2016 AFFTA Board of Directors Election Nominees:
110 Bullion St. East Unit 3E
PO Box 817
Hailey, ID 83333
Jennifer Lavigne is the sales manager for Waterworks-Lamson. A lover of all things outdoors she moved to Sun Valley, Idaho for a summer and never left. Since 2005 she has had the opportunity to work at Waterworks-Lamson, a fly fishing reel manufacturer.
Like most people involved in small business, Jennifer understands what it means to wear many hats having worked her way through all aspects of sales from customer service to her current role managing domestic sales. Having been taught to work hard and help others Jennifer joined the AFFTA board three years ago. In that time she has gained a better understanding of how to promote and sustain the sport, formed new industry relationships and learned the day to day business of running a board. The opportunity to serve with a group of passionate, accomplished, intelligent individuals has had a profound impact on her personal and professional growth. She looks forward to the opportunity of serving again.
Jennifer lives in Hailey, Idaho with her husband Joe and their daughter Ava.
Backcountry Journal Editor
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Freelance Writer and Photographer
I grew up on Whidbey Island in Washington’s Puget Sound, where I developed a love for the outdoors and an ambition to write about my experiences. Until finishing high school, I generally could be found pulling pots for Dungeness crab, tending our oyster farm, pass-shooting mallards, scaring black-tailed deer, digging Manila clams and geoducks, mooching for Chinook, beach casting for coho, jigging for lingcod or, my favorite, swinging for winter-run steelhead in the nearby Skykomish, Stillaguamish and Skagit systems. My dad’s frequent paraphrasing of the Mark Twain quote, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education,” kept priorities in order. It often made me late for class as well.
I moved to the other side of Washington for college to study smallmouth bass, brown trout, summer-run steelhead and journalism in and around Spokane. During my senior year at Gonzaga University, I wrote a thesis feature story about the impending removal of the salmon-blocking dams on the Elwha River. That project propelled me into a graduate program in environmental journalism and natural resource science at the University of Montana. I spent my two years at UM researching and reporting on salmon and steelhead hatcheries on the West Coast and how that management practice, in many cases, has further hindered the recovery of native fish stocks. Around that time my first major freelance piece, an essay published in Gray’s Sporting Journal, launched my career in fly fishing writing.
After graduating with a M.A., I spent a fourth and final summer commercial salmon seining in Prince William Sound, Alaska. I used my crew share to pay off student loans and buy a raft and a black Lab puppy. Then I trout, elk and ski bummed around the West for six months. The University of Washington Press offered me a book contract to expand my master’s thesis – but not the critical advance to go with it. At the time, I also was working on a business plan to start a hunting and fishing magazine. As the Alaska money started to run dry, with freelance writing paying as poorly as everyone said it would, I got a call from Land Tawney, freshly minted president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. He needed a new editor for Backcountry Journal and heard about my business plan from the editors at RMEF’s Bugle magazine, where I’d interned during grad school. He offered me the opportunity to realize my vision but without the hassle of starting a publication from scratch. This also allowed me to continue living in Missoula.
Two and a half years later, BHA’s membership and staff numbers have more than quadrupled, along with Backcountry Journal’s circulation. We’re doing more than ever to defend and improve access and opportunity to hunt and fish on our nation’s public lands and waters. I’m especially excited about our latest initiative, Stream Access Now, which seeks to expand and defend public stream access nationwide – an issue no other national group has tackled.
I believe I would make a great addition to the AFFTA board. As a frequent contributing writer to publications such as The Drake, Fly Rod & Reel, The Flyfish Journal, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Backcountry Journal and Stonefly, my voice reaches a broad fly fishing audience. I’m 27 years old and deeply involved with and informed on the youth fly fishing culture that is critical to the growth and vibrancy of our industry. With roots in hunting and conventional fishing, experience in commercial fishing, employment in conservation, experience in advocacy and education in fisheries biology, I am able to communicate and work with the natural partners outside our sometimes-insular fly fishing community. Please vote for me to sit on the American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s board of directors!
Samuel Hunter Lungren
- I began fly fishing when I was 5. I grew up fishing our family farm in Missouri and the trout-rich waters of the Ozarks. In the ‘80’s, I guided these beautiful rivers. I made my first pilgrimage to Yellowstone the summer of 1980, living out of the back of a 4-Runner with nearly 350,000 miles on it. Since that same year, I’ve somehow successfully managed two careers: fly fishing bum and creative guy in marketing communications.
