American Sportfishing Association president set to retire in March

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Mike Nussman

Mike Nussman

American Sportfishing Association president Mike Nussman said he will retire March 31, 2018, after decades of service both on Capitol Hill advocating for fisheries resource conservation and management and as the leader of the recreational fishing industry’s trade association.

Nussman joined the ASA in December 1992 as vice president of government affairs, a post that included serving as chief lobbyist and overseeing the trade show and conservation programs.

In September 2001 the ASA’s board unanimously hired him as president and CEO.

“From the beginning I believed that by serving our members’ business needs with a knowledgeable staff, providing programs and services that benefit the industry and maintaining fiscal responsibility the industry would be well served by the association,” said Nussman in a statement.

“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.”

Although Nussman has been influential on numerous pieces of legislation, from Sport Fish Restoration Act to the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, he was a driving force for the legislation that established the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, which has provided nearly $100 million for a nationwide, collaborative campaign to promote these outdoor pastimes.

In addition to establishing the RBFF, Nussman worked to elevate and extend the ASA’s government affairs efforts and impact by developing strategic partnerships with federal and state agencies and other associations and organizations.

“For 25 years, Mike Nussman has been the heart and soul of the American Sportfishing Association, bringing his love of the sport and his keen business sense to help ensure our industry’s future,” said Kirk Immens, chairman of the ASA’s board and president of Sportco Marketing Inc. “I’ve always been impressed by Mike’s ability to understand our industry; our members’ business needs; and what ASA can do to address them. Mike clearly sets a high bar when it comes to professional excellence.”

Nussman said he also has worked to revitalize the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, which is now the largest recreational fishing trade show in the world.

The association’s board of directors will announce Nussman’s successor after its meeting on Tuesday during the 2017 Sportfishing Summit, which is being held from Tuesday through Oct. 13 at the Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater Beach, Fla.