George Petrides, Sr., Founder And Chairman Of Wild Bird Centers Of America, Receives U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Citizens Award For Exceptional Service

George Petrides, Sr., Founder And Chairman Of Wild Bird Centers Of America, Receives U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Citizens Award For Exceptional Service

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Glen Echo, Maryland (PRWEB) April 19, 2008

George Petrides, Sr., founder and chairman of Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc., recently received the Citizens Award for Exceptional Service by the Fish and Wildlife Service. This prestigious award recognizes private citizens and organizations for their significant contributions to the mission and goals of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Petrides was honored for his assistance in improving the Service's bird watching and conservation programs throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). In a letter announcing his award, H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, thanked Petrides for helping the Fish and Wildlife Service forge new partnerships, for giving generously of his time, talents, and insights to make the refuges more birder-friendly while helping birders to better understand the roles of national wildlife refuges. Hall continued, "because of Petrides' contribution, the public is more aware of birds and their habitats, and conservation issues that are central to the mission of the Service."

The NWRS conserves some of our country's best migratory bird habitats, while offering more than 39 million annual visitors opportunities to connect with the natural world.    More than half of all federal lands designated as globally significant Important Bird Areas are on national wildlife refuges.

George Petrides, Sr., is the chairman and founder of Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc., a specialized franchisor with more than 85 stores in the U.S and Canada. Petrides opened the first Wild Bird Center store in Cabin John, Maryland in 1985, and has subsequently grown the business into a leading franchisor in the birding industry.

Petrides serves on the Board of the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI) trade associations as Chairman of the Retailer Committee. He is also a founding Trustee of the WBFI Research Foundation and leader of Project Wild Bird, a scientific research program. He is a founding member of the Bird Education Network.

George earned a Master's Degree in Education from Michigan State University, and then went on to have several careers, including high school teacher; U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria and Botswana, and Peace Corps official in Kenya and Washington, D.C.

Petrides is an avid birdwatcher and has a keen interest in community development efforts and environmental issues. He has successfully integrated his passion with his livelihood and subsequently developed a leading franchise of Wild Bird Center stores, which serve, educate and support birders by providing quality products, expert advice and as a trusted community resource. Petrides' contributions have been instrumental to the growth of the birding industry and to building public appreciation for bird conservation throughout the United States.

For more information on Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc. visit the WBCA website at http://www.wildbird.com or call (800) 945-3247, x202.

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