Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bill Fenimore Wins ABA Award

The American Birding Association has selected Wild Bird Centers of America franchisee Bill Fenimore, owner of the Wild Bird Center of Layton, Utah, as this year's recipient of the prestigious Ludlow Griscom Award.

The American Birding Association (ABA) Ludlow Griscom Award is one of five ABA awards that recognize contributions dedicated individuals make to the cause of birds, birders and birding. The ABA Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology was awarded to Fenimore for his contributions to dramatically advance ornithological awareness throughout the state of Utah.

Fenimore is a birding advocate and proven leader who expresses his enthusiasm through involvement with numerous programs and organizations, including a leading organizer of the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, author of "Bird Sighting" a weekly Salt Lake Tribune column, vice-chair of the Utah Division of the Wildlife Resources Advisory Council, leader of birding expeditions throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, author of Backyard Birds state identification guides, just published in Spring 2008. Fenimore also serves as Trustee and Board member of such diverse organizations as the Utah Wildlife and Conservation Foundation, Ogden Nature Center and Utah Wildlife Board Nominating Trustee (appointed by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman).

Fenimore was overwhelmed when he received the call announcing his win, claiming he literally fell into his office chair. Fenimore says, "I am gratified to be considered in the same company as birding icons Roger Tory Peterson and Kenn Kaufman, previous recipients whom I greatly admire and who inspired me to create my State Backyard Bird Guide series. I feel tremendous emotion and awe to be selected for such an honor." Fenimore continues, "Birding has been the pathway for me into a life long enjoyment of the natural world. It has been a passion to share the joys of birding, especially with young children whom I hope will follow in a similar path."

George Petrides, Sr., founder and chairman of Wild Bird Centers of America, proudly nominated Fenimore for the award, citing his "boundless energy and enthusiasm for all aspects of birding which have significantly raised the visibility of birding causes and interests throughout the state of Utah and beyond." Fenimore has been a successful franchisee with the Salt Lake City area Wild Bird Center since 2001. He earned the company's national "Best Environmental Stewardship" award four years in a row, and received the company's highest honor in 2007 when he entered its "Hall of Fame," a tribute based on his experience and performance as a top-level executive and extraordinary role as a "Birding Ambassador" in his home state.

The ABA Ludlow Griscom Award is sponsored by Leupold Optics, who will present Fenimore with a plaque and pair of Leupold binoculars at the June 2008 ABA convention in Snowbird Lodge, Utah.

Fenimore joins many important contributors to American ornithology, including first award recipient, Roger Tory Peterson, who received the honor in 1980. Peterson is credited with publishing 52 volumes of the Peterson Field Guide Series as well as providing the inspiration and leading to the formation of countless birding associations and wildlife refuges.

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