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CNPA 2025 Convention


Ian Plant
Bill Fortney
Ron Magill

Get Inspired and Learn From Award-Winning Photographers and Filmmakers on Your Journey of Discovery

Exciting speakers and nature experts await to ignite your passion for photography and nature and equip you with valuable skills and fresh perspectives. Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of the 2025 speaker topics and keep checking back for updates.

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Ian Plant

Whether hanging over the rim of an active volcano, braving the elements to photograph critically-endangered species, or trekking deep into the wilderness to places most people will never see, world-renowned professional photographer Ian Plant travels the globe seeking out amazing places and subjects in his never-ending quest to capture the beauty of our world with his camera. Known for his inspiring images and single-minded dedication to creating the perfect photo, Ian has reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world in his mission to inspire and educate others in the art of photography. Ian is a frequent contributor to many leading photo magazines, the author of numerous books and instructional videos, founder of Photo Masters (, and co-founder of Photo Wonders (

Ron Magill

Ron has worked with wildlife for over 40 years. He is the host of HITN’s national wildlife documentary program, Mundo Salvaje con Ron Magill. As Zoo Miami’s “Goodwill Ambassador," he has made frequent television appearances on many programs including, National Geographic Explorer, the Discovery Networks, the Today Show, Good Morning America, The Late Show, CBS This Morning, Dateline, and CNN as well as on Spanish networks Univision and Telemundo. In addition, he has written and produced many wildlife articles and award-winning photographs that have appeared in publications and galleries around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Tropical America while developing and directing conservation projects and Emmy-Award winning documentaries focusing on the wildlife of those regions.

Other than Zoo Miami and the Zoo Miami Foundation, Ron has worked with several children’s charities with a special dedication to the Make-a-Wish Foundation where he helps to grant wishes for children facing life-threatening diseases. In addition, he is a regular speaker at schools and civic organizations throughout South Florida in hopes of inspiring our youth to follow their dreams while showing them the importance of protecting our world’s wildlife for generations to come.

Ron’s proudest professional accomplishment is the establishment of the “Ron Magill Conservation Endowment” at the Zoo Miami Foundation. This endowment is the largest of its kind at the zoo and provides tens of thousands of dollars annually to wildlife conservation by providing annual scholarships as well as supporting field conservation projects designed to protect wildlife in the wild areas where it is naturally found.

Bill Fortney

Bill Fortney is a photographer, writer, pilot, and highly sought after presenter with over 47 years of experience in-the-field. Bill has done professional work as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer, (once an official photographer for the Washington Redskins), medical photographer, and nature/landscape photographer. Bill’s best selling books include; The Nature of America (with David Middleton), American Vision (with David Middleton, John Shaw and Wayne Lynch), America From 500 Feet (with Wesley Fortney), Bill Fortney’s Great Photography Workshop. America From 500 Feet II (with Mark Kettenhofen). Bill’s books have sold well over 150,000 copies, placing him on the list of best selling photographer/authors in America. Bill is also the author of 11 eBooks on photography. Bill has been named a Fellow by the North American Nature Photographers Association. When working as a Nikon NPS Rep for the Southern U.S. he was blessed to work at Shuttle launches, Air Races, Air Shows, The Masters, PGA Championships, NASCAR races, The Kentucky Derby and the Breeder’s Cup. He has worked with NFL teams, college sports programs, universities, colleges, major newspapers, and magazines, law enforcement.

Bill has classes on KelbyOne. Bill teaches His Light Workshops, a Christian based workshop company and with Jack Graham Photography Workshops. Bill has been named as a X-Photographer by Fujifilm and uses the Fuji X-Series System exclusively. You can learn more about Bill, his workshops and view his work at: Bill also has a Youtube Channel under Bill Fortney Photography.

Bill, and his wife Sherelene, live in Corbin, Kentucky, and have three grown children and 6 grandchildren.

Kat  Lewandowski

Conservation Speaker: Kat Lewandowski

Presentation: Sylvan Heights Bird Park

I am originally from New Hampshire and came to North Carolina to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at East Carolina University. I graduated in 2012 and interned at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for that summer as an educator. Afterwards, I came to Sylvan Heights as a volunteer at the Avian Breeding Center in October 2012. I then became a full time employee as a keeper and Aviculturist. My main responsibilities included daily care of the birds, maintaining the aviaries, setting up and tracking waterfowl nest sites, and raising the birds to adulthood. At the same time, I also interacted with the public and helped give school programs as an educator. I worked at the Avian Breeding Center for 10 years, and am now full time as an assistant educator, where I continue to educate students of all ages about birds and NC ecology. I also train education birds, including a Black Vulture. All together, I have been at Sylvan Heights for about 11 years as of right now. 

Topic: Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, NC is home to over 250 species of birds, with more than 2000 individuals. The park specializes in the waterfowl family (ducks, geese, and swans), but also is home to cranes, parrots, pheasants, flamingoes, and many more. The park has been around since 2006 and is a non-profit owned and operated by Mike and Ali Lubbock. The two of them have more than 60 years experience with birds. The mission of Sylvan Heights is conservation of endangered waterfowl, and educating the general public on the wonderful world of birds. There are species here that no other facility in the US have. To aid in conservation, Sylvan Heights breeds the birds that live there, to keep the species going to the best of our abilities as a last line of defense from extinction. The Avian Breeding Center (which has been around longer than the public side of the park) is where most of the breeding occurs. This presentation will go into a bit of what Sylvan Heights does, especially at the Breeding Center.

Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association

P.O. Box 97323
Raleigh, NC 27624-7323

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