BOARD

Corey Goss

President (February 2017 – Present)

The best days in my life are when I see my kids smile. My favorite moments are when they catch a fish, shoot their first deer or make a perfect shot at an archery tournament. So, what could be better than forming a chapter under DSC that has a primary focus on youth. I think I speak for all our members, the board of directors, and officers when I say the only thing we want or expect out of the Heartland DSC Chapter is to produce smiles on the faces of the youth of today. When we do this, we will have done our part to ensure there is a future and freedom in the great outdoors. Whether they want to hunt, fish, shoot, or just go for a nature walk.

Chuck Kopocis

Secretary (February 2017 – Present)

I have been fortunate to spend a great deal of my life outdoors hunting, fishing and enjoying nature. While I am able to pass these traditions on to my own children and grandchildren, I wish to expand this influence to other youth that may have not been provided the same opportunity. Heartland DSC provides me the ability to share my appreciation for wildlife and nature. These things can only be fully understood by experiencing quality time outdoors.

Pat Shurtliff

Treasurer (May 2018 – Present)

We all have life choices that we make and one of my life choices was to spend time in the outdoors. I have had the opportunity to explore and experience the outdoors in many areas across the United States. As a youth, I earned the rank of Eagle Scout and am extremely proud that both of my sons have done the same. It is through my Scouting experiences and teenage friends that I developed a passion for the outdoors. One of my first memorable hunting experiences was with my oldest brother. He would wake me up very early to go duck hunting with him then drop me off at grade school before classes started. When I learned of the mission of Heartland DSC, I felt that it was an organization that I wanted to help support.

Kim Gibson

Director at Large (September 2017 – Present)

My story is similar to many outdoor enthusiasts in that my Father introduced and provided opportunities in my youth to experience the Great outdoors. Those early stories have been the driving force in my desire to hunt, fish, hike and camp worldwide while pursuing the bounty provided for all of us to enjoy, harvest and protect. Heartland DSC has allowed me to help create stories for Youth to get outdoors and preserve the heritage we love and want to share. Our mission is critical to the future efforts to increase participation geared towards Hunting, Fishing, Shooting, Conservation, and getting Youth involved in Outdoor Experiences. It was easy for me to support an organization that invests in Youth, including those with disabilities. We strive to create memories that become chapters in the story of the next generation of Outdoor Enthusiast.

Jerry Avis

Director at Large (February 2020 – Present)

While growing up in the Midwest, Corey and I had always been close as friends. Memories of many fishing excursions and teaching our kids to fish or hunt, have always been at the forefront of our lives. We have both passed those experiences to our children, and also onto other children. Teaching kids the simple pleasures that nature has to offer, is both rewarding and satisfying. The excitement of the first catch, the first hunt, or simply getting out in the great outdoors, is always gratifying through the eyes of a child. They are doing activities through the club that may not otherwise be a reality.

Jeff Kelly

Director at Large (March 2023 – Present)

There are few things I love more than being outdoors and spending time with my children. I grew up camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and doing many activities in nature which I now look back and realize how lucky I was to enjoy those experiences. Unfortunately, in 2014 we lost a child in the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. That devastating experience led me down a path to try and make sense of what had happened. I ultimately decided the best way for me to deal with the loss, was to take it head on and go back to where it happened. In late 2014 I began to volunteer with Children’s Hospital and Medical Center as part of their Scrub’s program, a group of community leaders brought together to help lead events at the hospital. When Covid hit, many of those activities had to be cancelled and I was looking for a new way to give back to the community and more so, to children. Kim Gibson, a neighbor of ours, invited my family and I to a Heartland DSC fishing event and the kids had a blast. What really caught my attention though was all the children who had never had the opportunity to fish. They were laughing, jumping, screaming with excitement, and having such an amazing time being able to experience the outdoors in a new way. After learning more about the chapter and realizing the support for disabled youth in the outdoors with the track chairs and the dream hunts for terminal children I was hooked. I asked Corey how I can do more and he suggested coming on as a board member and I did. I can’t wait to see what this opportunity has in store for me and more importantly, the children we serve!