About the Honoree

Highlights of the Night

The American Museum of Fly Fishing honored Ted Turner with the museum’s 2016 Heritage Award at the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York City on May 12. The award honors and celebrates individuals and organizations whose commitment to the museum, the sport of fly fishing, and the conservation of our natural resources set standards to which we all should aspire.

Ted Turner is an American media mogul who began his career in 1970 with Turner Advertising Company. Subsequently, he launched TBS and the superstation concept, and purchased the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks. He started CNN in 1980 and continued the next two decades with unrivaled television and entertainment brands (TNT, Cartoon Network, Time Warner Cable, and more).

Aside from being an entrepreneurial mastermind, Turner is an extremely influential philanthropist who supports clean energy, improvement of water and air quality, wildlife habitat protection, and the safeguard of environmental health. Over the past several decades, he has established multiple foundations in support of these efforts, including Captain Planet Foundation, Turner Endangered Species Fund, Nuclear Threat Institute, and the United Nations Foundation (founded with his billion-dollar gift). His efforts have been recognized through many industry awards and civic honors, including multiple lifetime achievement awards, and he has been recognized as Angler of the Year by Fly Rod & Reel magazine and Man of the Year by Time magazine. Turner is both a true ambassador for the sport of fly fishing and a steward of natural resources, and AMFF is pleased to honor him for his commitment.

This successful Heritage Award celebration would not have been possible without Honorary Chairs Leigh and Annie Perkins and Event Committee members Dave Beveridge, Peter Bowden, Dayton Carr, Tom Davidson, Karen Kaplan, Erik Oken, Fred Polhemus, Robert Scott, and Warren Stern. Additionally, many thanks to guest auctioneer Nick Dawes; master of ceremonies Karen Kaplan; Beau Turner, Ted’s son, who narrated the tribute video; and Gary Jobson, who was an insightful and entertaining guest speaker.

We would also like to thank the Leadership Circle, including Mike Bakwin, Foster Bam and Sallie Baldwin, David J. Beveridge, Peter Bowden and Jefferies LLC., Dayton Carr, Mark and Arlene Comora, Charles Patrick Durkin Jr., David B. Ford, George and Beth Gibson, Alan and Linda Gnann, Tim Hixon, Summerfield Johnston, Art Kaemmer, Karen Kaplan, Robin McGraw and the Black Rock Foundation, the Moore Charitable Foundation, Erik and Jennifer Oken, Leigh and Annie Perkins, Eric Roberts, Robert and Karen Scott, Nick Selch, Hewitt B. Shaw, Warren and Susan Stern, Ted Turner Enterprises/Turner Foundation, Richard and Marye Tisch, Andrew Ward, James Wolfensohn, and Nancy and Alan Zakon.

Our gratitude is extended to Fred Polhemus for the donation of his new book, Arthur Shilstone: A Lifetime of Drawing and Painting, and Scientific Anglers for their fly line, each received by all the attendees.

We would also like to acknowledge master fly tier Roger Plourde for his beautiful and original salmon fly, Sir Ted, featured in the framed award given to the honoree.

Finally, we greatly appreciate the individuals and businesses who supported and donated items for the live and silent auctions: 3-Tand Reels, Above All Vermont, E. M. Bakwin, Peter Basta, Jim Becker, Berkshire Rivers, Bighorn Angler Fly Shop and Lodge, Steve and Sandra Bogdan, Cape Neddick Country Club, the Clark, Collectors Covey, Mark Comora, Cortland Line Company, Costa Del Mar, Tom Davidson, Bert Darrow, Rachel Finn, Adam Franceschini, E. and J. Gallo Winery, George Gibson, Gringo Jack’s, Eleanore Hayes, Healing Waters Lodge, Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine, Jim Heckman, the Hollenbeck Club, the Hungry Trout, the Image Loft, the Inn at Ocean Reef, Killington Resort, Krag Silversmith, Pirate Lanford, Walter Matia, Meadowmere Resort, Mike Monier, John Mundt, Joe Mustari, North Platte Lodge, Northshire Bookstore, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Orvis, Jack Pittard, El Pescador, Fred Polhemus, REC Components, Rio Products, Ryegrass Ranch Owners Association, Taf Schaefer, Simms, Arthur Shilstone, the Taconic, Richard Tisch, Jacques and Hasty Torres, Three Forks Ranch, Ted Turner, Ted Turner Expeditions, Thomas & Thomas, Urban Angler, George Van Hook, and Paul Volcker.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Guests then moved into dinner, where they were welcomed by AMFF President Karen Kaplan. The museum debuted a video documenting Ted Turner’s love of fly fishing and his deep commitment to his family, philanthropy, and the natural world. The live auction followed with Nick Dawes. His charm and expertise, combined with the generosity of the attendees, raised more than $50,000 from the items donated, including two lunches with former Secretary of State Paul Volcker. An additional $42,000 was added to the live auction total with the paddle raise to support the AMFF digital initiative. We hope to start in early 2017 with a dedicated staff member scanning photographs and historical documents from our collection to be made available online. Gary Jobson then spoke and paid tribute to his friend and fellow sailor, Ted Turner. At the end of the evening, Karen Kaplan presented Turner with the Heritage Award. He received a standing ovation. AMFF would like to thank everyone for making the evening such a success. More than $220,000 was raised for museum programs.


Our favorite shots from the night. Photos by Jack McCoy.

Event Committee

Honorary Chairs
Leigh & Annie Perkins

  • Dave Beveridge
  • Pete Bowden
  • Dayton Carr
  • Tom Davidson
  • Karen Kaplan
  • Erik Oken
  • Fred Polhemus
  • Robert Scott
  • Warren Stern