Elk NetworkSwanson Named New RMEF Chairman of the Board

News Releases | March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

Swanson Named New RMEF Chairman of the Board

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is proud to announce long-time businessman, outdoorsman and conservationist Lee Swanson is the new chairman of the board. Swanson replaces John Caid whose second and final term recently expired. 

“I am honored to be considered for such a position of responsibility by my peers and pray to live up to what their expectations are and to fill big shoes,” said Swanson. “This is an opportunity to use some skills and experience from a busy past life that might be able to continue to add building blocks to an organization which our founders and past leaders brought further than their dreams ever could have imagined.”

Swanson spent 50 years in banking, utilities and real estate, including stints as president, CEO and chairman of the board with State Bank of Cross Plains. He also served as a Cornell College trustee and director of Madison Gas & Electric Company, Chorus Communications and Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Overall, Swanson served on 16 different boards. 

Swanson joined the RMEF Board of Directors in 2008. He is also an RMEF Habitat Partner and life member. 

“Thanks to his vast range of leadership and life experience, Lee will be a tremendous asset to advancing RMEF’s mission,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “And he just doesn’t talk the talk either. He definitely walks the walk.”

Swanson devotes much of his time restoring a 500 acre tract of former farmland into prairie. He runs the foundation established to support the farm and conservation easement placed on it. He also helps oversee activities at the Swamplovers Nature Preserve, a site that received recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for work to restore and preserve rare plants and animals, which hosts numerous educational conservation gatherings, youth hunts and other activities.  

“Aldo Leopold is an idol of mine. I came to love, appreciate and enjoy the outdoors as a boy and an adult much as did he by hunting and fishing and being a part of the outdoors,” added Swanson.

Swanson and his wife Jacqui enjoy spending time at their home in northern Wisconsin. Lee treasures jaunts into nature to fish and hunt. He also has 45 years of experience as a hunter safety instructor under his belt. 

“Hunting is conservation and I am proud to be part of that effort,” said Swanson.