Habitat & Conservation  |  10/24/2023

University of North Dakota Honors CEO Marilyn Vetter


Sioux Award recognizes outstanding achievement and leadership 

Earlier this month, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever President and CEO Marilyn Vetter was honored by her alma mater, the University of North Dakota (UND). Vetter received the prestigious Sioux Award for distinguished achievement and leadership, the highest award given by the UND alumni association.

“UND taught me it’s okay to have a path, but that you can take the fork in the road as well,” said Vetter. “The confidence I gained at North Dakota has meant so much to me throughout my career, and eventually lead me to my current position at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. I’m incredibly proud to receive this award, and to be an alumni of the University of North Dakota.”

Since 1962, the award has been presented to community leaders, accomplished professionals and devoted alumni who have dedicated their lives to serving others.

Vetter was born and raised in a hunting and farming family in Anamoose, North Dakota. After graduating from UND, she began her career as a news reporter and anchor in Bismark. She eventually moved into the pharmaceutical and government affairs world, rising to the role of group vice president, U.S. access strategy with Horizon Therapeutics. She took over as the President and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in early 2023.

Prior to becoming President and CEO, Vetter served on the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National Board of Directors, and has been an active member of the organization for over 20 years. 

“Her history as a dedicated volunteer, a lifelong bird dog lover and wing shooter resonates so well with our members, donors, conservation partners and staff in pheasant and quail country,” said Matt Kucharski, chair of the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever board. “She works incredibly hard to further our conservation mission, and I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this award.”

Vetter lives in New Richmond, Wisconsin, where she and her husband Clyde own and operate Sharp Shooter’s Kennel. In addition to serving on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors, she has also served on the Board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and was on the Executive Council of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association for more than two decades.