The National Professional Anglers Association’s (NPAA) board of directors recently appointed one of America’s top angling professionals and sportfishing industry businessmen, Mike Iaconelli (Ike) to the NPAA Board of Directors. Iaconelli will join five elected board members and one additional appointed member over the next year and a half to help create a strategy that will expose the NPAA and its mission to full-time, part-time, and aspiring angling professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“Ike’s passion for the sport and his desire to see the sport continue to grow make him the perfect candidate for our board,” said Patrick Neu, Executive Director of the NPAA. “Ike is acutely tuned into the need for professional anglers to join an organization that represents them and is there to support the members as they grow their knowledge of angling as a career.”
Ike was one of the keynote speakers at the NPAA’s conference in early January of this year, and was impressed with the organization. “The NPAA Conference opened my eyes to what they are doing to grow and protect the sport that has been so good to me,” Ike commented. “Their mission and structure align with my belief that this sport needs an organization to represent the anglers within the industry. I believe that the NPAA is an organization that pros at all levels should be supporting.”
NPAA Board Chairman, Brian Bashore is looking forward to the opportunity to work with Ike during his term on the board. “Ike understands the importance of creating a unique brand and as importantly the necessity for pro-anglers to add value to the partnerships they have developed with their sponsors. The angler’s understandings of all the aspects of professional angling are critical to their success. We are looking forward to having Ike work with our team to help us create a strategy to expose the NPAA and our mission to a much larger audience.”
The NPAA is comprised of tournament anglers, guides/charter captains, angler educators and industry professionals who all love the sport of fishing, but also have the desire to see the sport grow and prosper. Currently the NPAA has over 1,300 active members and over 100 partners who support the organization.
“The NPAA has a great start and the association has grown, but in reality it has only just begun to reach the broad demographic of anglers who should/could become members,” said Iaconelli. “It will be a challenge to get anglers to understand the importance of becoming part of something that is bigger than them, but I am up for the challenge!”