Southeast Breakout Session Speakers
Senator Mike Bell - Tennessee General Assembly
Born and raised in Bradley County, Senator Bell currently lives on a farm in Southern McMinn County. Bell graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1981, and later received an Associate’s Degree from Cleveland State Community College.
In 1985, Bell married the former Lisa Brumley of Cleveland. They have five children and four grandchildren.
Bell was elected to the Tennessee State House of Representatives in 2006. While in the House of Representatives, Bell served on the Agriculture Committee, Children and Family Committee, Conservation and Environment Committee, Consumer and Employee Affairs Committee, and Government Operations Committee.
Bell was first elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2010. He represents the 9th Senatorial District, which includes Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties. Bell is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves on the Education and the Government Operations Committee.
An avid sportsmen and hunter, Senator Bell joined the Tennessee Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2010 and was selected as Co-Chairman in 2012. Bell was awarded the 2016 Safari Club International (SCI) State Legislator of the Year for efforts to promote hunting and conservation. Bell was awarded the 2016 Conservation Legislator of the Year from Tennessee Wildlife Federation for contributions to the responsible use and management of Tennessee’s natural resources and for helping to provide and support Hunters for the Hungry. In 2017, he was elected to serve as a member of the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses.
Legislative accomplishments include:
Allow firearms carry permit holders to possess a fi rearm in a refuge, public hunting area, or a wild life management area;
Prohibit anti-hunting radicals from using drones to interfere with lawful hunting and fi shing;
Protect funding for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency;
Helped secure a portion of the fuel tax to increase water access;
Enacted a Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish amendment that enshrined the right to hunt, fish, and harvest game subject to reasonable rules and regulations, and established a standard for reviewing such rules and regulations.
Additionally, Governor Bill Lee recently named Senator Bell as Chair of the Asian Carp Advisory Commission.
Bell owns a small business and is an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys numerous hunting and fishing activities ranging from bear hunting to catfish grappling. He and his family are members of Eastanallee Baptist Church in Riceville.
Representative Scott Bounds - Mississippi House of Representatives
Rep. C. Scott Bounds (R)-Philadelphia, represents the city of Philadelphia, Neshoba County and a portion of Leake County in Mississippi House District 44. Rep. Bounds was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2003 and is beginning his fifth full term in the Mississippi House. He currently Chairs the House Public Utilities Committee and is a member of the committees on Appropriations, Joint Legislative Budget, House Management, Investigate State Offices, Universities and Colleges and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Rep. Bounds previously served as Chair of the Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee for 8 years.
In addition to these appointments, he is also a member of the Mississippi House Republican Conference. The Conference is comprised of the Republican members of the House whose beliefs lie in implementing strong, traditional family values, free enterprise and pro-business legislative policies.
Rep. Bounds also serves Chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen Caucus. The Caucus is comprised of House and Senate members who strive to protect our rights to keep and bear arms and to protect and preserve our hunting and fishing rights through legislative policies. The Caucus is the largest bi-partisan caucus in the Mississippi Legislature. He is also one of 13 individuals nationally on the Executive Council of the National Association of Sportsmen’s Caucus (NASC). He is a close ally to Speaker Philip Gunn and assists the House leadership in strategic planning, policy initiatives and House floor procedure.
Rep. Bounds is a graduate of Philadelphia High School and attended Mississippi State University where he studied Business Administration. He is a Territory Manager for Working Solutions, LLC, a regional staffing firm specializing in Industrial, Clerical and Professional employment placements. For many years also, Rep. Bounds was involved in a family poultry and beef cattle operation in Neshoba County and in retail management. He continues to be involved with his family in the conservation and wildlife management of family land in Neshoba County.
Rep. Bounds is a member of the National Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Wildlife Mississippi, The Community Development Partnership, Neshoba County Farm Bureau, and the Neshoba County Forestry Association and is a longtime board member of the Neshoba County Fair Association where he is Vice President and serves as Program Chairman. He is a lifetime member of First Baptist Church is Philadelphia where he serves as Chairman of the Deacon Council.
Rep. Bounds is married to the former Jennifer Cheatham of Philadelphia and have a host of nieces and nephews that occupy their time.
John Culclasure - Southeastern States Assistant Director, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
John Culclasure joined CSF in February 2016 and is now the Southeastern States Assistant Director. John works with the state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus throughout the region.
Prior to joining CSF, John managed the land protection program at a land trust in his home state of North Carolina where he helped landowners conserve private working forests and partnered with state and federal agencies to improve access to public lands. As a volunteer sportsman, he worked with other hunters to improve wildlife habitat on National Forests by supporting active forest management projects and engaging in forest planning collaborative efforts.
John has been hunting and fishing since he was young and particularly enjoys grouse hunting with his bird dog, Susie.
John has a Bachelor of Science in forestry from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
Mark Lance - Southeastern States Coordinator, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Mark joined the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) States Program Team in August of 2020 as the Southeastern States Coordinator. As part of the States Program Team, Mark works with the legislative sportsmen’s caucuses under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Mark served as a Brad Rowse Policy Fellow for CSF during the summer of 2019.
Mark is a lifelong Mississippian who developed an early passion for wildlife conservation through hunting and fishing. Mark is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture from the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University and expects to graduate in November 2020. While in school, Mark was recognized by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as one of their Wildlife Leadership Award winners and was selected as a William A. Demmer Program Scholar, which is a Boone and Crockett Club University Program. Mark participated in numerous hunter outreach and youth engagement events while in school, and he also served as a Montgomery Leadership Program Fellow where he led community service projects on the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.
Mark enjoys many different types of outdoor recreation, particularly chasing turkeys in the spring.
