OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Chairman | Las Vegas, NV
TERM EXPIRES 2020
Brett Jefferson grew up in Boulder City, Nev., where seeing bighorn sheep was a daily occurrence and marked the beginning of Brett’s passion for wild sheep. Brett attended Denver College, where he received an Associate of Science degree and later attended California State University-Fresno’s Surveying and Photogrammetry program. Brett is a licensed professional land surveyor in Nevada, California and Arizona and for the last seventeen years has been the executive vice president/chief operations officer for Tri State Surveying, Ltd., with offices in Reno/Sparks and Las Vegas.
When Brett relocated back to Southern Nevada in 2013, he became more involved with the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn and was elected president in April 2015. Brett has served on the banquet committee and participated in water developments, trap and transplant projects and disease investigations in Southern Nevada. Since 1998, Brett has been a member of Nevada Bighorns Unlimited-Reno and served as a director and treasurer for his last three years on the board. Among his highly active service, he was chair of the Membership and External Relations Committees, volunteered at youth outreach events and edited the NBU Journal.
Brett has served as secretary to the WSF board of directors and chaired or vice-chaired several key committees, in addition to working on several initiatives vital to WSF’s growth and future. Brett is a Summit Life member and a member of the Chadwick Ram Society.
Treasurer | Chatsworth, CA
TERM EXPIRES 2022
Darryl grew up in Texas and started hunting with his father when he was 5 years old. After a 25-year career in the U.S. Navy serving in the Diving and Submarine communities, Darryl began working in the Defense Industry. He is currently an executive with Northrop Grumman in Southern California. Darryl holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from Pepperdine University and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Darryl first became interested in wild sheep in 2006 and made his first sheep hunt to Alaska in 2008. After seeing his first Dall’s Sheep, he knew he wanted to get involved in the conservation of this very special resource. Since 2008, Darryl has served on the boards of the Eastern Chapter WSF, California Chapter WSF, The Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep, Co-Chaired the WSF Life Member Breakfast, and served on numerous WSF committees. Darryl is a Summit Life Member and he and is wife, Cassie Shafer, are Chadwick Ram Society Members.
President/CEO | Bozeman, MT
Gray N. Thornton serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), the premier sheep and mountain game conservation organization in the world dedicated to “Putting and Keeping Wild Sheep on the Mountain®.”
Prior to joining the Wild Sheep Foundation in 2008, Thornton served as Executive Director of the Dallas Safari Club from 1997-2008 and Chapter & Membership Director for Safari Club International from 1990 – 1997 producing record results for membership growth, fundraising and mission funding for both organizations. Thornton followed his passion to the conservation/hunting industry after a successful sales career with Unisys and Xerox corporations.
As a public speaker he has been invited to present keynote addresses on wildlife conservation and hunting and angling ethics internationally to diverse audiences ranging from civic and sportsmen’s groups, to international associations, the Serbian Parliament and former Presidents of the United States of America, France and South Africa.
Gray was awarded the “Wildlife Utilisation Award” by the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), the Association’s highest conservation honor. He also received PHASA’s highest service honor, and the Coenraad Vermaak Distinguished Service Award and was the first non-South African to be so recognized. Thornton has received the President’s Award from the Guide Outfitter Association of British Columbia for his years of dedicated service to the hunting and conservation community. As an Outdoor Writer, he received a Katie Award from the Press Club of Dallas representing the southern USA for the best Outdoor Story of the Year with “Iron Horse Fly Fishing.”
Thornton serves on the Board of Directors of Bear Trust International where he serves as Vice-Chairman of Board. He has also served on the Boards of the Conservation Fund, the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa Conservation and Empowerment Fund, the Ballot Issues Coalition, the Banovich Wildscape Fund, and the Lone Star Outdoor News Foundation.
He is a Summit Life Member of WSF, a Chadwick Ram Society Member, a WSF Legacy Society Member, and a Life Member of numerous WSF chapters and affiliates. Thornton is also a Life Member of SCI, NRA, DSC, TU, a Monarch Life Member of Wild Sheep Society of BC, and a Life Member of many guide/outfitter associations.
