Michael Reck

Cameron, Montana

Biography

I am currently retired after 38 years of service as an Engineer for the U.S. Government. I served as a Program and Project Manager for the Department of Defense and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Strategic Capabilities Office. My most significant professional accomplishment was developing, fielding, and managing a software capability that coordinated the targeting and fires for U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and have extensive experience and knowledge with the federal government contracting process, contract law, and intellectual property rights. I also have experience with Foreign Military Sales and contract management with multiple foreign governments. My non-professional activities include coaching, trout fishing, fly tying, rod making, brewing and drinking beer. I spent many years as a volunteer wrestling coach in Virginia, coaching athletes who have gone on to win state titles and wrestle in college. My first visit to the Madison River to fly fish was the summer of 1989, and it was an experience that was life-changing. After years of working, and planning to retire in Montana to pursue my passions, it finally happened last summer. As a Madison County resident and retiree, I now have the time to volunteer and put some of my knowledge, skills, and experience to good use to preserve, protect, and enhance the river that we all love. I am willing to help the MRF in any capacity and in any way I can. I am married to Jayne Reck, who recently retired from a career as an elementary education teacher. We have two sons, Matthew, and David who are both avid fly fishermen.    

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors for the Madison River Foundation?

As a Madison County resident and fly fisherman, I have an interest and obligation to preserve, protect, and enhance the river in any way I can.

What makes our mission meaningful to you?

The MRF is our voice to provide input and influence the MFW&P regulations and management of the Madison River. The Madison River is an extremely valuable resource that must be protected. Past and proposed projects to enhance the river have had and will continue to have a positive impact. The mission of the MRF is also my personal mission.

What experience would you bring to the MRF board?

I have extensive experience and knowledge with the federal government contracting process, contract law, and intellectual property rights. I also have experience with Foreign Military Sales and contract management with multiple foreign governments. My professional experience may be valuable to the MRF if action is necessary for Helena. I have also been fishing the Madison River for 30 years and can relate to all of the issues.

What interests you about our organization? Which aspect of our organization interests you most?

I am interested in all aspects of the MRF, but I am especially concerned and interested in complete understanding all of the issues, variables, and constraints involved in protecting the resource. Many people use the resource for their personal benefit and enjoyment. Convincing people to use it wisely and getting them to understand and accept that proper regulation and management will benefit everyone may be difficult. I look forward to that challenge.

What is your favorite project the foundation has worked on and why?

I don't have a favorite project. I have not been involved in the MRF projects and don't want to speculate on the difficulty, importance, and impact that each of them has had. They are all important.

Do you support Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recommendations for the Madison River Recreation Plan? Why or why not?

Yes. I think the recommendations are good and will have a positive impact on the fishery and the fishing experience for the majority of those interested in using the river.

Do you support walk-in wade only sections on the Madison River? Why or why not?

Yes. Not everyone has a raft or the money to take a guided trip. Many people would rather wade fish and should be able to do that without boat traffic affecting their experience all day long. I strongly support walk-in wade sections.

Do you believe that the fishery will be impacted by overuse?

Yes. Overuse of the river is obvious. The fishing is still good but the experience on the Madison River is becoming like that of a theme park. At some point, I believe the fishery itself will suffer. Stress on the fish and surrounding wildlife are not anywhere near natural. We are loving the river to death.

How important is advocacy on local, state, and federal policies to you?

Very important. Without the proper policy, regulation, and enforcement, many people will misuse whatever resource is available to them. The MRF should be advocating for preserving, protecting, and improving the river at all levels of government.

What experience do you have with fundraising?

I have raised millions of dollars for federal government related defense projects. I have limited experience raising money from the public, but my professional fundraising experience may be very useful in raising funding from potential corporate donors.

How would you plan to increase fundraising for the Foundation as Board of Director?

I would target both large and small donors. Corporations and foundations that align with our mission can be presented with opportunities that will get them exposure and recognition for their donation. I would also work to get the MRF on the list of organizations for the combined federal campaign (CFC). Each year federal employees are asked to donate a portion of their income to charity and have it automatically taken out of their paycheck. It's an easy way to donate, it's documented for tax purposes, and has been very successful. I believe this is one way to raise large amounts of funding from small donors.

How much time a month can you commit to meetings and serving the mission of the Foundation?

I am recently retired and now have the time to volunteer and put as much time as necessary to help the MRF.