Midwest Breakout Session
Senator Mark Allen - Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Mark Allen was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in November 2010. He has served as the Chair of the Energy Committee and Vice Chairman of both the Transportation and Veterans and Military Affairs Committees. He's also served on the Agriculture and Rural Development, Insurance and Judiciary Committees, along with the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation. He represents Oklahoma Senate District 4 which is comprised of Sequoyah County and the northern half of LeFlore County.
In 2016, he was elected Majority Whip and appointed Sportsman’s Caucus Chair and Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He currently serves as the chair of the Energy Committee, the vice chair of the Rues Committee, as well as a member of the Agriculture and Wildlife, Transportation and Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation.
Mark and his wife Nikki Allen are the owners of Allen Rathole, Inc., a family-owned business specializing in oil field service. Mark and Nikki have been married 22 years. They are members of the Victory Worship Center in Spiro, Oklahoma.
Mark was born and raised in Enid and moved to Wilburton in 1962. In 1963, Mark’s father started Allen Rathole. Mark worked side-by-side with his father in the business until he and a partner bought the business from Mark’s father in 1989. Mark and Nikki continue to own and operate Allen Rathole.
Mark Allen is a graduate of Wilburton High School and served in the U.S. Navy Seabees as a heavy equipment operator from 1968-1970. Except for the time spent serving his country, Mark has always lived in southeastern Oklahoma. He knows rural values and wants to ensure that we preserve our close-knit communities and agricultural heritage. Mark is a firm believer in God and country and the Constitution our United States was built upon, and praises the men and women who defend it.
A staunch conservative, Mark Allen is also concerned about safeguarding traditional values, keeping our families and communities strong and ensuring that our natural resources benefit Oklahomans and create jobs in this state. An endowment member of the NRA, Mark Allen stands strong for Second Amendment rights. Other affiliations include Pajaro Gun Club Board of Directors, a life member of the National Sporting Clays Association, Ducks Unlimited sponsor, life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Sallisaw and Poteau Chambers of Commerce, and Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
Nick Buggia - Upper Midwestern States Manager, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Nick Buggia joined CSF in August of 2018 as the Upper Midwestern States Manager. As part of CSF’s States Program Team, Nick works closely with state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses in the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Prior to joining CSF, Nick worked on political campaigns in his home state of Michigan ranging from State House to Governor, as well as working for Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley. Nick has experience working in Michigan’s executive branch under Governor Rick Snyder and in the State Senate, as Legislative Director for Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mike Green, where he spent the majority of his time focusing on natural resources and agricultural policy. Nick holds a Bachelor degree from Saginaw Valley State University, where he majored in political science and minored in economics.
A native of Mayville, Michigan, Nick is an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys hunting on the family farm and takes every opportunity to go fishing on Saginaw Bay.
Chris Horton - Senior Director Midwestern States/Fisheries Policy, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Chris Horton joined CSF in 2010 as the Midwestern States Director. In this role he oversees and interacts with the state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus throughout the region. As the Fisheries Policy Director, he serves as CSF’s primary point of contact on federal recreational fishing issues, as well as assists the States Program Team staff with challenges for anglers at both the state and regional levels.
Prior to joining CSF, Chris served as the Conservation Director for the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.). His primary responsibility was to work with and represent the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and B.A.S.S. members on local, state and national conservation issues that impact sport fishing.
Chris received a master's degree in fisheries from the University of Arizona. Prior to working with B.A.S.S., Chris served as the reservoir research biologist, as well as the black bass biologist, for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Kent Keene - Lower Midwestern States Coordinator, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Kent joined CSF in April 2019 as the Lower Midwestern States Coordinator. As part of CSF’s States Program Team, Kent works closely with the legislative sportsmen’s caucuses under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Kent earned a Master of Science in Wildlife Sciences from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. During his master’s program, Kent performed research in close collaboration with the state natural resource agencies in Alabama and Georgia regarding forestry and wildlife management. Prior to graduate school, Kent earned a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Wildlife and Conservation from Southeast Missouri State University. While working toward his bachelor’s degree, Kent served as the president of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society and held various volunteer and hourly positions with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
As a native of southwest Missouri, Kent grew up hunting white-tailed deer and waterfowl, as well as fishing in the creeks and rivers throughout the Ozarks. He is also an avid hunter of other large game, such as elk, pronghorn, and mule deer.
Representative Jeff Wardlaw - Arkansas House of Representatives
Elected in 2010, Representative Jeff Wardlaw currently represents District 8 in the Arkansas House of Representatives. An avid hunter and angler himself, Representative Wardlaw joined the Arkansas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2011 shortly after his election to advocate on behalf of the state’s sportsmen and women at the legislature. He currently serves on the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses.
Representative Wardlaw’s dedication to working with fellow Caucus members and leaders from both parties in the Arkansas House of Representatives served as a testament to the passage of House Bill 1459. This legislation allowed electronic certificates to be used in lieu of paper certificates for proof of hunter education and safety certification. The combination of modern technology and the education of young hunters helps sustain the standard of safety that is vital for sportsmen and women in the field.
Recently, Representative Wardlaw voted in support of House Bill 1569. This legislation created a permit to hunt and trap feral hogs. Legislation like this is crucial to helping to provide more opportunities for Arkansas hunters and trappers to pursue game and manage wildlife populations.
As a member of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission Oversight Committee, Representative Wardlaw helps ensure that the over 900,000 hunters and anglers in the state have ample opportunities to pursue fish and wildlife. The state’s sportsmen and women play a vital role in supporting the economy in the Natural State, supporting over 25,000 jobs and spending upwards of $1.5 billion in retail sales annually.