporter and contributing writer for Louisiana Sportsman magazine; contributing writer, Tide Magazine, Coastal Angler Magazine, Kayak Angler Magazine, Kayak Fish Magazine. Holmes joined SEOPA in 2005 and is serving his first board term.
Josh Honeycutt – Director (2019)
In 2012, Josh Honeycutt applied for and received OJEFA’s Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award for SEOPA conference scholarship. He attended the 2012 conference in Johnson City, Tenn., and has never looked back. One of the next big milestones in his career includes service on the SEOPA board of directors.
“SEOPA was a huge part in helping jump-start my career,” Honeycutt said. “Since then, I’ve striven to help pay it forward by serving others in the organization. I take pride in helping people as others have helped me.”
Honeycutt is an avid outdoorsman who grew up hunting the river bottom of south-central Kentucky. During deer or turkey season, you’ll find him high in an oak tree or sitting up against one. And he enjoys spending that time in the outdoors with his wife Kathryn, as well as the rest of his family and friends.
His passion for the outdoors led to a career as an outdoor writer, photographer and videographer. Josh currently serves as the associate editor and deer hunting editor for Realtree.com. He’s also worked for the National Wild Turkey Federation and his work has been published in nearly 50 publications and websites including Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, North American Whitetail, Whitetail Journal, Game & Fish, Fur-Fish-Game, and more. He takes pride in being a member of SEOPA, what he considers the foremost outdoor communicators’ association in the country.
Pam Swanner – Corporate Director (2019)
Pam Swanner has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the tourism industry throughout Alabama and the Southeast. As director of Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org) – a public/private sector non-profit organization – Swanner leads an association dedicated to fostering economic development in Alabama’s 23-county black belt region through the marketing and promotion of the vast outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, birdwatching, and others, and supports the marketing efforts of those representing the many cultural and heritage amenities.
Previously, Swanner has served as project manager for the Alabama Birding Trails development commissioned by Alabama Tourism Department; field researcher for Randall Travel Marketing, Charlotte, N.C.; vice-president of Marketing – Greenville, S.C. Convention & Visitors Bureau; executive director – Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau; and ten years in the hotel industry.
Manager of SEOPA day-to-day business operations; editor/publisher of SEOPA News; CEO of the Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America, SEOPA’s 501(c)(3) educational foundation.