Keynote and Featured Speakers

Please join us on Wednesday and Thursday morning for our General Sessions.

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to welcome two internationally known speakers and authors to the 2021 Sportfishing Summit.

“Never Lose a Customer Again”

Joey Coleman 

Wednesday, October 6

When organizations like Whirlpool, Deloitte, Volkswagen Australia, Principal Financial, and Zappos need to boost their customers’ experience, they call on Joey Coleman for assistance.

Joey is a recognized expert in customer experience design to dramatically increase your customer retention and your bottom line. He works with organizations ranging from small start-ups that are fresh off the kitchen table, to large Fortune 500s, with hundreds of mid-size businesses in between.

His book Never Lose a Customer Again debuted at #2 on the Wall Street Journal Best Seller List and is used as a playbook for creating remarkable experiences in organizations around the world.

“Keep Customers Active”

Ken Schmidt

Thursday, October 7

Ken Schmidt is a speaker, author, former Harley-Davidson executive and an avid angler. Ken is also one of our most popular keynote speakers having provided insight into building a fanatically vocal fan base during the 2015 Sportfishing Summit. We are happy to welcome him back in 2021.

Ken is a leadership advisor to more than 1,000 businesses worldwide including household brands such as Microsoft, Intel, Ford and Volkswagen in virtually all industries. He is the former Director of Communication at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and a recognized member of the turnaround team that elevated the company to global dominance.

He is also the author of worldwide best-seller Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance.

Featured Speakers

Jeff Kolodzinski

Fishing Content Brand Manager

Johnson Outdoors

Jeff Kolodzinski is a fishing industry professional with over 25 years of experience in outdoor retail, brand management and marketing.

He is a passionate communicator who is most at home when connecting with people through the language of fishing.

Chasing everything from tunas to trout, Jeff is an accomplished angler representing the United States in seven World Championships of Freshwater Fishing.

Jeff frequently serves our military families and first responders through charity fund raisers. This September 11, Jeff surpassed the current Guinness World Record for most fish caught in 24 hours with an astounding catch of 3,168 fish.

For the last 10 years Jeff has served on the Johnson Outdoors brand team as a Brand Manager, creating the content that fuels the Humminbird and Minn Kota brands.

Travis Owens

Vice President, NA Customer Experience, GM Fin-Nor/Van Staal

Pure Fishing, Inc.

Travis Owens is the Vice President of NA Customer Experience and the GM for Fin-Nor/Van Staal for Pure Fishing. He has 26 years of experience in the sportfishing industry that includes outside sales in fishing tackle as well as many years in sales management, manufacturing and marketing.

For the past five years, Travis has volunteered his time as the Chairman of the association’s Trade & Consumer Shows committee having served on the committee for eight years. He was the co-creator of the very popular, annual On The Water product demo day event at ICAST.

He is an equal opportunity angler who enjoys fishing and boating in both salt and freshwater. He is an active member of IGFA, the Billfish Foundation and CCA.

Rob Southwick

President

Southwick Associates

Rob began his career in the late 1980s as an economist for the former Sport Fishing Institute, now the American Sportfishing Association.

By 1990, he had formed Southwick Associates, specializing in market and economic research within the hunting, shooting and sportfishing markets. Based in Rob’s home state of Florida, supported by a national staff of more than 12 experts, Southwick Associates offers an array of services including highly confidential custom research along with syndicated market reports available for purchase.

Common projects include understanding customers’ new product preferences and pricing; competitor and brand analyses; acquisitions due diligence; and more.

Rob also serves as the American Sportfishing Association’s point person for market insights and statistics. With more than 30 years of experience, Southwick Associates provides the sportfishing industry with a level of knowledge and understanding unobtainable anywhere else.

He is also the author of worldwide best-seller Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance.

Stephanie Vatalaro

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation

Stephanie Vatalaro is the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), where she leads the consumer and stakeholder outreach strategy for RBFF and its Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ brand campaigns.

A marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in corporate, agency, non-profit and TV newsroom settings, Vatalaro has devoted the last 14 years of her career to getting more people out on the water fishing and boating and conserving our nation’s aquatic natural resources.

Vatalaro received her B.S. degree from Florida State University and earned a Certificate in Management at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She grew up in the Florida Keys and is the daughter of a flats fishing guide. She now spends summers fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in Virginia.