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Festival Hall of Fame

Each year since 1992, the Waterfowl Festival Hall of Fame Awards have been given in recognition of the commitment and impact that individuals have made on the Festival and in turn our community. We proudly honor these people who have had a significant hand in shaping our event into one of the premiere wildlife and waterfowl art shows in the country.


Hall of Fame members have offered at least 10 years of significant support as a community volunteer, Festival leader, collector, artist or innovator.  If you see someone wearing a silver “Hall of Fame” badge during the Festival weekend, please thank them for all they’ve done!

2023: Tracie Thomas

A native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Tracie Thomas has always embraced and valued the culture of the region she calls home. Realizing her beliefs were reflected in the mission of the Waterfowl Festival, Tracie became involved as a young adult. She began her journey with the Waterfowl Festival by serving as a volunteer in the Carving exhibit in the mid-1980s. Her passion for the Festival led her to contribute financially as a benefactor, as well as becoming a champion for the organization in the local community.


Tracie’s first leadership role was as Chairman of Carving volunteers. In her 30-plus years with the organization, she’s combined both her professional talents as a CPA and those as an amateur musician in her various duties as Tickets Chairman, Treasurer of the Board of Directors, and as Chairman of Music/Entertainment. In 2005, Tracie was awarded the Waterfowl Festival President’s Award for always raising her hand to help lead a committee in need. Additionally, she has held several other roles, including serving multiple terms on both the Festival and Waterfowl Chesapeake’s boards, serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, the 50th Anniversary Committee and as Chairman of VIP Hospitality, where she has enjoyed welcoming the organization’s biggest supporters each year.

2023: Leonard W. (Jay) Dayton, Jr.

Leonard W. (Jay) Dayton, Jr. has contributed to the Waterfowl Festival since 1987 in a variety of critical ways. Working for 37 years in the insurance business, specializing in Commercial Marine Insurance of all types, Jay served as a Festival exhibit chairman for 15 years while also serving as President in 2003 to 2004, Treasurer from 2001 to 2002, and the Board of Directors from 1992 to 2000. An active volunteer in the community, as well as an avid sailor, Jay is also heavily involved with the Tred Avon Yacht Club, serving as Commodore in 2004. Born and raised in Dorchester and Talbot counties, Jay has also volunteered for numerous other environmentally focused organizations, including Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, Nature Conservancy, Adkins Arboretum, Ducks Unlimited, and other boat-oriented groups, such as Cambridge Yacht Club, Chesapeake Bay Yacht Club, Marine Trades Association of Maryland, Tidewater VA Marine Trades Association, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, US Superyacht Association, Shields Class Association, and Shields Class Foundation.

2023: Sandy and Skip Wrightson

Sandy and Skip Wrightson have participated in The Waterfowl Festival almost since its inception. In fact, Skip’s father was a member of the Lion’s Club that had the original idea for an art show in Easton. Sandy and Skip worked in the Gold Room of the Tidewater Inn selling art, wrapping the paintings and handling the day’s sales.


Susie Carpenter had the brilliant idea of creating decorations for all the venues to enhance all the beautiful artwork and she recruited Sandy to help gather truckloads of greens and flowers. Over the years many churches and the firehouse were used to store all the supplies and create the wreaths and arrangements prior to the acquisition of the present Festival building. The basement became a giant workshop smelling of greens and hot glue.


The Decorations Committee under Sandy’s leadership expanded through the years to more than 60 people making over 200 wreaths and arrangements of all sizes. The group included many men who helped to cut, move, carry and hang all the creations in venues all over Easton. Sunday evening of Festival weekend required a clean-up crew who dismantled all those creations, sorted or trashed and stored everything in readiness for next year.


In addition, a fun-filled Volunteer Thank You Party was produced every year after the work of the Festival was complete. Sandy was a Waterfowl Festival Board member for two terms and they both pitched in for whatever activity was important at the time.


With ideas of retiring after many years, Sandy and Skip were requested to organize and chair what is now the Waterfowl Festival Information Guides. Volunteers were recruited to be available on the streets and on the buses during the Festival to help visitors interpret the map and navigate the Festival. Sandy and Skip live outside of Oxford on their own wildlife sanctuary with a three-acre pond and surrounded by woods and fields. Waterfowl Festival and conservation continue to be high priority in their lives.

Previous Hall of Fame Honorees:


  • 1992: Tan Brunet, Dan Brown, Art LaMay, Bill Perry, Joe Seme,
    Jim Sprankle, George Walker, Dr. Harry Walsh
  • 1993: Henry A. Fleckenstein Jr., Gilbert J. Maggioni,
    Ernie Muehlmatt, Jimmie Vizier
  • 1994: Al Barker, Heather Davidson, Patrick Godin, Bill Veasey
  • 1995: Robert Koenke, Ann White
  • 1996: Bruce Armistead, William Webster
  • 1997: Russell Fink, Alfred King
  • 1998: Bob Keller, Lou Satchell
  • 1999: Joan Richards, Ted Lewers
  • 2000: Adele Earnshaw, Joe Garcia, George “Coot” Garton


  • 2001: Penny Dietz, Bonnie Taylor, Rich Smoker
  • 2002: Susie Carpenter, Bill Corkran
  • 2003: Michael Hemming, D. Bennett Scott
  • 2004: Bart Walter, William Reybold
  • 2005: Alex Fountain, Betty Perry
  • 2006: Martha Horner
  • 2007: Scott Beatty
  • 2008: Bruce Perry, Frank Sisser
  • 2009: Butch and Bonnie Chambers
  • 2010: Vance Strausburg


  • 2011: David Maass
  • 2012: Ed Itter, C. John Sullivan
  • 2013: H. Hugh Dawkins, William C. Millar
  • 2014: Rob Leslie
  • 2015: Sylvia Gannon, Al Gipe
  • 2016: Joan Crowley, Kim & Ron Newcomb
  • 2017: Bob Blatchley, Kathy Dawkins, Don Rambadt
  • 2018: John Flohr, C. Albert Pritchett, Henry Stansbury
  • 2019: Donnie Satchell, The Sam Shriver Family, Michael Veasey
  • 2020: Doug Collison, Debbye Jackson, William & David Turner


  • 2021: Sean Mann
  • 2022: Kevin Greaney, Judith Warfield Price
  • 2023: Tracie Thomas, Leonard W. (Jay) Dayton, Jr, Sandy and Skip Wrightson
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