Press Releases

RBFF Seeks New President as Matthews Departs

Founding president and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing, Bruce E. Matthews, has announced a decision to return to his family’s home state of Michigan, and the RBFF board has authorized an executive replacement search as a result.

Matthews has served in the RBFF leadership position since 1999, the year the non-profit organization was formed in response to congressional action for the purpose of growing fishing and boating participation. His departure will coincide with RBFF’s midwinter Board meeting scheduled for January 31, 2007, at which time the board hopes to introduce a new president/CEO.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve RBFF and its stakeholders these past seven years.  With the organization’s direction, programs and staff in a great place, the timing is right for the Matthews family to return to Michigan,” Matthews said. “Although a difficult decision, the move is important for us at this time in our lives. I plan to assist RBFF’s next president in any way I can during the transition, and I will forever remain RBFF’s biggest advocate,” Matthews added.

In acknowledging Matthews announcement, Jeff Pontius, chairman of the RBFF board responded, “Family values are the keystone in RBFF’s efforts to encourage more Americans to get on the water together. We can’t argue with Bruce’s reasons for leaving to be closer to his family, and we wish him well,” he said.

Best known for the Take Me Fishing™ ad campaign, the RBFF’s funding and staffing doubled under Matthews guidance. The organization has been successful in bringing a large and diverse group of fishing and boating stakeholders together in support of a common goal to grow participation and pass on the traditions and legacy of fishing and boating.

“We’ve just reaffirmed the RBFF’s mission at our Strategic Retreat,” said RBFF Vice Chairman Thom Dammrich, “so it’s an appropriate time to begin a leadership transition. We appreciate that Bruce will continue to provide oversight during the search and help with transition.”

Fellow RBFF board member Mike Nussman commented that, “RBFF has come a long way from its early days and is well positioned for the future. The organization is at full strength and new programs like Anglers Legacy show great promise”.

The RBFF Board has engaged JDG Associates of Rockville, MD, an executive search firm, to conduct the search for the next President. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Paul Belford at