NRAW: Marsha Petrie Sue, congratulations again on your 2022 appointment as a member of the Arizona Game & Fish Commission. Many of our NRA Women readers are familiar with your work with the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Executive Committee and much more, but we’d love to share more about your latest accomplishment.
For new NRA Women readers, tell us a little about your background and how it ultimately qualified you to be named an Arizona Game & Fish Deparment Commissioner.
MPS: I met my husband, Al Sue, 31 years ago. He is an outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman and shooter. Plus, he was doing conservation projects for many species groups. I had never seen a gun! Ever! When we engaged, we made a deal to stay open to each other’s passions. Mine: volunteer work, symphony, opera, philharmonic and theater. His: riding in his beater truck (I’d never ridden in a truck), wearing jeans (my mother called them "dungarees" and only farmers wore them) and camped (what, no turndown service?). So here we are all these years from then I hunt, shoot, fish, sit on the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Executive Committee—and am a commissioner for the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD)! He was the AZGFD volunteer of the year!
NRAW: What was the process or path to being appointed a commissioner. In other words, how did this happen?
MPS: Friends approached me about two years ago and asked if I was interested. I did research and determined it was a good fit. The candidates are vetted and ultimately appointed by the Arizona governor.
NRAW: For how long is your appointment?
MPS: Five years.
NRAW: Do the goals of the AZGFD Commission modify when a governor other than the one who appointed you is no longer in office?
MPS: No, we set our own.
NRAW: What are the responsibilities of the Commission, and do you have any duties specifically assigned to you?
MPS: Yes. I am on the AZGFD Budget Committee and the Habitat Partners Committee (HPC) where we evaluate the conservation projects submitted and grant monies for completion. An extensive process! We report directly to the governor.
NRAW: Are you the first woman commissioner for AZGFD?
MPS: No, the third.
NRAW: How has your presence been received by the men on the Board?
MPS: Excellent. I did ask our Chairman Jim Goughnour a question about hugging, and he said that he had never been asked that question.
NRAW: Tell us something that you have had an impact in accomplishing during your first six months in this position.
MPS: Bringing a feminine perspective to many of our issues. Sharing the importance of addressing the many users of our lands and species in their voice.
NRAW: Is there much crossover with AZGFD and any of the other boards or committees on which you sit?
MPS: Somewhat. We take no State Tax Revenue. Most of our monies are derived from the Pittman-Robinson Act (sales of firearms, ammo, etc.) and the Dingell-Johnson Act (fishing eqpt).
NRAW: What is the Commission working on now that hunters and anglers, especially in Arizona, would be interested in?
MPS: Many projects. I particularly am working with the Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) constituents to develop a plan to ensure our lands and 850+ species are not disrupted with the overuse of land. Also, we are upgrading our fisheries as we have an increase of people wanting to fish in our lakes, ponds and streams.
NRAW: You are an extraordinarily accomplished professional woman. How do you find the time to add another responsibility such as this to your schedule?
MPS: I have learned how to use my 24 hours well (time management) leaving room for fun, travel and entertaining! Plus, I have learned to say “no” without feeling guilty!
NRAW: Tell us about your favorite game you like to hunt, as well as your favorite type of fishing activity.
MPS: Deer and elk for hunting. AZGFD has an all-women’s dove hunt in Yuma, and I will be there. All we eat is the game, fish and birds we take. I love fishing in unique venues. We are planning to fish the Amazon later this year for Vampire Fish, and I have a trip to Alaska planned for Trout and Grayling next year. And there lots of fishing opportunities in our state.
NRAW: What is your favorite rifle/shotgun/pistol?
Rifle: Christiansen Arms 300 Ultra mag WSM with a muzzlebrake
Shotgun: Over-Under Browning Citori Lightweight (my wedding gift!)
Pistol: Staccato CS 9mm, and I have “Freedom” engraved on the side
NRAW: What advice do you have for women new to the world of hunting and shooting who are exploring options to expand their outdoor lifestyles.
MPS: I learned initially through Becoming an Outdoors-Woman in Arizona, then went to a Babes with Bullets Camp, and still attend many of their activities. Also, I participate in the She Never Quit annual event. Safari Club International has some great events as does the NRA. Lots of opportunities, and my preference is to have female instructors.
NRAW: As we mentioned, your resume is stocked with impressive achievements. What else is on your professional or personal agenda?
MPS: I was recently invited to join Charter 100 Arizona, a nonpartisan, professional association for women leaders from diverse fields. Monthly meetings are designed to enlighten and inform members by providing continuing education in a variety of fields. Speakers of national prominence address the group regarding the latest trends of thought in their respective fields. In addition, as an AZGFD commissioner I want to engage with all the departments that support our priorities and get a close-up view as to how it all comes together. We have done conservation work for about 20 years, and I never understood the complexity and business. AZGFD is very highly regarded in our industry, and I’m loving being involved!
NRAW: Tell us something else you think we should know!
MPS: My mission in life is to give back more than I’ve received, and connect my head and heart with my mouth. This is why I still work in the corporate world with executives who want to improve their communication and leadership. This is why I continue to volunteer as much as I do and especially with the NRA. I strive to keep my Constitutional rights intact. I want to leave the world a better place and that is why my Commissionership is part of that. Plus, I want to continue to do interesting, mind-expanding adventures with my husband, “A Boy Named Sue!” Thanks for asking.