Howard Vincent, born in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and the current president and CEO of PF, started with the group as a volunteer in 1985. "We were very, very good at planting food plots and we had a lot of landowners helping us," he explains. "But we knew even then that to have any real effect, we'd have to do a lot more than just feed birds. We needed nesting cover, science-based habitat projects. We needed to create a big-picture effect for pheasants." How to do that, Vincent said, was not clear at first. "We had all these chapters, with all these fired-up volunteers—which were then and are now the heart and soul of PF—and it was hard to leave behind the idea that just doing local projects was enough, especially when, after 25 years, we were up to 500 chapters, creating or restoring pheasant habitat on 300,000 acres every year." But there was a kind of ceiling to that hand-on, real-world work. Vincent describes that time as, "successful, but pretty static."