The 2019 election season is here and with it comes another strong group of industry professionals who have chosen to throw their hats in the candidate-ring. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: we are fortunate to have an angling community that is as passionate about and dedicated as it is to the health and growth of our collective livelihood.
Voting is open to active AFFTA members starting October 1st, closing October 10th. Members will receive their ballot via email on October 1st.
There are four seats open for this year’s election. Let’s meet your 2019 AFFTA Board of Directors candidates:
Brent Bauer, Director of Product, Umpqua Feather Merchants and current AFFTA Board Vice Chair
With three years as an AFFTA board member, Brent currently chairs the Science and Policy Committee and was recently elected to the executive committee as vice chair.
“It has been an extremely exciting time to be a part of the board during some large transitions and changes. We have taken the IFTD show back in-house and moved it back to Denver, have sold the show out, grown membership to record highs and supported the protection of critical fisheries in both fresh and saltwater habitats. I am extremely proud of the work that we have been able to do as a team and hope to continue that with another term on the board.”
Employed at Umpqua for nineteen years, Brent has spent every working day tackling the challenges of helping retailers succeed through better product, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, innovation and promotion. Having worked in sales, production and operations at Umpqua, now as Director of Product, applying all of that experience and knowledge to new product development has helped the company see fresh growth and a new excitement about the future.
A love of flies is what brought him to the company and is now one of the many things that keeps him there. He has been lucky enough to collaborate on bringing some of the most innovative products to market in our industry working with great innovators like “Copper John” Barr, Mike “PoxyBack” Mercer and Charlie “Ju Ju” Craven. With a degree in Biology (USD) and Masters in Business (CU – Leeds), Brent has made a commitment to Umpqua, our industry, and our natural resources out of a love for our sport.
Toby Swank, Owner, Fins & Feathers Bozeman
Representing our Retail cohort Toby has owned and operated Fins & Feathers of Bozeman since its inception in 2000 and continues to be the managing partner, primary buyer, outfitter, and an active guide on the waters of Southwest Montana.
“I believe that my experience and involvement in the various facets of the industry including retail sales, small business ownership, conservation efforts, customer recruitment, and relationship building will enable me to bring a unique perspective to the Board of Directors.”
According to Toby, AFFTA membership has directly resulted in his improved ability to run his business more efficiently while providing a better experience for customers and employees. AFFTA has provided the best platform to build meaningful relationships with industry partners, gain access to “continuing education” opportunities, and to stay informed on urgent conservation efforts. His motivation is to be a vocal advocate for AFFTA within the specialty retail and fly fishing guide community through his role as a board member.
• Corinne Doctor, Co-owner, RepYourWater
Corinne was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado in a typical outdoorsy family from the western US. They spent summers hiking and camping which helped form an appreciation for wildlife, wild places and the environment from a very young age. Fly fishing didn’t enter her life until her college years when her then boyfriend, now husband and fellow RepYourWater business founder/owner, asked her to go on a fly fishing date with him. He has always been an obsessed angler, Corinne says, and was a patient teacher so it was easy for her to fall in love with the sport as well.
They jointly established RepYourWater in 2011 while she was teaching high school Spanish full time and running the operational side of the business on the side. For over three years now, RepYourWater has been a full time career for Corinne as she manages all of the accounting, operations, inventory, conservation partnerships and more.
From the beginning, she says, it was very important that RepYourWater wasn’t just an apparel company to sell clothes but to stand for something important and use its platform for good. She quickly started making connections on the conservation side of the angling community that matched our regional designs. Starting with Colorado Trout Unlimited, they established their first Conservation Partner and the list has grown as their product line has as well. The business has donated over $200K to conservation over the years and their goal is to have donated $250 by the end of 2020, a goal they now see as well-within reach.
“I have flown to Washington DC thanks to connections made with our conservation partnerships to speak with my Colorado representatives on the importance of public land access and keeping the clean water act intact. It is very important for me to be able to use my own voice and our business platform to speak up for what matters for our planet and industry.”
Another passion that has crossed over from her personal life to her business life is sustainability and reducing our impact as humans. At the office and warehouse, as well as at their home, they offset greenhouse gas emissions and divert over 95% of their waste from landfill. Through recycling, reusing, upcycling, reducing waste and composting they are able to make a huge dent in the amount of waste produced as a business.
Corinne’s passion for the sport of fly fishing, the business side of the industry and conservation of the land and water that we need to recreate is why she is hoping to be elected to the board of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. She believes that her experience both in and outside of the industry gives her a unique perspective and voice that should be heard more in fly fishing. Her more recent experience with reducing impact and researching sustainable alternatives for products, packaging, energy and the like needs to be shared with other manufacturers, shops and operations in the industry. She also believes that we in the fly fishing industry need to be the leaders in sustainability and set the standard for those around us both in business and in our personal lives.
Linda Leary, Owner, Fishe Wear
Linda was born and raised in Maine and learned the love of fly fishing from her dad at a young age. She moved to Alaska right out of college and fell in love with Alaska and all the adventures it has to offer. Most of her 30 + year career has been spent working in the trucking and logistics industry in Alaska and the continental USA. She was a partner in Carlile Transportation and the President the last several years before they sold. This experience gave her a strong background growing, leading and managing a business. It also allowed her to build a shared love of fly fishing with our customers along the Alaska riverbanks.
Selling their company was a great opportunity to invent her next adventure, which was to start Fishe Wear in 2015. This came from a desire to create clothing and gear that women would love and to create fun and confidence to get them into the outdoors. Linda then purchased Women’s Fly Fishing in 2018 to add education and guided trips to their clothing and gear line. She reports that this has been a great addition to Fishe and creates a well-rounded package for customers.
Linda has been active serving on several boards, to include currently on the Alaska Railroad board the last ten years, the Kenai River Sport fishing Association Board and formerly on the Rasmuson Board, a large Alaska family foundation, and the gold advisory committee for Alaska Airlines.
“I feel that I have a different perspective that I can bring to the board as someone new to the industry, but not to fly fishing. Someone from a totally different industry who has a passion for creating products that our customers want or that do not exist for them right now. I have also had experience working in an industry that has had lots of changes and challenges over the last 20-30 years. Changes range from a diverse workforce and customer base, to economic challenges, regulatory changes and many others that would allow me to add value to the board conversations. Most of all I have a love of building a community around fly fishing and collaborating with others to grow the sport of fishing!”
Tim Volk, Director of Operations, Waterworks-Lamson
Tim works for Waterworks-Lamson at their production facility in Boise, Idaho. He’s a 2008 graduate of Boise State University where he earned a degree in political science and played for the Boise State Broncos football team. He’s been with Waterworks-Lamson for the past 11 years, working in most aspects of the business. His current role is in operations where he’s able to aid and assist sales staff by bringing product from idea to fulfillment. Tim enjoys his job immensely and is truly thankful to be involved in an industry that brings such happiness and excitement to so many people. He’s a husband and father of two young boys who inspire him every day to protect and preserve the things that allow us all to work in this field.
“I’ve been fly fishing since the age of 9 and consider myself privileged to enjoy the outdoors from such a young age without worry of the threats that face us today. With our industry so reliant on natural resources, habitat and public lands I hope to serve by doing everything in my capacity to preserve and maintain those cornerstones. I feel strongly that the growth of our sport is good for all but that growth should come with a heavy emphasis on education and awareness of the fragility of the resources we utilize.”