Marla Summerhill Ruskin was presented the Communicator of the Year Award at the 2019 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) held the banquet, co-sponsored by Alabama Power Company and PowerSouth Energy on Friday, August 9, 2019 at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville.

The AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards (GCAA) are the most respected conservation honors in the state of Alabama. Over the past 45 years, AWF has presented these awards to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources.

Growing up, Marla Ruskin, learned from her father, Hobbie Summerhill, a landowner and forester, an appreciation for the outdoors, wildlife and related natural resources.

Combining her love of nature with her creative mind and marketing skillset makes her job, as Communications Specialist and Managing Editor at AWF a perfect combination. Her greatest strength is being able to let each means of marketing draw you in to tell its own story of conservation.

Having worked at AWF for the past seven years, Marla strives to have an impact on young people and adults, by the things she puts in the magazine, highlights on the AWF website, markets in all advertisements, or shares throughout social media channels.

Her goal is to influence people to be good stewards, to visit AWF’s facilities and hear from the experts, to take opportunities and enjoy nature with family, and to learn the value of the outdoors.

It is more than just a job, it’s a way of life - promoting the conservation and wise use of our wildlife and natural resources to ensure them for future generations.

She uses all media outlets to educate readers, listeners and participants on conservation issues and initiatives, emphasizing their personal roles in conservation, in a way that impacts Alabamians across the state.

Additional sponsors included Ralph and Catherine Martin, David & Kelly Thomas, The National Wildlife Federation, Alabama Black Belt Adventures, CDG Engineers & Associates, Russell Lands, First South Farm Credit, Josh & Mary Virginia Mandell, Talladega Superspeedway, Lee Thuston, Russell Lands, Stifel.

The Westervelt Company, Hammer Construction and FirstGuard, LLC sponsored the social event prior to the banquet.

Alabama Gulf Seafood was sponsored by the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission.

AWF’s GCAA was created to promote leadership by example and in turn increase conservation of the natural resources in the state of Alabama including its wildlife, forests, soils, water and air.

The program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of their community and state.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization. The mission of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit group supported by membership dues and donations, is to promote conservation and wise use of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources as a basis for economic and social prosperity.

To learn more about AWF, including membership details, programs and projects, contact Alabama Wildlife Federation at 1-800-822-WILD or visit

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