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Tributes to former ASA Board Director Gary Zurn


Gary Zurn, partner and Senior VP of Big Rock Sports for almost 30 years and an American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Board Director, has died.

Zurn was elected to six two-year terms on the ASA Board, during the first of which he served on the Executive Committee as Secretary and then Treasurer.

He was also very active as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and served as Membership Committee Chair, with a focus on recruiting retailers.

Zurn was born in Wisconsin in 1951 and devoted his working life to the fishing industry. In 2014 he was presented with the ASA’s Future of Fishing Award in recognition of his commitment to the industry and his contribution to the future of recreational fishing. 

“No matter the issue, Gary was always willing to listen and lend a helping hand,” said former ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “I can count on one hand the number of people whose business insights really resonated with me. Gary was one of those people.”

Current ASA President Glenn Hughes described Zurn as patient, kind and professional. “He was a terrific sounding-board and was always willing to provide thoughtful input whenever asked,” he said. “The fishing industry has lost one of the good ones.”

Mike Leonard, Government Affairs Vice President, added: “Whether testifying before Congress, being an early and strong supporter of Keep America Fishing or navigating numerous challenging Government Affairs committee discussions as chair, Gary was as dependable as they come. He made a significant and lasting mark on the industry and will be truly missed.”

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