It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to tell the fishing community that the Campbell brothers — my husband Wes and his younger brother Steve — passed away within just a few months of each other in December 2019 and April 2020, respectively. The tragedies have left a hole in our lives here at TTI-Blakemore, but more than our immediate family has been impacted. Our extended family, friends and partners have suffered a loss as well. If you knew or worked with Wes or Steve, I trust you know what I mean. I miss them every day, and things will never be quite the same.
But life and business go on, even after devastating loss, and because of the tremendous foresight of Wes and Steve, TTI-Blakemore had a succession plan in place to ensure that the family’s legacy company will continue to serve the fishing community.
In accordance with that plan, I am now the president of TTI-Blakemore, and I will do my very best to serve in that capacity in a way that would make Wes and Steve proud, and in a manner that will help to bring honor to the sportfishing industry.
Since you and I may not have met or worked together, I want to tell you a little about myself and my history with TTI-Blakemore. You might be surprised to learn that my time with the company was just as long as that of Wes. In fact, I’ve worked in the fishing industry and at TTI-Blakemore for over 42 years.
In the beginning, Wes and I ran the company out of his family home.As a result of some early success, we were able to rent a larger and more suitable facility soon after that and eventually moved to our current industrial location in Wetumpka, Alabama. Through the years and with the help of an incredible team, we’ve been able to grow the business and our brands.
Because we are a family-owned and family-run business, Wes and Ifound ourselves wearing many hats. I handled the credit department and order approvals as well as personnel, sales and outdoor media projects. We stayed active in the American Sportfishing Association, building both business relationships and friendships. Wes served on committees and on the ASA board of directors. For 23 years, I served on the board of the Future Fisherman Foundation — the educational arm of ASA — and was chairperson for a decade. On any given day at TTI-Blakemore,I’ve had the need or opportunity to step in and do something that was outside any formal job description in order to get things done, keep the business going and serve our customers and the industry.
This diversity, while often challenging, has given me skills and insight that I’m confident will serve me and TTI-Blakemore well in the coming days, months and years. Although we’ve lost Wes and Steve, I’m blessed to have the incredible TTI-Blakemore team here beside me. I consider these wonderful people to be my extended family.
As part of the transition plan,Steve trained Trisha King and Mike Carmichael to take over many of his responsibilities.Ron Stallings is taking us to the next level in social media and marketing as well as with customer accounts. Steve Tagami is our new vice president of sales and will work closely with our customers. These great people have an average of more than 20 years’ experience in the fishing tackle industry. They are extraordinarily capable and will help us to maintain a leadership position in the industry.
In closing, I want to thank you not only for your support of TTI-Blakemore in these challenging times, but for your friendship, fellowship and for making our industry so special. We look forward to working with you all as we grow the sport and our industry.