Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality
President - Wil Newlin
Wil Newlin is the co-founder of Bass Unlimited Foundation, and his passion for fishing started at a young age on the gravel banks of a family members strip pit. Fishing from sunrise to sunset was a normal summer day while on break from school. As with many young men growing up in Indiana, Saturday nights were reserved for family trips to watch dirt sprint car racing. Often while fishing and between bites Wil would be dreaming of becoming a sprint car driver himself. Eventually the dream became reality and he became a professional non-wing sprint car driver. In spite of a late introduction to the sport Wil "The Thrill" accumulated over 40 feature victories at race tracks located in the Midwest. It was his aggressive style of racing early in his racing career, which quickly earned him the nickname "The Thrill". Unfortunately for sprint car racing fans, Wil’s racing career ended prematurely in 2005, due to head and neck injuries he received from a racing accident in July of 2005.
Visionary - Treasurer – Carol Newlin
Carol Newlin is the visionary and co-founder of Bass Unlimited Foundation. Her fishing experience can be traced back to a young age, fishing on the sandbars of the Eel River with her father and sisters. Fishing on those hot summer days before the convenience of air-conditioning was a welcome retreat. After all, they would end up down river swimming and cooling off, to the displeasure of their father, because they were making too much noise. As a young country girl growing up in Indiana, often fishing in the evening was a welcome summertime activity, enjoying the light of the lantern and sharing stories with her sisters. Her idea for Bass Unlimited Foundation can be traced, to attending a conservation banquet with her husband. While she never hunted much, she did enjoy the atmosphere, food and prizes offered at many of the conservation banquets.
Secretary – Dave Pleus
Dave is a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. He’s lived in Indiana his whole life and has seen firsthand the decline in public fisheries both as a recreational angler and a tournament angler. He’s a retired military veteran and has been involved in racing for the last 30 years as a driver and crew chief.
Dave lives in Farmersburg, Indiana with his wife Lorraine and has three daughters, a grandson and granddaughter. After a career in military and civilian law enforcement he is currently working as an automotive service advisor.
Board Member – Jim Vanzo
Jim Vanzo is a member of the board of directors of Bass Unlimited. As a young boy I used to spend most of the summer at my grandparents home in Clay county IN. They had a nice pond that I spent most of my time at. Grandmother used to say I would rather fish than eat! I have a great passion for bass fishing and love the competition. I was involved in truck pulling for about 15 years. Started small with a street stock truck and worked my way into a pro stock. I have pulled in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee and made many friends along the way. After selling out of the truck pulling, the next day I purchased a bass boat and have been hooked ever since. I have been fishing tournaments for about 20 years. I have seen many changes in the sport some good and some not so good. I have my own business which I have owned for 10 years. I have fished from Florida to Canada also fished many team series and still do today. I know there is a need for our lakes to do better and I believe Bass Unlimited will be a big step in the right direction.
Board Member – Josh Huxford
Josh Huxford grew up fishing at a young age in local farm ponds and strip pits. Later he wanted to expand his fishing knowledge to larger lakes. In doing so, he joined a local bass club and quickly found out; that it was very different. The experience was good and bad. Good in the fact; that he was able to fish with knowledgeable and experienced fishermen. Bad in the fact; that the large lakes in this area needed help with quantity and the quality of fish.
Over the past few years Josh has been building his business at Edward Jones and growing his family of now 3 girls. While he has been focused on business and family recently, he had not forgotten that fishing in public accessible waters in Indiana, needed assistance. In an effort to help improve fishing in Indiana, as well as other states. Josh joined Bass Unlimited Foundation as a member and became a member of the board of directors. He looks forward to volunteering his time, while applying his professionalism and business experience to help promote the mission of Bass Unlimited. His ultimate goal is to keep others in the future, from becoming discouraged in the wonderful sport of fishing.
Board Member – Bob Speers
Bob is a board member of the Bass Unlimited Foundation in a role which brings his unique experience in web marketing. His career included e-commerce marketing and development for several companies as well as forming his own web development company.
Having grown up in Wisconsin his passion for fishing came at an early age and eventually led to tournament bass fishing after moving to Indiana. After fishing a few years in tournaments and being a big fan of Major League Fishing Bob decided to form “Indy League Fishing” that host’s Major League Fishing style tournaments using the very same format with real time scoring and penalties. Learning about Bass Unlimited he realized that Indy League Fishing style tied right into some of the same goals of conservation and preservation of the sport. In the ILF / MLF format handling and treatment of the fish caught is a big part of our common goals.