- In 1981, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University (St. Louis)
- From 1980 to 2000, I enjoyed an award-winning career as an Art Director and later, Creative Director at a handful of well known, highly respected advertising agencies throughout the U.S. I’ve created all forms of marketing communications for accounts including Jack Daniel’s, Budweiser, Mercury Marine, Volvo, Six Flags, Kodak, Sheraton Hotels, Orient-Express Hotels, The British Virgin Islands, Aspen Colorado and many more.
- In 1992, I became disillusioned with the business and returned to my real love. Having spent many, many days on the Pere Marquette River in Michigan, I returned to guiding – this time for Pere Marquette Lodge, located in Baldwin, MI. For the next four years, I guided fly fishermen to more Steelhead, Salmon and Trout than I can count, including State Record Catch and Release Steelhead in1994.
- In 2000, I purchased a full-service marketing communications firm located in Virginia Beach, VA named BCF. Immediately, I repositioned the firm to focus exclusively on marketing Travel Destinations, Hotels and Resorts. Our clients include: Aspen, San Luis Obispo, Virginia Tourism Corporation (Virginia is for Lovers) Mobile AL, Virginia Beach, Hershey PA, Jackson Hole, the Limelight Hotel in Aspen, and many more.
- Recently, I was a cast member of the f3t film Tidewater – a film focusing on the little-known Marlin fishery off the coast of Virginia. I was blessed to share this experience with Colby and Brian Trow of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing. I remain intent on developing this fishery.
- My current passion is tournament fishing. I’ve successfully competed in the Cheeca All American, the Golden Fly Tarpon Invitational, the Don Hawley Tarpon Invitational, the Silver Kings Tarpon Tournament, and the Poor Boys Tarpon Tournament (2016).
- In 2014, I conceived and developed Able Women – A cause-related marketing initiative focused on raising awareness of the positive influence fly fishing can have on a woman’s self esteem and identity. While still in its relative infancy, Able Women is beginning to attract the attention of women both within and outside of the fly fishing industry, as well as the media in general. The key business goal of Able Women is to attract women not presently engaged in fly fishing to enter the sport. • Other stuff:
– Speaker at 2014 iFTD
– Speaker at 2015 AFFTA Dealer Summit
– Speaker at 2015 Orvis Guide Rendezvous
– Speaker at dozens of Travel Conventions throughout the U.S,
– Have caught and released over 80 different species on fly.
‑ Married, father of a 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter. They rock.
A Partner in Green Drake Outdoors (www.greendrakeoutdoors), Dustin has been in the fly fishing industry almost all of his life…working as a guide, retailer and now a manufacturer’s representative. Prior to Green Drake Outdoors, Dustin spent 17 years as founder of successful retailer Fishwest, where he built it into one of the world’s strongest independent fly shops. Deeply passionate about the industry, sport and environment, Dustin also currently serves as Chairman of Utah’s Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council. Dustin holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Utah.
Dustin is often distracted by catching different species on a fly rod. He can often be found lost in thoughts of his next saltwater destination or the next time he can stand in steelhead waters casting a two-hander. Dustin lives in Draper, UT with his wife Sarah, two sons (Cameron and Zachary) and a dog.
Brian is the CEO and majority owner of Korkers Footwear. Brian began fly fishing at a young age due to his father’s and grandfather’s influence and teachings. At age 6, Brian went on a fishing adventure with his father to Alaska that forever changed his life and fueled his passion for fishing and adventure travel.
Brian started at Korkers as the Director of Sales & Marketing in 2003 where he was tasked with changing the company’s sales and distribution model from a purely distributor based model to one that utilizes Manufacturer’s Sales Reps. selling direct to wholesale tackle dealers. During that time, he assisted in development and design of the patented OmniTrax Interchangeable Sole System which allowed the company to expand from cleated overshoes to a full line of footwear products. In late 2006, Brian and his father purchased the company and immediately upgraded the business. From expanding the product line to pioneering new innovations in fishing like the BOA® lacing system, Brian has worked tirelessly to stay on the cutting edge and to deliver industry leading footwear products.
As a small, family owned specialty manufacturer, Brian offers the AFFTA Board a unique perspective. Similar to most of the retailers in the business, Brian understands the challenges small businesses face every day. Similar to his approach in running Korkers, Brian enjoys challenging status quo and isn’t afraid of shaking things up to see if positive change can be accomplished. Brian believes the health of the industry is at a critical point and sees opportunity for positive change through new ideas and change. Brian has noted several of his concerns about the industry, the IFTD Show, and other industry related trends to AFFTA via letter on many occasion and is now prepared to help take a more active role by joining the AFFTA Board.
