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2017 Sportfishing Summit Brings Recreational Fishing Industry Leaders Together

ASA Press Release, October 16, 2017
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association November 2017 Newsletter)

Alexandria, VA - October 16, 2017 – The American Sportfishing Association's (ASA) 2017 Sportfishing Summit, the sportfishing industry's premier networking and business management event, was held October 10-13, in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

This annual fall business meeting brought together more than 220 fishing and boating industry and community leaders to provide a venue to discuss the issues impacting recreational fishing during committee meetings, networking events, general sessions and the association’s board of directors and committee meetings. For 60 industry members; this was their first time attending the Summit.

Before this year's Sportfishing Summit, ASA’s President and CEO Mike Nussman announced his retirement as of March 31, 2018.

“The past 25 years have literally flown by. It’s been a privilege to lead the American Sportfishing Association, especially when new pathways for strategic growth are now unfolding. The world is changing and our sport and our industry are changing along with it,” said Nussman. “When we stand together to advance and protect our shared interests, the sportfishing industry has far greater influence than would otherwise be possible. This has always been true, and it’s even more consequential today.”

Glenn Hughes to take on role of ASA President
In light of Nussman's retirement, the board of directors, in a unanimous vote, announced that Glenn Hughes, ASA’s Vice President for Industry Relations, has been hired to take on the role of President beginning April 1, 2018.

“I am honored that I was selected for this position,” said Hughes. “I pledge to do my very best to serve the sportfishing industry and the broader recreational fishing community in my new role as ASA’s President."

Hughes further said, “Thanks to ASA’s President and CEO Mike Nussman, the board of directors, our committee chairs and members, all our attendees and the ASA staff, this year’s Sportfishing Summit was the largest and most productive ever. Each program committee was charged with developing ways to engage the industry in efforts to get more people into recreational fishing and many innovative ideas were generated."

Connecting the Dots
Over the past two years, the Sportfishing Summit has focused on introducing and educating attendees about the Recreation Boating and Fishing Foundation's “60 in 60” campaign to increase participation in our sport from 46 million anglers annually to 60 million annually.

During this year’s Summit, ASA’s program committees and keynote speakers focused on “connecting the dots” between what is happening now and how we can approach the future.

One of these objectives was to get a better understanding of the “experience economy” and what that means to our industry. The other was to dive deeper into the practical steps we can take to move the recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) process forward.

Board of Directors Appointments
During the Summit, ASA’s board of directors appointed Neil Eibeler, CEO, Pure Fishing and Phil Lillo, owner, Don Coffey Group, as ex-officio board members. Neil and Phil bring with them a wealth of business and recreational fishing knowledge.

The Association Recognizes Industry and Conservation Leaders
During the Summit, 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
ASA’s most prestigious award was presented to long-time ASA member and industry leader, Bill Shedd, President, AFTCO Manufacturing Company, Inc. Bill was recognized for his extraordinary leadership and lifelong commitment to recreational fishing and the sportfishing industry.

Future of Fishing Award
ASA’s Future of Fishing Award was presented to Kenneth S. Hammond, CEO of The Hammond Group, for his commitment to recreational fishing’s future though growing participation in the sport and his leadership in the industry’s trade association.

Conservation Champion Award
This year, ASA presented a Conservation Champion Award to Thomas Fote, Legislative Chairman for the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Inc., in recognition of his life-long commitment to fisheries conservation and recreational fishing’s future.

Thank you 2017 Sportfishing Summit Sponsors!
ASA thanks its generous sponsors for helping to make this year's meeting a success.

Premium - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pure Fishing, Inc. and USDA - Forest Service.

Gold - Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Costa, Southwick Associates, TakeMeFishing/Vamos A Pescar and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.

Silver - Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Engel Coolers, Forbes-Tate Partners, Freeman, Map Your Show, National Marine Electronics Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wired2fish, Inc., and Womble Carlyle.

The 2018 Sportfishing Summit is scheduled for October 9-12, at the Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston, S.C.

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