After a thorough search process involving over 60 potential candidates, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association has found its man: Gary Berlin, formerly the head of the International Hunter Education Association, and before that an official with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, will serve as the trade organization’s next president.
Berlin brings with him the exact qualifications AFFTA board chairman Alan Gnann said the organization was looking for, namely, a track record of running an outdoor-related trade group, strong industry and government contacts, and a fundamental understanding of the flyfishing arena.
“I can’t tell you what an exhaustive effort it was to (find and hire the new AFFTA president),” said Gnann. “This is an extremely important time for this industry, and we had to find the best possible candidate. We did.”
Gnann noted that Berlin was hired after a unanimous vote by the AFFTA board, each member having traveled to the National Casting Call in Washington, D.C., along with three finalist candidates, for personal interviews. Berlin said he is eager to jump into the new challenge.
“I’m excited about this opportunity, and think AFFTA can and will do more for retailers to promote, build, and solidify the stature of one of the greatest outdoors pastimes in America,” said Berlin, who, according to sources within the Colo. DOW is known for being “shrewd, sharp and focused.”
Concurrent with the announcement of Berlin’s hiring, AFFTA confirmed that its headquarters would move to Colorado (Berlin is a Broomfield, Colorado, resident).
“It is clearly a hub for the flyfishing industry, and we (AFFTA) will have our headquarters located in the greater Denver area,” said Gnann.
Editor’s note: Look for a detailed profile on “The New AFFTA” and its president in the next (Sept. ‘08/FFR) issue of Angling Trade.