Each Friday during Women’s History Month we’re featuring three WaveMakers on RBFF’s staff and asking them a few questions about their fishing and boating experiences and insights on female representation in the industry. This week we spoke with Holly Mahla, Senior Manager of Administration; Joanne Martonik, Senior State Marketing Manager; and Emily Reinwald, Communications Manager.
How did you get into fishing and boating?
Holly Mahla: I started with my family and friends. Working at RBFF has given me even more opportunities and I appreciate that very much.
Joanne Martonik: Started fishing with my dad and brother. Enjoyed spending time with them so would tag along when they wanted to go fishing.
Emily Reinwald: A childhood friend’s family had a boat, and we’d go out on Lake Anna to fish, tube, and water ski.
What do you love most about fishing and boating?
HM: Being outside and on the water is simultaneously relaxing and recharging for me.
JM: Exploring new places and relaxing; spending time in nature.
ER: Getting away from all the stresses on land and just enjoying the time on the water with family and friends.
Who do you go fishing and boating with?
HM: My wonderful colleagues and anyone who invites me to tag along.
JM: Mainly my brother but with friends once in a while too.
ER: Family and friends.
Why is female representation in fishing and boating important?
HM: More women than ever are fishing and boating and teaching others to fish. And more women than ever would like the adventure if they felt invited to participate.
JM: Women are not always seen as anglers and boaters when, in reality, many women go fishing and boating regularly. We need to be seen in the sport, so others are inspired to start or continue fishing and boating.
ER: Fishing and boating is for everyone, regardless of gender. As an industry, we need to make sure our images and messaging reflect that fact.
What advice do you have for other women looking to dive into fishing and boating?
HM: Check out Takemefishing.org for great tips and how-to's!
JM: Don’t be afraid to take that first step into fishing. It’s easier than you think, and you’ll learn a lot as you go. Invite friends and family members that can help teach you. Or invite other newbies so you can all learn together. It’s a lot of fun once you get out there!
ER: Remember it’s not only about the catch! A successful and fun day on the water isn’t dependent on what you reel in.
Who inspires you?
HM: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She fought for her principles and prevailed repeatedly against long odds in both personal and professional areas.
JM: My sister. She’s a strong, smart, mother of two. She makes sure her kids get outside and explore nature. She’s always introducing them to new outdoor activities, and I know fishing is next on her list.
ER: Kim Ng, the general manager of the Miami Marlins. She’s had an amazing career in baseball and is now the first female GM in the history of major men’s sports in the United States.
Why is Women’s History Month important to you?
HM: Women's History Month highlights some of the amazing things that women have accomplished. Many of these stories have been hidden too long; they can empower all people to do great things, too.
JM: For too long women have been making waves and not receiving the credit or acknowledgment for their accomplishments. Women’s History Month helps bring to light all the amazing things women can do and have done, inspiring the next generation of wave makers.
ER: Women’s History Month is a great time to share and discover the stories of amazing women from the past and present.
If you’re an avid female angler and boater join us in sharing your passion, helping spread the word, and getting more #WomenMakingWaves in fishing and boating. Want to lead the charge? Join our women-powered social media movement to increase our visibility in the fishing community by becoming a WaveMaker.