Nick Pinizzotto - President and CEO, National Deer Association
Nick Pinizzotto is President and CEO of the National Deer Association. The organizations are national non-profit conservation group focused on matters impacting all North American deer species with focus areas that include policy, deer management, research, education, hunting, and hunter recruitment. Before coming to NDA, Pinizzotto was President and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance and he also served as CEO of Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Prior to that he was an Associate Vice President of watershed conservation at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for 11 years.
He is a lifelong outdoorsman with fondness for archery hunting white-tailed deer and fly fishing. He is also a published outdoor writer, photographer and videographer, and is currently overseeing a major communications campaign to educate people about chronic wasting disease while motivating hunters to lead the way on dealing with the issue.
Pinizzotto has served as an international advocate for the hunting industry and has appeared on CNN, CBS Morning News, Fox News, The Today Show, Sportsmen’s Channel, and NRA TV. He is a member of the U.S. Delegation of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and is a Professional Member of the Boone and Crockett Club. Pinizzotto holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography, and a master’s degree in psychology.
Senator Robin Webb - Kentucky General Assembly
As one of the founding members of the Kentucky Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Senator Robin Webb has been a stalwart supporter of sportsmen’s issues and Kentucky’s sporting heritage in the General Assembly since 2005. Senator Webb previously served as President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council and in NASC Executive Council leadership roles as Secretary and Vice-President.
In Kentucky, Senator Webb regularly enjoys hunting, angling, and horseback riding and showing. She is no stranger to the conservation arena and credits her father, a former Wildlife Commissioner under eight governors, for instilling a strong passion for promoting and advancing hunting, angling, and natural resources in the Bluegrass State. In addition to her involvement and leadership with NASC, Senator Webb is a National Rifle Association Life Member, National Wild Turkey Federation member, and a Ducks Unlimited Life Sponsor.
Over the years, Senator Webb has authored comprehensive land stewardship legislation, as well as measures related to game meat donations, knife preemptions, hunter education, and banning internet hunting. Additionally, Senator Webb works closely with Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to communicate sportsmen’s views on hunting and fishing seasons, crossbows, and exposing children to Kentucky’s natural heritage. She was also an original sponsor of the resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fishing Restoration Act (WSFR) in 2012.
"Kentucky is blessed with storied sporting traditions and vast natural resources. The opportunity to protect and advance issues of importance to Kentucky’s sportsmen and women in the legislature has been very rewarding” Senator Webb stated.
Representative Brian White - South Carolina House of Representatives
A lifelong resident of South Carolina and an avid sportsman and outdoorsman, Representative Brian White was first elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2001. He has earned the reputation as an experienced and dedicated statesman who shapes public policy based on his commitments to strong families, sound economic growth and high-quality education.
Throughout his life, Brian has been an avid sportsman and outdoorsman serving as South Carolina’s Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus chairman from 2011-2013 and 2018-present. His leadership within the state Caucus, one of the largest caucus in the SC State House, continues the strong tradition of the bipartisan and bicameral Caucus and is consistently a strong advocate for sportsmen and women in South Carolina. He currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucus.
Representative White was the primary sponsor and champion of the legislation that proposed a constitutional amendment to the voters of South Carolina to constitutionally protect the right to hunt and fish. The measure ultimately passed the State House and then was approved by the voters with almost 90% voting in favor. In 2018, Brian was the primary sponsor of legislation to make the Conservation Bank permanent and add more public access to the outdoors. Brian was diligent in his work as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to fully apportion funds to the Department of Natural Resources to ensure the future of hunting and angling through sound-science and wildlife management principles.
Brian served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 2011 to 2018, served on the SC State Budget and Control Board from 2011 to 2018, and chaired the House Rules Committee. Currently, Rep. White is a proud member of the state’s Labor, Commerce and Industry committee. Rep. White formerly sat on Clemson University’s Forestry and Natural Resources Advisory Board, has been honored with the Southeast Legislator of the Year Award for the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, the Natural Resources Legislator of the Year, and the NRA's Rick Daniel Memorial Defender of Freedom Award.
"The South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus, and NASC as a whole, does a tremendous job of educating legislators on sportsmen's issues to ensure sound policy as well as promoting the huge economic benefit hunting and angling provides across the state and country. These pursuits are vastly important to South Carolina, and me personally, and working to protect them is a major priority for me as a legislator."
Brian and his wife Courtney have three daughters, Amelia, Isabelle, and Madeline. Brian is committed to passing on his love for hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors to his daughters and to the next generation of South Carolinians.
Representative Jerome Zeringue - Louisiana House of Representatives
Jerome Zeringue or “Zee” as he is known to his friends grew up hunting and fishing along the coastal marshes of south Louisiana. His love for the outdoors inspired him to become a certified fly casting instructor for the Federation of Fly Fishers and teaching a continuing education course on fly fishing at Nicholls State University. That love of the outdoors also lead him into a career, after earning a BS in Zoology and a Masters of Fisheries Science, both from LSU, “Zee” began his career as a fisheries biologist for LSU Sea Grant.
A few years later, The Nature Conservancy was working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a wildlife refuge in Terrebonne Parish. The Nature Conservancy hired “Zee” to serve as their Coastal Resources Director and lead the effort that ultimately helped establish the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge.
Zee later became the Director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District (TLCD) working to develop coastal resiliency and protection projects for the region. After ten years with TLCD, Zee was hired by the Governor’s office to serve as Director of Policy and Programs for the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. He later served as the Executive Director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the agency responsible for implementation of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, a $50 billion dollar plan to restore and protect Louisiana’s coast.
In addition, Zee served on Governor Bobby Jindal’s Cabinet, as the Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Zee left that position to run for state office and he is currently serving as the State Representative for House District #52. He is Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Vice Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and a member of the House Select Leadership Committee, among others.
He also is currently serving as a Principle for Progressive Coastal Consultants.