Introducing Our New President, Jon D. Walker (JD)

June 19, 2023

Today is a special day in Pennsylvania’s Elk Country as I announce to you the next President of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance, and yes, he’s familiar with our outfit. Our new President has been part of the Indiana Chapter of KECA for quite some time and is no stranger to our mission priorities. He grew up in Indiana PA and is very close to the Randy and Cathy Kimmel Family; Randy was KECA’s Founding Treasurer.

Jon David Walker from Indiana, PA will join the staff of KECA as our new President on July 10, 2023. JD, as he prefers to be called, was selected after a nearly 10-month process led by Vice-Chairman of the KECA Board Dave Spigelmyer. It was a unanimous decision by KECA’s Search Committee as well as the Selection Committee to name JD Walker as KECA’s next President. JD possesses the leadership qualities that our search and selection committees were seeking in order to lead our organization into the future.

JD is married, his wife is Jessica, she prefers to be called Jess, they have two daughters Victoria (17) and Brinley (13). JD and his family have sacrificed much for our country. JD is an Army Veteran of more than 22 years as an Army Non- commissioned Officer serving multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other foreign countries leading some of the finest men and women in our nation’s defense. JD is a decorated Army Veteran as you will see when you read his biography. Jess, also an Army Veteran, currently in the Army Reserves and she holds the rank of Major with 23 years of service.

JD is aware of KECA’s history, as well as our mission, and his passion for wildlife and Pennsylvania’s Elk Country is obvious. JD was a Game Warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and was assigned a district in Indiana County. While assigned to that district, JD found himself in Pennsylvania’s Elk Country on several work assignments. He has been involved in habitat projects and educational programs but most importantly, he possesses qualities that we believe will gain the respect of others as he leads our extraordinary and professional staff into the future.

JD will assume the position of KECA’s President July 10th. KECA’s Board of Directors asked me to remain as CEO for one year to help with the transition. Our plan is to pass the day-to-day operations to JD in the short term and transition into JD learning the entire organization over the next year. At that time, it is our plan to have JD assume both the President and CEO positions.

The process of selecting KECA’s President was stringent and taken very seriously by KECA’s Board of Directors, the Search Committee as well as the Selection Committee. Vice-Chairman, Dave Spigelmyer, a Founding KECA Board Member came back onto KECA’s Board for his second term to lead the selection process. Dave worked tirelessly to get this most important decision KECA has ever made completed. Dave’s leadership and 35 years of corporate experience was paramount to this outcome.

We should all be proud of the work that KECA has accomplished in the last 13 years. Together we built a world-class Elk Center, KECA’s conservation education programs have reached record highs, our habitat initiatives currently exceed 5,000 acres and we have permanently protected land, all while driving the economic development of the region. With JD’s leadership KECA’s future has no bounds. I ask you to join me as we are extremely fortunate and pleased to welcome JD, Jess, Victoria, and Brinley to our team and family at the Keystone Elk Country Alliance.

CEO Keystone Elk Country Alliance,

Rawley Cogan