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Schuessler and Smith begin new roles as DU Chief Event Fundraising Officer, DU Chief Development Officer

David Schuessler and Rich Smith have new leadership roles with Ducks Unlimited (DU). Schuessler is DU’s Chief Event Fundraising Officer and Smith serves as DU’s Chief Development Officer.

“David Schuessler and Rich Smith each have decades of volunteer and staff leadership experience with Ducks Unlimited. They are best in class at what they do and have led their teams to record achievements,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “I know they are just getting started on what they can do for this organization. They are passionate waterfowlers and accomplished business leaders in their fields. I am proud of all they have done in the past, and I cannot wait to see what they will accomplish going forward.”

Schuessler has a rich history with DU beginning in 1976, when he joined the DU Greenwing program in the Florida chapter where his father and uncle served as volunteers. He started his professional career at DU as a Regional Director in North Carolina in 1999. He then served as Fundraising and Volunteer Relations Director for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

In 2007, Schuessler moved to DU National Headquarters in Memphis to serve as DU’s National Director of Event and Volunteer Promotion. Over the last 12 years, he has overseen all operational components of DU’s Event Fundraising system and Youth and Education programs.

Schuessler was a Floridian for much of his early life and spent every possible moment on the water or in the field. His family has a rich hunting heritage, including a deep appreciation for the Ducks Unlimited family.

A graduate of Auburn University, Schuessler received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing. He first joined the DU volunteer ranks in 1993, serving as a Committee Member, Area Chairman and District Chairman. Before beginning his DU career, David was a district manager for Royal Cup Coffee.

“I am honored to serve DU’s Event Fundraising volunteers and staff in this new role as we work to make an even larger impact on North America’s waterfowl and wetlands conservation through our event fundraising endeavors,” Schuessler said.

Raised on the east end of Long Island, New York, Smith’s love of the outdoors came naturally from a family with a farming background and strong hunting and fishing tradition. He is a long-time waterfowler and supporter of DU, both as a volunteer and an employee.

Smith has been with DU since 2000, when he began his career as a Regional Director in Southeast New York. He then became the Director of Development in the Northeast and continued as a Managing Director of Development covering half of the United States. In 2011, Smith moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to lead DU’s Development program as the National Director of Development.

Before joining DU, Smith spent time as a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Falmouth, Maine, as part of the Gulf of Maine Coastal & Estuary Program and then was a partner in an independent insurance agency in Mattituck, New York.

He has an Associate degree in Science from Paul Smith’s College in New York, a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in Syracuse, and a Master of Science degree from California’s Humboldt State University.

“As a life-long supporter of Ducks Unlimited, I am honored and humbled to take on this significant role in our organization,” Smith said. “I have dedicated my life to conservation and am excited to guide our development program to even greater heights by leading a stellar team in advancing our partnership with our generous donors.”

For more information, visit, and be sure to Follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited and @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the worlds largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit

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