Hello to all the members and thank you to everyone who is taking the time to read this message. My name is David Repman and I am glad to have the opportunity to introduce myself to the New York B.A.S.S. Nation as your new President. Some of you may already know me as I have been the Tournament Director for the last (4) years and Membership Director for the last (2) years. Just like that, almost half of the year has gone by and 2020 is turning out different than was anticipated in so many ways. When faced with adverse times, the words: change, challenges, and communication come to mind. These are all words that can be looked at in a negative light. In my message, I am asking to see them in a more positive light to help get yourself, your family, and others through this. We are all facing challenging times with ongoing current events and these current events are affecting people’s lives in ways we have never seen before. I hope this message finds everyone safe, healthy, and ready to make changes in order to eventually get back to a new normal.

The word change makes some people uneasy and yet others embrace it. When faced with a pandemic, regardless of opinions, everyone must face the changes and the domino effect it can have on your everyday life. Everywhere we look, changes surround us. How we do our everyday work, how we shop, and of course how we meet and interact as people. From this, we adjust and learn new ways to do things different even though we have done them that way for years. We have the same result, just a different way of getting there. The same is true of our organization. We will need to make changes, certainly for this season, and possibly for the future. We have already begun to change in this regard. On May 9th, we had our first ever virtual meeting. It is our hope that in the future, we can still have a meeting where people can sit in a room together but with virtual attendance as an option. This is just one example of a positive change and a change for the better. However, there will be changes that are never ideal like schedule changes. Unfortunately, we have already had a few of them early on this year and there is potential for more. For example: our meeting scheduled for March 28th was rescheduled for May 9th, the Buffalo tournament was cancelled for June 21st, the B.A.S.S. Northeast Regional was postponed and rescheduled for August 19th-21st for our Regional team, and the new location of our CTC this year from Cayuga to Oneida due to an Elite event is coming to Cayuga. With all this being said, change can be good or bad. Change can be for better or worse. But unfortunately, change is unavoidable this year. The positive here is everyone has been understanding of the circumstances and is willing to go along with the program—what ever that may be as the year continues.

The next word, challenges, is something that was exemplified when talking about schedule changes. However, the challenges in my message are the ones we are thinking about—everyday life challenges. I would think most tournament Bass anglers are a great example and understand what I am talking about: family, work, faith, and fishing. Many challenges can be associated with each to be certain, some colliding all at the same time. Maintaining that balance can be hard but never stop challenging yourself in life. Take time to challenge others as well. Raise their bar for them and help them along a little if that is what it takes. They will catch on and respect you for it. Challenge yourself to think differently when faced with uncertain situations or even when faced with the same situation repeatedly. We as an organization must challenge ourselves to help grow back the membership. We must challenge ourselves to work together to achieve this. It starts with myself, the Executive Committee, and Committee Directors and ends with Clubs and members challenging others to get involved with our organization. Challenge yourself to step up and be a part of working with our organization to help make it stronger and connected across the state. When you do, you are working to help support Veterans, youths of every age group, conservation, and the environment. All positive and rewarding experiences. Oh and I forgot to mention—we fish tournaments as well that can qualify us for living out a dream. Like I mentioned earlier, tournament Bass fishing is the ultimate example of life balance and challenges. You all are the experts on the challenges that lie ahead for others. Like change, take on challenges as they come and help challenge others along the way.

In the final portion of my first President’s message, I really want to encourage communication between our organization’s leadership and our Club’s leadership and members. We are making progress this year as an organization with communication. This year, Secretaries for Clubs have been a part of a group email string where we can get important messages out about meetings, sponsor discount opportunities, and direct to Club information if needed. To the Club Leadership receiving these emails, please pass the information down to your members. Also, I personally want to encourage Clubs to have a voice in what we do as an organization. Of course, opinions can be voiced, and ideas can be debated on social media platforms but the avenue for implementing well thought out ideas is at our annual meetings where Club’s voices and ideas can be communicated. This ultimately is your organization and you may have great ideas that should be considered and voted on. Before the next meeting in December, we will have information announced regarding virtual attendance for members like our May 9th meeting. I have seen an increase in attendance this year at our meetings, and that is an encouraging sign. I would love to see the momentum keep growing in this regard. We can be a cohesive organization but only with strong communication. We have a lot of work to do as an organization and with strong communication—anything is possible.

To conclude, I want to thank everyone that I have had the opportunity to meet and work with this year so far. I have learned many new names and faces. I look forward to meeting all of you out at one of our events later this year and hope that during this coming off season we can have a great turnout at our annual meetings that may help shape our organization for a strong and cohesive future. Good luck to everyone this year and continue to stay safe and healthy!

Warm Regards,
David Repman
President New York B.A.S.S. Nation