CCA California. It looks as good written as it sounds when spoken, and even that unusual character on the cover looks particularly appealing.
It is an exciting time for CCA. With the newly created CCA California, we are entering a new era in conservation. For many years there have been conversations and meetings to discuss developing a California State Chapter. I vividly remember a series of meetings almost a decade ago and countless dialogs since then, but the proverbial stars never aligned. CCA’s founder and first Chairman Walter Fondren once told me that there may be a time when CCA is as strong along the Pacific Coast as we are in anywhere else throughout the organization. With robust and successful chapters in Washington and Oregon and a burgeoning initiative in California, those stars may very well have aligned.
CCA’s success has always been defined by the key volunteer leaders steering the organization…period. Development staff, lobbyists, scientific consultants and communication specialists are all important parts in successful conservation efforts, but none of those components work effectively without a strong, tenacious and talented leadership group. The newly developed CCA California has just that.
“My family has been involved in marine resource conservation and enhancement efforts for more than 50 years,” said Bill Shedd, president of AFTCO and chairman of CCA California. “Through the years, I have seen a lot accomplished by like-minded recreational anglers in the conservation of California’s marine resources, but as we all know, there is still so much to do. From habitat creation to hard-line advocacy work, the CCA model will bring an important new piece in unlocking California’s conservation puzzle.”
“CCA’s reputation is built on integrity and accountability,” said Don Trojan, president of Trojan & Co. Accountancy Corporation and treasurer of CCA California. “From local chapter events to conservation work, CCA’s systems and methods have stood the test of time. We look forward to continuing that great tradition.”
With a Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Board Officers established, the group is very focused on building a membership base and defining the developmental path for local chapters.
“For lasting success on behalf of advancing the future of recreational fishing, we must have substantial grassroots involvement from anglers and strong local chapters from all regions of California,” said Dave Pfeiffer, President/CEO of Shimano American Corporation and CCA California vice chair. “CCA continues to demonstrate the power of dedicated members and strong leadership in affecting positive change from the Capitol to the coast in other regions. We have a very strong volunteer team and I am confident we can expand this successful model to benefit the west coast.”
“At this point, we are largely focused on developing our presence in southern California, but this is not a southern California organization,” said Ali Hussainy, CEO of BD Outdoors and CCA California executive committee member. “As diverse and large of a state as California is, we are all still keenly aware there is only one state Capitol. To be effective in the arena of conservation and advocacy, we will need to continue to grow throughout the state.”
As the now-fabled CCA story goes, 14 intrepid recreational anglers gathered in a small Texas fishing tackle shop determined to make a difference and save the redfish and speckled trout populations they so dearly loved. That igniting passion and drive that has continued to fuel CCA’s tradition in conservation for more than 36 years is not only still alive in the more than 120,000 volunteers and members…it’s growing.
“We have some big goals in mind for CCA California,” said Bart Hall, show producer for the Fred Hall Shows and CCA California executive committee member. “With the group we are putting together, I am confident we will achieve amazing things for the resource and for recreational anglers’ participation in it.”
The Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and San Diego will mark the official launch of CCA California’s membership drive. For those planning to attend, they will have an opportunity to purchase a special package for VIP entry, a collection of in-show gift certificates and a CCA California membership.
“We are seeing such positive engagement among the recreational angling industry and participants in our efforts to launch CCA California,” said Mike Lum, general manager of the Fred Hall Shows and CCA California executive committee member. “This is only the start. As we have seen throughout the history of CCA, more members means more influence on the management and conservation of our shared coastal marine resources. The time is right for us to build a CCA California chapter.”
Indeed, the stars have aligned for CCA California.