Hunter, angler and businessman, Ben B. Hollingsworth Jr. of Houston, Texas, has been elected president of America's first conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club.
For more than 129 years, Club members have helped shape the scientific, educational, political, economic, social, technological and environmental forces affecting natural resource conservation in North America.
As the Club's 33rd president, Hollingsworth follows the tenure of Morrie Stevens of Saginaw, Michigan.
Hollingsworth is the founder and former chairman, president and CEO of Group 1 Automotive, a Fortune 500, New York Stock Exchange company (NYSE) headquartered in Houston. Earlier in his career, he served for 10 years as President of Service Corporation International, also a Houston-based Fortune 500, NYSE company. He is also active in other nonprofit conservation organizations including the Wild Sheep Foundation (Summit Member), life member of Grand Slam/Ovis, SCI Houston Chapter, Texas Bighorn Society, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (Chairman's Club) and Boone and Crockett Club's Wilderness Warrior Society.
"As a long-time hunter-conservationist, Ben has served the Club tirelessly in multiple capacities," said outgoing president Stevens. "Ben was instrumental in guiding the successful growth of the Club's development committee and the Club's endowment, providing financial stability to the Club now and into the future to fulfill its mission."
Before being elected president, Hollingsworth served in various Club officer positions, most recently as president of the Boone and Crockett Club Foundation, which is a supporting organization of the Club. He is a graduate of Rice University, where he was a student athlete and is a Trustee Emeritus and member of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Council of Overseers of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management. He has been honored with the Distinguished "R" Award by the "R" Association, and as a Distinguished Alumni by the Association of Rice Alumni.
Hollingsworth said, "Like most members of the Boone and Crockett Club I am a passionate hunter, fisherman and conservationist. I have noted that in my later years I have spent more time and dollars conserving than hunting, but I consider that a great investment in the future. I also understand, as most sportsmen do, that hunting is conservation. This may be one of our biggest challenges, ensuring that others see this as well and remain supportive or at least neutral toward hunting. Hunting is critical to wildlife conservation, public support is critical to hunting, and all three are crucial to one another."
He added, "I have never been associated with an organization with more dedicated members who devote so much of their time and treasure to our mission. It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt, the first President of the Boone and Crockett Club and one of my all-time idols. I proudly accept this role and will work hard to carry on his legacy."
Hollingsworth concluded, "I can assure you the Boone and Crockett Club will continue to maintain the Club's historic legacy of thought leadership in promoting good government policy as it relates to wild game and its habitat, and sportsmen's access to these resources. We will continue to seek and distribute new knowledge to guide critical decisions. We will also continue to educate the public and help them understand the historic role and contributions of the hunting and angling community in promoting and funding conservation of our wildlife and public lands for everyone's enjoyment."