During the 2019 Sportfishing Summit, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) recognized four individuals who dedicated their careers to help ensure that the industry, and anglers across the U.S., have well-managed fisheries, clean water, access to our public lands and waters and a viable business environment. In addition, ASA awarded its first-place Angling Awareness Award to a veteran outdoor writer whose work is inspiring people to get more involved in recreational fishing.
This year, ASA presented two Lifetime Achievement awards to Dr. Thom Dammrich and J. Michael Nussman.
Dammrich, president emeritus, NMMA, was one of ASA’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. He was recognized for his extraordinary leadership and lifelong commitment to the recreational boating and fishing industries. He recently earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from DePaul University. Dammrich retired from his position as NMMA’s president this year.
In presenting the award, ASA President Glenn Hughes said this about Dr. Dammrich, “Words like leadership, commitment and dedication are thrown around a lot, yet they are forever appropriate when I think of all you’ve done for me and the thousands of businesses associated with outdoor recreation.”
Nussman, ASA’s second Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, was ASA’s President and CEO before retiring in April 2018. He joined the association as Vice President for Government Affairs in 1993 and took the helm as President and CEO in October 2001. Nussman was recognized for his extraordinary leadership and lifelong commitment to advocating for recreational fishing and for the sportfishing industry.
In presenting the award, Hughes noted, “Mike has always been a great leader and thinker. He has an amazingly thoughtful approach to things and listens intently on what you have to say. He has always had the best interests of the industry, our anglers and the resource at heart. And managed to balance all three.”
ASA recognized the impact that the late Donn Schaible had on the association and the industry by presenting its Outstanding Industry Leader Award in his memory. Schaible was President of Wright & McGill Company and ASA’s Treasurer. This award recognized Schaible for his leadership, vision and unfailing commitment to his company, the industry and our association. Mike Jackson, who succeeded Schaible as President, accepted the award.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to fisheries conservation and recreational fishing and boating, ASA presented its Fisheries Conservation Achievement Award to Martin Peters, Yamaha Marine Division Manager for Government Relations.
In his remarks, ASA Government Affairs Vice President Mike Leonard noted that under Peters' leadership, his company has been a model of conservation advocacy within the industry, including being a champion for removing plastics from our waterways and spearheading efforts to increase survival of released fish.
ASA was pleased to present veteran outdoor writer Kenneth L. Kieser with the overall Grand Prize in ASA’s new Angling Awareness Award. The new program recognizes writers who write the most effective consumer-facing content that focuses on: recruiting new anglers into the sport; retaining current anglers; or reactivating lapsed anglers back into the sport.
Kieser’s article titled “Fishing is a Calming Experience” ran in the June 15, 2019 edition of the Independence, Mo., newspaper, The Examiner. He is from Kansas City, Mo. and is an outdoor communicator with 43 years of experience under his belt.
The 2019 award program was sponsored by St. Croix Rods.