Extraordinary fishing mentor who has spent nearly 30 years inspiring more than 30,000 people through his volunteerism and passion for fishing
Marlon Meade has spent almost 30 years working to provide fishing opportunities for kids, and puts on 20-25 events every year. Born and raised in Anaheim, Marlon's events require rallying volunteers, arranging sponsorships, finding donated equipment, and all in order to provide hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of kids each year with a memorable fishing experience. For many years he also headed the largest disabled kids fishing program in the United States. His fishing programs are all educational and help get people started as anglers.
Introduced to fishing by his dad at the age of 3, Marlon will be the first to credit his dad (Curtis) with also being his biggest supporter, his most steadfast volunteer throughout all of his events, and a shining example of the effect a father can have on his children when he introduces them to the world of fishing.
Marlon's mentorship calling started early. He spent much of his youth involved with the local YMCA participating in fishing derbies for grammar school students. By the time he was 18 his success and enthusiasm prompted a local fishing club to select him as chair for their kids fishing derby program. Excited by the opportunity, he approached his first (and only) sponsor to ask for support, but the store owner told him he looked too young to be organizing a fishing derby and suggested Meade bring in his dad to confirm his story.
From those early beginnings, Marlon has worked tirelessly to provide California's youth with fishing opportunities that they might not otherwise have. In 2001, he was honored by the Izaak Walton League of America with their National Conservation Youth Ethics Award "for his steadfast commitment to the field of conservation and education and outreach activities that have introduced thousands of California's children to the outdoors." In 2004, Marlon was voted by his peers to be one of the top 30 anglers on the West Coast by Western Outdoor News magazine.
Marlon's dedication serves as a model for the young and old alike. His mentoring of anglers, tenacity to provide fishing opportunities, and his commitment to conservation education are inspiration to generations of Californians.
To meet Marlon and to learn more about his programs, call (714) 649-9111.
Energetic radio host who promotes fishing and outdoor sports, especially to women and children
Wendy Tochihara started fishing as a child with her parents and twin sister, and those early family camping and fishing trips together remain fond memories. She renewed her interest in fishing after becoming a parent herself; she would head to a local lake to fish every Friday to get away and relax. As she tells it, it was her day "to change bait, not diapers."
Those regular Friday fishing trips led to her working at the lake, then to work as a call screener on Fish Talk Radio, and eventually to her becoming the host of "Women in Fishing" and "Kid's Corner" on the radio. Before long, she was fishing competitively in bass tournaments, and won "Angler of the Year" her first season. Today she is the National Sales Manager for Izorline International and represents Big Hammer, Phenix Rods, Bomber Eye Wear and TyGer Leader and she continues to fish as much as possible.
Wendy is currently one of the co-hosts of Rod & Reel Radio and can be heard on AM 540, Sunday evenings from 5:00-7:00 PM or you can listen live at www.rodandreelradio.com. "My goals with Rod and Reel Radio are to encourage more women and children to participate in outdoor sports by broadcasting a fun and informative program. I want this show to be a truly family-oriented program."
Wendy promotes the outdoors and teaches people how to fish through her radio programs, television, seminars, and by taking people fishing. Wendy says she promotes fishing and the outdoors "to whoever will listen."
In Memoriam... John Rowe
Previous Executive Director of the "Friends of Rollo" program, which introduces thousands of troubled and at-risk youth to ocean fishing annually
John Rowe was the Executive Director of the non-profit organization "Friends of Rollo", a youth fishing program that introduces young people to ocean fishing. Although the program focuses primarily on reaching inner city kids, the disadvantaged, and at-risk youth, it also provides coastal fishing trips to kids from all walks of life. Each of their 1/2 to 3/4 day fishing trips carries 35 to 40 kids, along with 5-6 chaperones. Since it's inception in 1999, this organization has helped connect more than 40,000 youth to California's ocean waters and the importance of conservation.
John, a true fishing enthusiast, was first introduced to fishing by his father at age 3. His first job was dipping bait at the Hermosa Beach pier when he was 9 years old, and as a teen he worked in tackle shops. Eventually, he made his way into sales and product development for a major international fishing product corporation where he worked for more than a decade.
After joining Friends of Rollo, John took his knowledge of fishing, his desire to share the joy of fishing with others, and his love for people to new heights. John understood the excitement of the kids who participate in this program as they experience their first fishing trip, and what may be the first boat ride of their lives.
He was also instrumental in forging new relationships with organizations to help as many kids as possible appreciate fishing as a positive activity that highlights the value of our ocean resources. He helped sponsor the first kids' saltwater California Fishing Passport trip, and was instrumental in working with the CDFW and others to offer more of these opportunities to our next generation of anglers. He will be missed.
Learn more about Friends of Rollo at www.captainrollos.org/.
Pro bass angler, seminar speaker, and fishing guide inspiring others with her "Keep Fishing Fun" motto
Carol Martens is a professional bass angler (one of the few women competing on the West Coast), outdoor writer and public speaker. She's been a competitive angler for nearly 20 years, and first started fishing with her son, Aaron, as a mother-son team together back in 1988 when Aaron was just 14 years old. They taught themselves how to fish and became a very competitive and successful team, winning 11 "Angler of the Year" titles and many top place finishes. Aaron has now gone on to be highly successful in his own right, winning several national championships and ranking as one of the top bass pros in the country.
Carol, a former beauty consultant for many years, decided to leave that life behind and instead pursue her love of fishing and competing in professional bass tournaments. She promotes that enjoyment to everyone she encounters, and her enthusiasm is truly infectious. Carol has even passed on her love of the sport to two of her grandsons who are now fishing competitively, too.
With her love of people, good humor, and her enthusiasm for fishing, it's easy for Carol to share her experiences as an angler. She often conducts guided fishing trips on local lakes (including Castaic and Casitas), and especially enjoys teaching basic fishing principles to women, children and couples through her trips and fishing seminars.
Carol's motto is to "Keep Fishing Fun!" And not only does she live it, she shares it. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.