Industry leaders addressed the most pressing issues facing the industry and our nation’s fisheries resources

The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) 2014 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry’s premier networking and business management event, was the largest gathering of industry representatives in the association’s history.

Held October 15-17, in San Antonio, Texas, there were several important announcements made during the meeting.

ASA’s board of directors announced the sale and transition of the West coast consumer shows, known as the ASA/Fred Hall Shows, to a new partnership between Bart Hall, whose family had owned and managed the shows for several decades, and Duncan McIntosh, Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc. The sale was announced during the association’s annual dinner.

“ASA and Bart Hall and his team successfully produced the West coast shows for many years,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “However, Bart Hall wanted to bring his father’s legacy of the West coast’s largest and most popular shows back into his family and ASA’s board of directors agreed. We are delighted that the transition has gone so well and been so well received by the industry. We wish Bart, Duncan and General Manager Mike Lum all our best for future success.”

During the Summit, ASA’s board of directors elected its new Executive Committee as well as appointed three ex-officio members to the board. Along with board Chairman Dave Bulthuis, vice president, Sales, Costa; and Immediate Past Chairman Gregg Wollner, executive vice president, Rapala, the new officers are:

  • Vice Chairman – Kirk Immens, president, Sportco Marketing, Inc.
  • Secretary – Louis Chemi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Navico: Recreational Marine Division
  • Treasurer – Donn Schaible, president, Wright & McGill, Co.
  • At-Large – Terry Pederson, vice president, of sales, Daiwa Corporation

Also appointed to the board are the following Ex-Officio members: Ken Hammond, CEO, The Hammond Group; Peter Foley, president, Boone Bait Company; and Tom Rolls, senior director of merchandizing- Fishing/Powersports, Cabela’s.

The association’s committees addressed a number of other issues relating to access to public waters, increasing participation in fishing, ICAST, the industry’s trade show, growing the membership and focusing on charting a course for the future.

“We have just concluded the most well-attended annual meeting in our association’s history,” said Bulthuis. “As we went about the business of our association, everyone kept their focus clearly on how what we are doing helps us to connect not just with our current customer, but with our customer of the future and doing so with an open mind to new ideas and technologies.”

Bulthuis further said, “Despite continuing economic uncertainties and access and water quality issues, anglers continue to fish and spend time outdoors. A growing interest in the outdoors is helping to fuel angler participation which bodes well for our industry.”

The Association Recognizes Industry and Conservation Leaders

During its annual dinner, ASA recognized several individuals who have given generously of their time and company resources in support of the industry and fisheries conservation.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeffrey Marble – President –Marble, LLC

The American Sportfishing Association’s most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Jeffrey Marble, president, Marble, LLC, and the former president of Frabill, Inc. Marble was recognized for his extraordinary leadership and lifelong commitment to recreational fishing and the sportfishing industry. Having devoted decades to serving the industry and re-establishing the Frabill brands more than a decade ago. Marble also served as board of directors chairman from 2011 – 2013.

Future of Fishing Award – Gary Zurn – Senior Vice President of Marketing, Big Rock Sports, LLC

The American Sportfishing Association’s Future of Fishing Award was presented to Gary Zurn, senior vice president of Marketing, Big Rock Sports, LLC, for his commitment to the sportfishing industry and his leadership in ensuring recreational fishing’s future. Zurn has provided considerable support to the association and the industry in helping to gather retail data and other important information in maintaining access to saltwater recreational fishing. Zurn currently serves as a board of directors member.

Outstanding Industry Leader Award – Clem Dippel – Senior Consultant- Fishing Tackle Retailer

The American Sportfishing Association presented an Outstanding Industry Leader Award to long-time member Clem Dippel, the founder and Publisher of Fishing Tackle Retailer. Dippel has devoted more than 50 years of service to the industry, always keeping the needs of the retail sector in mind. He has attended more than 50 industry trade shows and has served on the board of directors and numerous committees lending his knowledge and expertise.

The 2015 Sportfishing Summit is scheduled will be held next October in the Tampa, Fla. area.

Logo courtesy American Sportfishing Association

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