New Year, New Chapter, Fulfilling Promises


I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you, your families, and your colleagues an exceptional New Year. As stewards of our missions, passions, and calls to actions, we represent inspiration and hope, while making decisions that will be reflected upon for generations to come. Over the past decade, I know that I have had the honor of meeting many of you–some of the best that this planet has to offer.

After researching, traveling, listening very carefully, and taking an apartment in Des Moines, Iowa, I am now ready to fulfill a promise that I made to “Kip” Koss, Jay Norwood Darling’s grandson, back in 2012. 2017 will see the development and organization of the Jay N. Darling Center. The Center will spearhead the development of an academic Institute devoted to Darling’s legacy in which university curriculum will be developed in a most contemporary and inspiring manner. The Center also will reach out and connect to the many organizations and entities to which Darling has his footprint…. and that’s a lot! A continuation of the acquisition of the many outstanding “Darling treasures,” that in turn become a part of The Hidden Works of Jay N. “Ding” Darling exhibit and a future permanent exhibit, will continue to be a goal. I started out with seven pieces of artwork while on the road screening America’s Darling …and with the last exhibit space, we filled over 2,000 square feet! An Artist in Studio program is also being developed in order to further training for those who choose to bring forth their talents by connecting art and conservation.

Sound like “another Great American Story”? You bet! While fulfilling my promise to “Kip,” the process over the next few years will be captured in a new documentary that will tell our story. Well, I have my work cut out for me over the next few years; and yes, I will need your help, input, and partnership. Several years ago while working on the America’s Darling documentary, I received maybe the most wonderful compliment from Paul Tritaik at the Jay N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. He said, “Sam, you approach your work like Darling would.” I took this to mean that I had my ducks in a row! So let’s go! Let’s build something as Darling would–gathering, listening, visualizing, and realizing–with an extraordinary amount of focus! I look forward to your emails and phone calls. It will be a great journey, promise!

Sam Koltinsky, Nationally Recognized Jay N. Darling Expert