WALNUTPORT, Pa., June 17, 2005: At last, the traditional outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, and broadcaster has a professional media organization to call their own. Born out of necessity, the traditional hook-and-bullet media, joined by the shooting sports and angling industries, organizations and associations, have aligned to form the aptly named PROFESSIONAL OUTDOOR MEDIA ASSOCIATION (POMA).

The organization got its start when dozens of traditional outdoor communicators looking for a professional organization that served their specific needs met at the 2005 SHOT Show and via tele-conference with journalists attending the Safari Club International Show.

During the meeting, nine respected outdoor journalists were selected to serve as a steering committee to investigate the need for and, if deemed necessary, set up a new professional organization. Named by popular vote to the committee were: Jim Zumbo, J. Wayne Fears, Tom Gresham, John Phillips, Betty Lou Fegely, Jim Casada, Bryce Towsley, Tony Mandile and Laurie Lee Dovey.

Accepting the challenge requested of them, the steering committee began sculpturing an organization to serve the traditional outdoor press and industry. At a working meeting in Alabama, and through teleconferencing, the committee developed a mission statement, irrevokable charter, bylaws, membership criteria and elected a Corporate Partner committee member – Pat McHugh.

The committee determined a slate of nine interim (one-year term) directors, plus a corporate director, were needed to steer the organization during its formative years. To maintain continuity, and to have decades of organizational experience available, each member of the founding committee agreed to serve as interim board member.

A framework for managing POMA’s affairs also was established and, in cooperation with the Safari Club International and the outdoor industry, a database of potential POMA members was developed. In addition, the Outdoor Channel provided the initial funds necessary to incorporate and promote the association.

POMA became a reality. Its mission statement says it all:

The Professional Outdoor Media Association, Inc. is a group of individual communicators and Corporate Partners who believe in, defend, support and promote the heritage of hunting, fishing, shooting, and traditional outdoor sports through writing, photography, and other means. By doing so, members hope to educate the general public about these sports and encourage more participation in them. The organization serves the membership by helping members grow professionally, improve their skills, better their working environments and enhance their business.

POMA welcomes prospective members to its website at www.professionaloutdoormedia.org, where detailed information on the organization is found.

All individuals, firms and organizations who join POMA during the first 60 days of the membership drive, between June 18, 2005 and August 17, 2005, will be designated as “Charter Members”. Those who join during the period and make a financial contribution to the organization will be designated as “Cornerstone Members”.