The American Sportfishing Association named Blake Swango as the trade show director for the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST.
“Blake has the experience and education that melds perfectly with the goals and objectives that our board of directors and our show committee have set for 2017 and beyond,” ASA president and CEO Mike Nussman said in a statement.
“We are confident that his experience working for one of the country’s largest trade shows will help us take ICAST to the next level and be the key destination for the world’s recreational fishing industry.”
ICAST 2017 will mark the 59th year that the sportfishing industry’s trade association has produced the show. It will be held July 11-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
This year, more than 14,000 people from 80 countries attended the show.
”The trade show director is obviously a critical role for the association and its members,” ASA industry relations vice president Glenn Hughes said. “Blake is the best person at the right time to continue ICAST’s growth for both exhibitors and attendees.”
Swango began his career in 2004, working for the National Association of Home Builders, managing meetings for the Builder 20 Clubs program. In 2006 he was promoted to account manager, selling exhibit space for the NAHB International Builders’ Show, and he later became senior accounts manager.
Swango said he looks forward to transitioning to the sportfishing industry, where he can bring his passion for fishing and decade of experience in the trade show world to ICAST.
“Fishing has always been a part of my life,” Swango said. “I remember being a young boy standing on a dock in Wisconsin, my family packed and ready to leave our annual vacation, and I begged for just one more cast. Not much has changed since then.”
“I’m still that boy at heart, still looking to make that next cast, especially in my professional career,” Swango said. “I look forward to bringing more than a decade of my experience in the trade show industry to ICAST’s ongoing success.”
In addition to fishing, he enjoys spending his free time hunting and golfing. Swango lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife and their family.