AFFTA Announces Restructuring of Staff and Hiring of Interim General Manager



AFFTA announced on Wednesday that Benjamin Bulis has been hired to serve as the association’s interim general manager for the remainder of 2012, a move that has been made in order to allow current AFFTA President Randi Swisher to focus his efforts and talents on organizing, promoting and marketing the upcoming IFTD show in Reno. Bulis’ new position as interim general manager will begin immediately.

With numerous projects and the current plans that the organization has in the works, the AFFTA Board realized that Swisher (as President) was being asked to accomplish too much by himself, especially given the fact that AFFTA’s membership is expecting a successful IFTD Show in Reno as well as more programs and projects that will help grow and promote the sport of fly fishing. This realignment was needed to give Randi some much-needed support.

“Running the association, being responsible for the day-to-day issues, and promoting and managing a successful, independent trade show has clearly become more than a one-man enterprise,” said Jim Klug, current AFFTA Chairman. “While in the past the role of AFFTA President was much more focused and condensed, currently Randi is wearing every single hat and trying to handle everything that the organization was doing all by himself. Quite simply, we had overloaded his plate.”

Ben Bulis has been offered the job of AFFTA Interim General Manager starting on April 5, 2012, and will focus on the operational aspects of the association as well as immediate programs and projects to include developing and implementing targeted programs to get new fly fishers inside the doors of brick and mortar fly shops, improved communications to the fly fishing trade, membership recruitment, and supporting Randi in delivering a great trade show event in Reno. Randi Swisher will assume the new title of “Show Manager and Coordinator” for AFFTA.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to take my passion for this sport, my love of the outdoors and my business experience to create and improve the long-term benefits for the industry and our membership,” said Bulis. “I am looking forward to working hard, and literally will hit the ground running!”

Bulis’ business experience, communication skills and organizational talents will be instrumental in developing solid programs for the near future that provide value-added business impacts for AFFTA’s membership and for the industry. Bulis has successfully owned and operated several businesses, fished extensively around the world and worked as a guide in Montana.

“We plan on delivering an excellent show event in Reno this coming August,” said Randi Swisher, “and a scenario that allows this to happen is exactly what was needed. A new and improved infrastructure at AFFTA that will allow me to focus my efforts on IFTD will make a huge difference when it comes to marketing the show, bringing in new vendors and attendees, and introducing exciting new show programs and events. I’m looking forward to working with Ben, and looking forward to a great show in August.”

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