NPAA ‘Look to the Future’ Conference Sets Records; Makes Waves
Forestville, WI-The recently concluded National Professional Anglers Association Conference held in Minneapolis January 6-8th, experienced a record attendance, announced new Supporting Partners, achieved financial goals, unveiled the new Future Angler Foundation initiative, announced plans to build on the support of a record number of youth fishing events, held high-level workshops, welcomed a record number of first-time Conference-goers, and elected two new board members.
Executive Director Pat Neu said new members are coming from the ranks of fishing guides, tournament anglers and general anglers who want to be stewards of the sport. “At NPAA, we’re all working to protect and grow the sport,” Neu went on to thank Evinrude’s Scott Martin a top ranking FLW bass angler who spoke at the Conference and Steve Pennaz, Executive Director of North American Fisherman, who was the Conference’s key note speaker.
Newly elected NPAA Board Members are Tom Neustrom, Grand Rapids, MN, and Mark Courts, Harris, MN. Tom has been a northern Minnesota fishing guide and involved with statewide conservation issues for more than 30 years. “I feel I can bring professional guides and my experience to the table to help grow the sport.” Mark has been in the professional tournament ranks for 12 years, with several major tournament wins, and is a full-time angler and promoter. He said, “I have a goal of bringing the newer generation to the outdoors. I have a passion for teaching kids and see lots of opportunities ahead for the NPAA.”
John Butts, in passing the gavel as NPAA President said, “The NPAA is in good hands with Pat Neu as Executive Director and new President, Robert Blosser (past vice-president). Number one, the base of Supporting Partners and membership is strong and growing. The number two goal is being met and strengthened as more youth activities are set in stone. Those seriously considering a career in the fishing industry need to start here as NPAA members.”
New NPAA President Robert Blosser from Poynette, WI, was proud to have been elected by the NPAA Board members as president. In accepting the position, he said, “We’re on track and moving forward. Together we can make a difference within the fishing and marine industries.”
With nearly 40 Supporting Partners and newest partner Warrior Boats, Pat Neu said the NPAA is poised for growth (and has even been growing in this tough economic climate). The Future Anglers Foundation will be a 501C3 non-profit foundation with the goal of supporting individuals and organizations that share their passion via schools, events and other outreach efforts to attract more anglers to the sport. “Last year, thanks to many sponsors and funding from NPAA, we gave away $40,000 worth of rods, reels and tackle to kids. We must continue to reach them and their parents,” he said. “That’s the reason for the Foundation.”