Brian lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Joan and their three kids (Jackson-2, Luke 8 Mo., and Harper 8 Mo.). While he would like be to be on the water fishing more often, he generally spends most of his free time at home with his wife and young kids.
Director of Product Umpqua
Sixteen years now at Umpqua, Brent started in the fly-fishing industry 20 years ago with a major fly-fishing retailer/cataloger. At Umpqua he has worked in sales, purchasing, operations and production, but has always worked passionately on new products. Brent now works on new products full time and enjoys nothing more than turning concepts into real functional products for the modern fly angler.
Brent has a B.A. in biology and MBA from CU’s Leeds School of Business. On the weekends Brent will likely be found testing new products on the water, spending time with his family (wife, two girls – 11 & 13 year’s old) or sneaking away to the mountains to find a good trail to run.
Why the AFFTA board?
I hope to have the opportunity to work with the AFFTA board to strengthen our industry and continue efforts to give back through conservation and efforts to improve and grow fishing opportunities. I’ve invested a large part of my life in the fly-fishing industry and believe my background in both biology and fly-fishing will bring a broad perspective to the board. My understanding of the production and new product development side of the industry has resulted in a solid understanding of the trade/import side of things. And, my background in biology and ecology is a driving force in behind everything I do.
Umpqua Feather Merchants (2000’-Present)
- Director of Product (2015’-Present)
- Oversee all new product (concept, design, development & commercialization)
- Product Categories include Flies, Hooks, Leader & Tippet, Tools, Fly Boxes & Packs
- Director of Operations & Production (2013-15’)
- Oversee all aspects of forecasting, purchasing & fulfillment
- Managed staff of 18
- Operations Manager (2006-13’)
- Managed all warehouse functions
- Raw Material Manager (2003-06’)
- Spec’d, sourced, shipped all raw materials for fly production
- Worked closely with U.S. Fish & Wildlife and U.S.D.A.
- Dealer Support Manager (2000-03’)
- Supported large accounts with sales and supply resources
- Sold drop-ship software for fly category
Westbank Anglers, Houston (1997-2000’)
- Floor sales & purchasing
- Education (tying and casting classes)
- Commercial fly tyer
- Packs & Bags – 3 Field & Stream Best of the Best
- Fly Boxes – 1 Field & Stream Best of the Best
- All Categories – 8 IFTD Best of Show
University of Colorado
- MBA – Business, Leeds School of Business
University of San Diego
- BA – Biology
- Minor – Marine Science
- Journal of Crustacean Biology
- United States Geological Survey
The decision to run for the AFFTA board was a simple one.
Since the inception of my business Maven Fly, I’ve had many conversations about how to engage more women in the sport. How do we talk to women, sell to women, etc. After IFTD I was left with the feeling that the conversation about women is just a good sound bite and not something the industry is ready or willing to support. I realized that instead of being frustrated, I need to do more to shift the conversation. Joining the AFFTA board would be a great avenue to influence change and make an impact plus provide perspective as a female angler/business owner focused on women in fly fishing!
The board is progressive and hard-working, passionate about conservation and supporting the growth of the sport–all good things. The common thread that connects all past, present and future board members is a passion for fly fishing! What makes this board strong is that passion isn’t found in just one type of person or brand. Each member brings a unique perspective. As an industry we want to promote growth by supporting new brands. We also want to reach more women and grow the sport! I know I can help with that, but I need your support and vote!
A little about me. I grew up chasing adventure, skiing both water and snow, cycling and most recently surfing plus of course fly fishing. My passion for fly fishing quickly led to a frustration with the lack of good clothing options for women. This in turn, led to the founding of Maven Fly late 2012. The mission of the company is to marry fashion + function in outdoor clothing designed just for women. We proudly just launched our third collection at IFTD. In addition to Maven Fly I do project work for Casting for Recovery, a nonprofit that provides fly fishing retreats for breast cancer survivors. Before Maven Fly I spent years working in the marine industry with my brother at Tempress Products, a family business. You may not know Tempress however you probably know our products, in particular fold down seats on most drift boats. I have a background in marketing and promotion with a focus on brand building. In addition to being an entrepreneur, I’m a mom to an amazing fourteen-year-old daughter. Elizabeth has special needs with minimal verbal ability, but a determination and strength that transcends words. She is a constant reminder that anything is possible.