He is an avid hunter as well as salt and freshwater fly fisherman and has hunted and fly fished throughout North America and internationally including 17 safaris to Africa and has hunted in New Zealand, Germany, Mexico and Canada. As a mountain hunter, he has taken all Four North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS), a Rocky Mountain goat as well as tahr and chamois.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Marketing from California State University at Fresno and has earned advanced credits in Wildlife Management from Colorado State University at Fort Collins.
Thornton resides in Manhattan, Montana with his Weimaraner Sage and Vizsla, Sienna.
TERM EXPIRES 2020
Karen Gordon grew up with an interest in wild sheep inherited from her grandfather, who was a sheep hunter in Alaska. One of his rams hung in her family home as she was growing up. She started shooting competitively when she was 14 and shot on the University of Alaska Rifle Team for three years. Karen holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska.
In her professional life, she has worked in banking and public administration, with Alaska Native Corporations, and with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. She ultimately became a self-taught and biologist-tutored Dall sheep biologist. She is employed as an administrator and wildlife support specialist for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. In all, she has worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Natural Resources for three decades.
A WSF Summit Life member and Chadwick Ram Society member, Karen has been active in the Alaska FNAWS/WSF Chapter for about a decade as a board member and officer and has served on the WSF Professional Resources Advisory Board (PRAB) for almost that long. She has served on WSF’s board of directors as vice president, secretary and treasurer, and she has been a grants reviewer for the foundation since 2005. Active in fundraising for WSF and at the Sheep Show™, she has represented the Alaska Chapter at Chapter & Affiliate Summits and was the logistical coordinator of the 2004 Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council Biennial Symposium in Canada and Alaska’s Inside Passage. She has also written a variety of wildlife conservation/hunting-oriented stories for magazines including Wild Sheep.
TERM EXPIRES 2021
Born and raised on a farm/ranch in North Dakota provided Larry Jacobs the opportunity to build a strong work ethics at a young age. He has always been passionate about new adventures and opportunities in life. He traveled to Oregon for summer work, to earn his way through college, and started a Custom Construction Co. the at age 20. He still owns and operates this business forty-seven year later, building custom homes and light commercial projects. Larry also operates a farm and ranch business.
Larry has always spent time volunteering to local, county, state and regional non-profit groups so after drawing an Oregon bighorn tag in 2002 he joined OR-FNAWS for an opportunity to give back. He became a board member in 2003, served as VP in 2004 and as President in 2005,2006, 2016 and is the current Oregon President. He has initiated numerous hands on projects in Oregon- including guzzlers, spring projects, weed projects and juniper cutting to name a few. Larry has actively participated in the Hells Canyon Initiative as the OR-FNAWS representative since 2004. He has also participated in public land management planning in OR, WA and ID since 2004. Larry takes a leading role in the chapter fundraisers each year. The Oregon Chapter presented their Jo Josephson Lifetime Achievement award to Larry in 2007. The WSF Gordon Eastman award was presented to Larry in 2010 and the WSF Outstanding Achievement award was presented to him in 2016. He is dedicated to bighorn sheep and passionate about the future of our public lands and wildlife management strategies for these lands.
Emilio Rangel W.
TERM EXPIRES 2021
Emilio Rangel W. is CEO of Monterrey, Mexico based Ecumene Desarrollos a real estate investing firm and brings more than 25 years of NGO, private sector and governmental agency leadership experience to the WSF board. Rangel, a former Ducks Unlimited Mexico Executive has served as President of the Wildlife Management Trust, National Association of Water Works Institutions of Mexico, CEO of Water Works for the state of Nuevo Leon and Director General of the National Rural Registry of Land. Rangel received a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Management and a BS in Agricultural Engineering. Emilio and his son Emilio, Jr. and business partner Rene Hernandez are owners of Rancho La Palmosa and are responsible for the repatriation of more than 500 free-range desert bighorn sheep to their native range in Coahuila. La Palmosa received WSF’s Special Conservation Award in 2016 for their work to put and keep desert bighorn sheep back on Coahuila’s mountains. Rangel is the first Mexican citizen to serve on WSF’s Board