Dr A. J. (Lonnie) Strickland, a native of North Georgia, received a PhD in Business Administration from Georgia State University. He currently holds the rank of John R. Miller Professor of Strategic Management in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Alabama.
Lonnie’s experience is in strategic management and has developed strategic planning systems for numerous household name corporations. He is a very popular speaker on the subject of planning under conditions of high uncertainty and implementing strategic change. Lonnie serves on several corporate boards. He has served as Director of Marketing for BellSouth Advertising and Publishing (BAPCO) where he had the responsibility of $1 billion in revenues and $300 million in profits. He has participated in taking two companies to the New York Stock Exchange and is a founding member and Director of American Equity Life Insurance Company (AEL) which has grown from $5 million in assets to over $65 billion in 22 years.
Internationally, Dr Strickland has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Central America, Southeast Asia, Australia, with a particular interest in Africa. He has spent the last thirty-six years living in South Africa, deep in the bush, on a Private Game Reserve where he is one of the owners. He has spent considerable time working on the strategy of Kruger National Park, South African National Parks which is the body responsible for managing all South Africa’s national parks, and who currently manages 19 parks consisting of 3,751,113 hectares, over 3% of the total area of South Africa. He has also been associated with Elephants Alive. In all of these projects, the balance between the population of elephants, humans and the environment is the key issue.
In the area of research, he is the author of numerous publications including the best selling ‘STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: QUEST FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE’ 23rd ed., co-authored with Dr Art Thompson, Margaret Peteraf, and Dr John Gamble and published by McGraw-Hill.
Recent recognition was his being named the most influential professor among all professors at The University of Alabama according to a recent survey of graduating seniors. Dr Stickland has received numerous awards for his work including the ‘Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award for The University of Alabama’ and is a member of various honour leadership societies.
Lonnie splits his time between his homes in Alabama and his Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Kitty is his wife of 53 years and they have two grown children, two precious grandchildren, and two rescue dogs.
Loki Osborn has been examining the conflict between wildlife and people for over 20 years in both Africa and Asia. Osborn’s PhD focused on the ecology of crop-raiding elephants in Zimbabwe and his subsequent research has focused on the use of community-based conflict mitigation techniques to deter elephants from agricultural areas.
For ten years Osborn ran the non-profit Elephant Pepper Development Trust, which worked with rural farmers across southern Africa to develop protocols to enable them to protect themselves and their crops against elephants and provide a market for chillies from which these farmers could derive an income. Parallel to this initiative, he started Elephant Pepper, a commercial chilli pepper sauce business that used the chillies grown and harvested by rural African farmers in a range of food products.
Between 2005 and 2007 he assisted the Government of Botswana to develop the Okavango Delta Management Plan, and over the past three years, he has worked on a World Bank funded project to mitigate human/wildlife conflict countrywide in Botswana. Osborn worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society until 2009 and has since consulted for Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and the African Wildlife foundation on conflict issues in the region. Osborn currently runs Connected Conservation, a consultancy company that assists communities, NGOs and governments to develop practical mitigation solutions.
Mike was born and educated in the UK but a gap year journey in 1981 sowed the love of the African wilderness seed and his destiny was ordained.
Meandering across Africa Mike eventually settled in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
He has been involved in the Safari and Tourism Industry for over 30 years and is the CEO of Shearwater Adventures based in Victoria Falls.
Founded in 1982, Shearwater is a multi-faceted tourism company operating lodges, transport, tours and activities on and around the Zambezi River.
Mike is deeply passionate about the preservation and propagation of African Wildlife.
He is a trustee of the Vic Falls Wildlife Trust, a founder and trustee of the Elephant CREW and a founder member of the Pristine Vic Falls Society.