(BADIN, N.C.) – John David Santi, a freshman at the University of Mississippi, is the fifth recipient of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. Presented by the Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America (OJEFA), the award provides one aspiring young outdoors communicator with a scholarship to the annual conference of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA). Santi received conference registration, lodging and travel expenses to Eufaula, Ala., where he met industry icons, attended seminars, and put his videography hosting skills to work.
Josh Honeycutt, a previous award winner, presented the 2015 award to Santi during the recent SEOPA conference.
“Applicants for this scholarship must demonstrate a strong interest in a career as an outdoor communicator,” Honeycutt said. “I was fortunate to receive this award in 2012. Receiving it and attending the 2012 SEOPA Conference in Johnson City, Tenn., was the single most influential factor in kick starting my career. Since then, I’ve grown my freelance base to include approximately 50 reputable publications and websites including: Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, North American Whitetail, Whitetail Journal, Game & Fish, Turkey Country, and more.”
Honeycutt went on to say Santi’s essay spoke of how he hated to read as a child, but outdoor-related literature changed that for him. “Today, he owns 2,500 books with themes on the outdoors and he’s read all of them. Those stories cultivated a desire for the outdoors. That is why he and a friend started Team Renegade Outdoors, a group focused on sharing their outdoor adventures with others through video and social media.”
In his acceptance of this recognition, Santi thanked God, family, friends, SEOPA, the Tinney family, and his business partner and fellow new SEOPA student member McLane McGuire. He noted that since receiving notification of the award this summer, new doors have been opened to him and Team Renegade Outdoors. “We are striving to be the newest outdoor media company that connects specifically with the younger generation, our generation,” Santi said. “Renegade is defined as a person who deserts or betrays a set of principles and guidelines. Now, we aren’t saying we are breaking all the game and fish laws, but we are outlaws when it comes to breaking the paradigm in the outdoor world. We aren’t traveling to the most exotic hunting destinations or the best fishing hole in the world, but we want people to realize that anyone can get into the outdoors, be successful, and tell their stories just like us.”
Stu Tinney, founder of the original Striper magazine and tournament series, is the benefactor of the Lindsay Sale-Tinney Award. His donation of $25,000 at the 2013 conference is restricted for the sole purpose of providing this conference scholarship. Tinney established the award to honor his late wife, Lindsay Sale-Tinney, and her love of the outdoors, animals, children, photography and education. “The SEOPA conference provides a super venue for networking, learning and enjoying fellowship with like-minded individuals,” Tinney said. “I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute to Lindsay than to send young outdoor communicators to a SEOPA conference.”
About SEOPA: The Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, Inc., has been helping outdoor communicators and allied industry representatives excel in their professions since 1964. For more information visit www.seopa.org.
About OJEFA: The Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation of America, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association in 2004 to further education, research and network opportunities in the field of outdoor journalism for students, active outdoor journalists and outdoor journalist organizations. For more information visit seopa.org/ojefa-mission-statement/
Contact: Lisa Snuggs, SEOPA Executive Director/ OJEFA CEO, email@example.com, 407-984-4700