NPO Profile: The RBFF Part 2

Category: article

 Nov 12th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Nov 12th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

In part 2 of the BassFIRST profile of the RBFF, Frank Peterson, the RBFF President and CEO, talks about his personal fishing and boating experience, why he is the RBFF chief and where he sees sport fishing heading in the future.

RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson (Photo RBFF)

BF – Does your organization have support from grassroots organizations?

FP – Yes. Many of our stakeholder groups like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state fish and wildlife agencies and the American Sportfishing Association carry the Take Me Fishing and/or Anglers’ Legacy message by integrating our marketing materials into their own brand. Additionally, groups like the National Recreation and Park Association, who receive education grants from RBFF, promote our programs to their agencies across the country. Our stakeholder groups help us reach the places we can’t with advertising and communications, reinforcing our messages to their members and customers.

BF – Do you own a boat?

FP – I don’t own a boat, but I do rent boats for fishing trips with friends and family. This summer, I found a great boat rental company on TakeMeFishing.org that my buddies and I booked for a bass fishing trip up in Maine.

BF – How many times per year do you go fishing?

FP – I go fishing 10 to 20 times a year.

BF – How many employees does your organization have?

FP – RBFF currently has 15 employees.

BF – What role do you see for your organization in the future regarding sport fishing?

FP – RBFF serves as the nexus, or uniting force, that brings the USFWS, state fish and wildlife agencies and members of the boating and fishing industry together to make a real difference in the number of people who experience the joys of boating and fishing. We know, measurably, that our programs are mobilizing the avid angler to recruit new participants, helping stakeholders increase participation with marketing tools, mobilizing states to increase fishing license sales, creating introductory boating and fishing learning experiences for youth and their families and enhancing the efforts of boating stakeholders to increase participation. As long as we can keep these programs growing and keep our stakeholders engaged in them, our mission and our role moving forward will remain the same – to increase participation in both sports and awareness of their connection to conservation through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

BF – What is your personal fishing background?

FP – I’ve been an angler all my life. As a kid in New York, I used to fish for bass in the Hudson River. Today, I spend a lot of my free time surf fishing in North Carolina and bass fishing in Virginia.

BF – Why are you the head of your organization?

FP – Our board of directors thought I had the qualifications and skill set to lead RBFF with a proven track record in marketing, entrepreneurial experience and a history of setting measurable goals and achieving them. I’m an avid fisherman and I can’t think of anything more rewarding than working to increase participation in a sport that helps protect, conserve and restore our nation’s aquatic resources.

BF – Why should recreational anglers trust you to do right by them?

FP – I hope anglers are proud of RBFF and the work we do to increase participation because, ultimately, it helps protect our natural resources for future generations. Each time we’re able to help sell a fishing license, tackle, boat or boating supplies, money goes back to the states for conservation and fish and wildlife management. We’re working hard to recruit new boaters and anglers and, in turn, help keep America’s waterways clean and stocked with healthy fish.

BF – Where do you see the future of sport fishing heading in the United States?

FP – Fishing is a great American tradition that contributes significantly to the U.S. economy, enhances quality of life and preserves the country’s national beauty. The most recent USFWS survey shows fishing participation is down 12 percent, but with national movements like No Child Left Inside and the increasing popularity of youth fishing clubs and collegiate competitions, fishing participation is sure to rebound in the years ahead.

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