Alexandria, VA – Two leaders in the sportfishing community who exemplify leadership ability and advancing recreational fishing participation were presented with the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) top awards during the 2011 Sportfishing Summit held October 12-14, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The association’s prestigious Norville Prosser Lifetime Achievement Award, named after ASA’s former Vice President for Government Affairs, was presented to Randy Lemcke, senior vice president for Plano Molding Company, for the extraordinary leadership he has shown throughout his career in promoting the values of sportfishing and advancing cooperative approaches to addressing the issues facing the sportfishing industry.

“Randy has worked on behalf of the association and the industry for decades. As board of directors Chairman, Randy brought a sense of fair play – and humor – to the position that we all appreciated and enjoyed,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “Randy’s humble nature and earnest desire for results before his own need for recognition have kept him out of the limelight, but I assure you, no one is more deserving of this award than Randy Lemcke.”

ASA also awarded its prestigious Future of Fishing Award to Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA) founder and Center for Coastal Conservation (CCC) founding Chairman Jack Lawton Jr. for his work over the past three decades nurturing and growing recreational fishing. ASA’s Future of Fishing Award is presented to an individual or organization who has made a special contribution to advancing fishing participation. The award recognizes significant contributions to foster new anglers, encourage family fishing and promote community involvement in fishing events.

CCA’s Louisiana chapter and the CCC are influential forces that have protected redfish with gamefish status, established a ban on gill nets and initiated countless habitat and coastal restoration projects along with promoting CCC’s marine conservation mission among elected officials at the federal level.

“For three decades, Jack Lawton has worked tirelessly to champion marine fisheries conservation and access to recreational saltwater fishing,” said Nussman. “It was only fitting that we honor Jack’s leadership in his home state of Louisiana. We also thank Governor Bobby Jindal for taking time from his busy schedule to personally present the award during the 2011 Sportfishing Summit. Our congratulations go to Randy and Jack for their outstanding achievements.”

During the General Membership meeting, held Friday, October 14, Bert Kaplan, president of Kaplan Associates and a long-time sportfishing representative, was recognized with a Lifetime Honorary ASA Membership.

“Bert Kaplan is a pillar of this industry unselfishly giving of his time and energy to ensure recreational fishing’s future,” stated Nussman. “We owe Bert our gratitude and thanks for everything he has done and stood for over his many decades of service to the association and the industry.”

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