More than 30 years ago, a bright, energetic young man from Iowa moved to Washington, DC, to help run political campaigns. That young man, Tom Bedell, quickly built a promising career as a political consultant.
But in 1979, his father, Congressman Berkley Bedell, asked Tom return home to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and see what he could do to revitalize the family tackle company, Berkley and Company.
Within months, Berkley and its Trilene Line were becoming well-known brands. For more than three decades, Berkley has been a strong supporter of competitive fishing and a sponsor of many top pro anglers.
While he was building his business, Tom Bedell devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy and money to preserving our resources and building the sport of fishing.
He worked closely with BASS founder Ray Scott and former BASS CEO Helen Sevier, to protect angler access to public waters and to improve the quality of fisheries nationwide. And he has long been a valuable partner with the BASS Federation Nation in its conservation and youth projects.
Here's a partial list of his accomplishments:
• He founded the Future Fisherman Foundation
• He helped form the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council -- as well as the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
• He Chaired the American Sportfishing Association Freshwater Government Affairs Committee.
• And helped make the National Fishing And Boating Week the success it is today
One of his highest honors, he says, is the Conservation Service Award, presented to him and Helen Sevier by Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
It is our privilege today to add yet another award to Tom Bedell's trophy case. In recognition for his lifetime of devotion to conservation and the promotion of bass fishing, the 2007 BASS Outstanding Achievement Award.