Four members of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) were elected to fill two At-Large seats and two regional seats on the board of directors. Their three-year terms begin October 1, 2020. ASA is the national trade association that represents the sportfishing industry.

At-Large seats went to:

  • Bruce Akin, CEO, B.A.S.S., Birmingham, AL, re-elected to serve a second term on the board, below left
  • Diane Bristol, Senior Director, Employee and Community Engagement, Simms Fishing Products, Bozeman, MT, elected to serve her first term on the board, below second from left.

Regional seats went to:

  • Phillip Lillo, Owner & CEO, Don Coffey Company, Orlando, FL, SE Region, elected to serve his first term on the board from an ex-officio appointment, below third from left.
  • Dan McDonald, President Yakima Bait Company, Granger, WA, West Region, re-elected to serve a second term on the board, below fourth from left.

“I congratulate Dan McDonald and Bruce Akin on their re-elections to the board of directors and Phil Lillo, an ex-officio member, who now has a voting seat on the board,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “I also welcome Diane Bristol to the board and congratulate her on being elected to her first term.”

Hughes noted, “These individuals have diverse backgrounds with decades of experience in membership, conservation, distribution, marketing, and manufacturing in the recreational fishing industry adding tremendous value to our already very strong board of directors.”

Bruce Akin, through B.A.S.S., LLC, has made it his mission to grow fishing participation, protect anglers’ rights, campaign for sensible government management of our natural resources, and enhance our industry’s ability to succeed. In his second term on the board he will bring his dedication, vision and passion for the sport to help accomplish these goals.

Diane Bristol, with thirty years as an industry professional and the longest-tenured employee at Simms Fishing Products, was elected to her first term on ASA’s board. During her tenure she will commit her time and energy to ASA’s programs that help make the industry stronger, grow participation and keep our fisheries healthy and accessible.

Phillip Lillo, for the past three years, has served as an appointed ex-officio board member. As such, he helped spearhead a drive to give the retail sector a larger voice in the association and an opportunity to influence the industry’s future through the new Retailer Committee. As an elected board member, he will continue to advocate for more retailer involvement.

Dan MacDonald is a strong advocate for ASA’s Keep America Fishing program as a platform to keep anglers informed about issues that impact fishing, as well as a proponent for the industry’s involvement in increasing participation. During his second term, he will continue to lead ASA’s Finance Committee and ensure good stewardship of the association’s funding.

The current members of the board of directors are: Executive Committee – Chris Megan, Publisher, On The Water, LLC, Chairman; Jesse Simpkins, Director of Marketing, St. Croix Rods, Vice Chairman; Louis Chemi, COO, Freedom Boat Club, Secretary; Dan McDonald, President, Yakima Bait Company, Treasurer; Steve Smits, President and COO, ZEBCO Brands, At-Large; and Kirk Immens, President, Sportco Marketing, Inc., Immediate Past Chairman.

Board Members – Bruce Akin, CEO, B.A.S.S. LLC; Dale Barnes, Division Manager, Marketing, Yamaha Marine Group; Charlie Davis, Director of Brand-Fishing, Plano Synergy; Dan Ferris, Publisher, Midwest Outdoors; Peter Foley, President, Boone Bait Company, Inc., Patrick Gill, CEO, TackleDirect; Kelly Hepler, Department Secretary, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks; Frank Hugelmeyer, President, National Marine Manufacturers Association; Bob Hunter, Vice President, Merchandising, Big Rock Sports; Mike Jackson, President, Wright & McGill Company; Carl Liederman, President, Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply Co., Inc.; Dave Pfeiffer, President, Shimano North American Fishing, Inc.; and Zach Swanson, General Manager and Vice President of Sales, Rapala.

Ex-officio – Dave Bulthuis, President, North America, Pure Fishing, Inc; Carey Graves, Vice President of Sales, Daiwa Corporation; Kenneth Hammond, CEO, The Hammond Group; and Phil Lillo, Owner/CEO, Don Coffey Company.

Headshots courtesy ASA