If you’ve read my bio, thank you!
I appreciate your consideration and hope to earn your vote. Cheers!
Owner/Founder of Maven Fly
Current AFFTA Board Member
Owner Mossy Creek Fly Fishing
I have been happily serving on the AFFTA board for the past 3 years and am anxious to run for reelection. As a board member I currently sit on the communication committee, dealer summit committee, and I’m currently the IFTD Trade Show committee chair. Three years ago I ran on the premise of giving back to the sport I love and as I fly shop owner and outfitter I hope I have been serving retailers, guides, and manufacturers well.
AFFTA is in a healthy position right now with growing membership, a growing trade show, and a very popular dealer summit that has massive potential. I feel I bring a positive, enthusiastic energy to the board and I’m highly motivated to continue to drive AFFTA’s momentum. As a representative of retailers it is my goal to continue to increase member benefits and add more valuable resources and educational tools to bring about more success in this industry. Having attended IFTD, Dealer Summits, participated in almost every dealer survey, I now have a deeper understanding of the industry. This not only allow me to make my own business better but it has incited a motivation to do as much as I can to continue to bring positive changes to the industry. There are a lot of great ideas that I would like to oversee and execute in the next 3 years if I am reelected. I would appreciate your support as you consider candidates for the upcoming election.
Colby Trow is 37 years old and lives with his wife Jess, son Axel, and dog Rio in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He and his twin brother Brian have been fly fishing since their childhood. Colby truly lives the fly fishing lifestyle and works daily to push the sport, conservation and education to the limits.
In the 14 years since opening, Colby has grown his business to support the largest freshwater guide service and fly fishing school in Virginia. Years of on-the-water “homework” has allowed him and his team to push the limits of fly fishing in the Mid-Atlantic, targeting all species available to us, mountain and spring creek trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, carp, musky, and a variety of saltwater species including billfish off the Virginia Coast. His goal is to expand the opportunities for fly anglers new and old to have them enjoy the diversity of fishing available to them.
Mossy Creek Fly Fishing is an interactive business. Colby overseas a quality website, online retail store, social media pages, in-house booking systems, press and media, property acquisition, and has a new favorite hobby in fly fishing film making. He and his brother are active in the industry, attending seminars, dealer rendezvous, and IFTD in order to maintain communication with industry leaders and vendors as well as establish new relationships to continue to understand the business as deeply as possible.
Colby has positioned his shop to continue to pursue conservation of local waters and enhance the fishing potential for the public. His business has helped spearhead major spring creek restorations on some of Virginia’s best cold water streams. A few of these projects are considered the largest cold water conservation projects that have been completed in Virginia. He and his team works closely with the Fish Kill Task Force, VA Dept of Enviromental Quality, VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, Shenandoah and Potomac Riverkeepers, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, CCA, and the VA General Assembly on conservation issues. Colby takes conservation seriously and continues to be an ambassador locally and throughout the industry on how every fly shop can give back to their respective communities and watersheds. It is his belief that conservation is the lifeblood of the fly fishing industry and it needs to be fully embraced so everyone can enjoy the future.
Trident Fly Fishing
765 Roosevelt Trail, Suite 8
Windham, ME 04062
888-413-5211 ext. 50
July 22, 2016
AFFTA Board Nomination Bio
Ben Freeman is the owner and founder of Trident Fly Fishing. Ben started fly fishing at the age of 8 and hasn’t been able to put down a rod since! As a life-long angler, starting Trident was not only a way to combine his passion for fly fishing with his acumen for business, but to affect positive change in the industry – a desire that he hopes to further as a member of the AFFTA board. In particular, he hopes to work toward getting a fly rod into the hands of the next generation by changing the way young people learn to fly fish.
Since founding Trident in 2012, Ben has successfully transformed it into one of the largest and fastest growing fly shops in the country. He is also a serial entrepreneur and has spent his entire career trying to figure out how to re-shape various industries. Prior to founding Trident, Ben worked on the 3rd-Party Platform at Amazon.com, where he was responsible for measuring the success of the platform. He was also a founder of Clearband, a wireless broadband firm, and helped launch Essio Shower. Ben holds a B.A. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.
Ben is an avid traveler and has been to over 85 cities in 22 countries and has fly-fished in many of them. His greatest catch to date is a Golden Mahseer from the Ramganga River in India.