Meet Our Staff
Bill E. BowlesMobile: 229-347-0698
Bill was raised in an amazing family environment. Most of his family lived in the same block, of the Historic Third Avenue in Albany Georgia. He describes it as a “Mayberry “experience and his eyes light up when he talks about growing up on Third Avenue. Bills great grandfather, E.E. Watkins traveled from North Carolina to Albany Georgia with Reynolds Lumber Company in the early 1940’s. Reynold’s Lumber was logging virgin Cypress Trees and other select hardwoods. After Reynolds Lumber ceased its Albany operation and returned to North Carolina, they sold their land to St. Joe Paper Company. E.E. remained and opened his own saw mill and lumber company. Bill’s grandfather, Harold, father Jim and uncle Joe worked together at Watkins Lumber Company. Bill was exposed to the outdoors at an early age. He was taught to respect the land, water, and wildlife resources.
At the age of 9 he was allowed to walk on his first quail hunt with his father, Jim and his father’s friend, Mr. Cantrell , and one English pointer named Dixie. They went out to a tract that the lumber company owned which was right across the 2 lane highway from NILO Plantation. Bill was so taken back by the ability of Dixie to smell quail that he could not stop talking about it. His father took him out to Gates Kennel in Leesburg Georgia to buy a puppy. While Bill was sitting with a litter of English pointer puppies, and one liver & white male puppy in particular that took a liking to Bill, his father asked John Rex Gates how much he would sell that puppy for. John Rex said “that puppy is not for sale because I just gave him to your son “. Bill named that puppy “Hank “, and has owned bird dogs ever since. In later years Bill rode horses in many field trails and watched John Rex and Robin Gates dogs compete. John Rex Gates was the youngest man ever inducted into the Bird Dog Hall of Fame, and his statue resides there as well. Bill and John Rex have remained in touch to this day. Bill graduated high school from Deerfield in Albany and was the president of the student body. Bill attended Auburn University, College of Business, Class of 1982. He has remained very close to Auburn and has worked on several special projects with the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. After returning home to Albany, he successfully started a small business and eventually sold it to a competitor. This allowed him to begin his career as a plantation manager.
Bill has managed both wild quail plantations and commercial quail plantations. He has worked extensively with the Albany Quail Project and Tall Timbers. He has childhood and teenage memories of going on most every private plantation in the Albany area as their lumber company had cut timber on most all of them. There is hardly an Albany plantation that Bill does not know the owners and the managers. Many of his friends and clients marvel at his knowledge of the history of the Albany plantations. Bill has been successful in building TEAM’s at every plantation he has managed. Each time he has earned the endorsement of Orvis. In 2005 Bill and his TEAM were awarded the coveted Orvis Lodge of the Year. Bill has worked hard and has earned the respect of his peers within the outdoor wingshooting world. He is an Orvis Endorsed shooting instructor and gun fitter. He has also been successful in having his kennels endorsed by Orvis at 3 plantations. His ability to understand and train a dog is impressive to watch. Today he and his wife, Tonya enjoy spending time with their imported pedigree English Cockers. You can view these wonderful dogs on their web-site www.bixbow.com.
Bill has also managed very high end private membership plantations. He truly understands the hospitability side of the plantation experience. Bill is a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in downtown Albany Georgia. His faith and his family come first in his life. He has always had a strong work ethic which he credits his family for instilling in him. He has an intense passion and love of the outdoors, and fine bird dogs. Bill has an incredible respect for friendship, and he will be the first person to say how blessed he is to have a great family and to have so many friends. He would rather be doing something to help someone else than to do most anything for himself. Bill’s father has retired, but still enjoys helping others with designing home building projects. His mother, Judy, is the chairperson of Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful, and has been in that position for the past 27 years.
His wife Tonya has worked by his side for the past 12 years. Bill will be the first to tell that that the Auburn Football Coaches told him years ago that he “ out punted his coverage “ when he married Tonya. Together they have 4 children, Bill II , Lauren , Ashley , Erika, and 2 grandchildren, Avery and Bristol. When they are not at home with their 2 and 4 legged family members , you may probably find them on the flats of Carrabelle Florida enjoying some time on the water, or in the Abaco Bahamas where the try to return for their anniversary each year. Bill has had several of his friends and business acquaintances encourage him to become involved in real estate. His ability to be able to assist people with wise land investments, and practical land management practices will be valued by many for years to come. When asked about the opportunity to work with Jon Kohler & Associate’s, his reply was direct and sincere. “ I am truly honored to work with someone as honest , knowledgeable, and as well respected as Jon Kohler and Associates. This has been a desire on mine for quite some time and I am very proud to be part of this TEAM.