2005 Sportfishing Summit Brings Industry Leaders Together

More than 125 sportfishing industry leaders representing 65 companies and organizations from the United States and Europe recently gathered at the American Sportfishing Association's annual Sportfishing Summit

October 19, 2005 - ALEXANDRIA, VA - More than 125 sportfishing industry leaders representing 65 companies and organizations from the United States and Europe recently gathered at the American Sportfishing Association's annual Sportfishing Summit to focus their efforts on issues surrounding angling participation, the federal excise tax on sportfishing equipment and the future of the industry in 2006 and beyond.

The 2005 Sportfishing Summit, held October 5-7 at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., featured a high-energy keynote session that shined the spotlight on several of this country's most prominent consumer participation success stories. Keynote speeches and presentations were given by Brian Corcoran, director, Corporate Marketing, NASCAR; Carl Blackwell, vice president, Marketing and Communications, the National Marine Manufacturers Association's "Grow Boating" program; and Kurt Graetzer, CEO, Milk Processor Education Program (the Milk Moustache campaign).

"Our Summit is really the one time each year that the sportfishing industry comes together as peers and collaborators to focus efforts on the most pressing industry challenges and explore avenues for addressing those challenges," said Mike Nussman, ASA president and CEO. "For that reason, we wanted to have our members hear directly from some of the best and brightest in business and how they have overcome their challenges and really raised the bar."

The Summit is the association's annual membership meeting and provides the Board of Directors, committees, members and ASA's partners the best opportunity for networking and strategic planning. During the three day meeting, ASA's Board of Directors unanimously approved plans to develop a new comprehensive sponsorship program through a Chicago-based firm experienced working with associations, as well as to raise the profile and effectiveness of the association's federal political action committee (PAC). In addition, the Board also moved to dedicate more resources to strengthening and streamlining the Data and Statistics program.

"The Board's decision to implement and reinforce these essential core functions sends a strong message about the resolve and dedication of this industry," continued Nussman. "The development of a sponsorship program, enhancement of our PAC and expansion of our data and statistics offerings is a much-needed critical step towards more effectively serving the needs of our members."

Summit attendees also were provided with an in-depth look at opportunities and challenges facing recreational angling from the wholesale, manufacturer, retail and marketing points of view. Bob Feldsott, vice president, Folsum Industries; Carey Graves, national sales manager, Shimano American Corporation; Bob Eakes, president, The Red Drum Tackle Shop, Inc.; and Greg Block, vice president, Jones & Company each gave presentations on their experiences in the marketplace and how to best approach the current business climate.

Rounding out the Summit, federal and state officials from the IRS, Department of the Interior, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided members with an overview of an array of topics including the federal manufacturers' excise tax; the management and administration of the dollars generated by the excise tax; and state and federal fisheries management programs.

ASA would especially like to thank its sponsors Shimano American Corporation, Fishing Tackle Retailer/ESPN Outdoors, the Trust for Public Land, the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, BASS/ESPN Outdoors, Pure Fishing, Inc., SportScanINFO and Florida Fishing Weekly for helping to make this year's membership meeting a great success.

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_ The American Sportfishing Association is the sportfishing industry's trade association, uniting more than 600 members of the sportfishing and boating industries with state fish and wildlife agencies, federal land and water management agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists. The American Sportfishing Association safeguards and promotes the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing._