Press Release Mar 25, 2015

National Parks Conservation Association Honors Park Champions at Annual Salute to the Parks Gala

NPCA presents key awards to longtime national park champions.

WASHINGTON, DC– At its 34th annual Salute to the Parks benefit dinner in Washington, DC this evening, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will present key awards to longtime national parks champions. The Sequoia Award will be presented to Thomas F. Secunda and the Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of our National Parks will be presented to Douglas Brinkley.

NPCA’s Sequoia Award recognizes extraordinary commitment to the organization and its work through philanthropy, volunteer service, programmatic efforts, or policy work. Awardees have demonstrated their commitment and leadership to NPCA for a sustained period of time. Following the inaugural Sequoia Award presented to Fred Stanback in 2013, Thomas F. Secunda is only the second recipient to receive this honor.

“Years ago, Tom and Cindy Secunda were a young married couple in New York who encouraged their family and friends to contribute to the National Parks Conservation Association in lieu of wedding gifts,” said NPCA President and CEO Clark Bunting. This gesture – combined with many subsequent years of generous support to NPCA’s regional and national programs – exemplifies the spirit of the Sequoia Award. It’s a privilege to present Tom Secunda with this award to honor a lifetime of support for NPCA’s mission to protect and enhance our national parks for present and future generations. Not only a Trustee, Tom is a pillar for our community, a true champion for our national parks, and I thank him for his unwavering support.”

The Robin W. Winks Award is given annually to an individual who has effectively communicated the values of the National Park System to the American public. The award recognizes Dr. Winks’ long association with NPCA and his expertise on the National Park System. The award acknowledges the work of individuals contributing to the public education about national parks through works in the arts, media, or academia.

“It’s an honor to present Douglas Brinkley with the Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of our National Parks,” said Bunting. “I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate and recognize his leadership in promoting the value of conservation of our national parks. As a historian-author, Doug’s ability to interweave culture, history, and science to educate the next generation of park advocates is beyond compare. While we honor Dr. Brinkley tonight, I know his work will continue to inspire and enlighten.”

Also this evening, NPCA will present its William Penn Mott, Jr. Park Leadership Award to U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington and U.S. Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho for their strong leadership in advocating for our national parks. This award is presented annually to a public official who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the protection of America’s natural and cultural heritage.

Fran Ulmer, chair of the NPCA Board of Directors, will present the Sequoia Award. Theresa Pierno, NPCA’s chief operating officer, will present the Mott, Jr. Park Leadership Awards and the Winks Award.

About Mr. Thomas F. Secunda
Tom Secunda is the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Bloomberg, L.P. Secunda serves as a member of Bloomberg’s Management Committee, which is also comprised of Michael R. Bloomberg and Peter Grauer. Previously, Secunda served as the global head of Bloomberg’s Financial Products and Services, overseeing a global staff of 6,000 in over 192 locations. He has also overseen more than 3,000 technologists in Bloomberg’s Technology Research & Development unit. Under his leadership, sales of the Bloomberg Professional service - which is the world’s most trusted source for real-time and historical pricing, indicative data, reporting, research, estimates and analytics - reached an all-time high of more than 320,000 subscriptions. Widely respected as an environmentalist and conservation advocate, Secunda has served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), recognized as the nation’s leading voice for America’s national parks. Secunda also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, and he serves on the boards of the Intrepid Museum Foundation and The Manhattan Theatre Club. Secunda holds a BS and MS in mathematics from SUNY Binghamton.

About Dr. Douglas Brinkley
Dr. Brinkley is a Professor of History at Rice University, bestselling author, and presidential historian. He serves as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Audubon, and American Heritage. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly, he is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Century Association, and the Society of American Historians. Additionally, Dr. Brinkley has been actively involved in the conservation environmental community, and is finishing the third volume of his U.S. environmental history series, tentatively titled Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America. The first two volumes—The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America and The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879 to 1960—were published in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Both were major bestsellers. Over the course of his career, he has held board or leadership advisory roles in the American Museum of Natural History, Yellowstone Park Foundation, National Audubon Society, and the Rockefeller-Roosevelt Conservation Roundtable.


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit