BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Two leaders of B.A.S.S.’s grass-roots membership and conservation programs today announced plans to retire from their positions.
Noreen Clough of Clermont, Fla., a former Southeast regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will retire from her position as B.A.S.S. national conservation director on Aug. 9. She has held the post for seven years.
Don Corkran, a 20-year employee of B.A.S.S. who served most of that time as national director of the B.A.S.S. Nation, will retire July 8.
Corkran will be replaced by Jon Stewart, currently senior manager of the B.A.S.S. Nation. Stewart, who oversees tournament operations for the B.A.S.S. Nation team, is a past president of the Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation. A search is under way for Clough’s successor.
Clough has spent more than 36 years in natural resource conservation, including chief of natural resources for the National Wildlife Refuge System and deputy assistant director for fisheries in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as well as that agency’s southeast regional director.
“My best years have been those at B.A.S.S. as conservation director,” she said in a statement. “It’s been rewarding to see the B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation program grow and deliver amazing on-the-ground conservation and angler benefits.” In addition to coordinating the efforts of B.A.S.S. Nation conservation volunteers in 47 states, Clough has served on numerous national boards involved in fisheries conservation. She will remain a board member of Friends of Fisheries, a volunteer organization supporting the USFWS Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation program.
Corkran, a Vietnam War veteran with 22 years of service as a Command Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, joined the B.A.S.S. tournament staff shortly after retiring from active duty. He served more than 17 years as B.A.S.S. Nation director. During that time, he led the grass-roots organization in its largest growth cycle, when it nearly doubled in size. He has also been involved in the expansion of competitive fishing programs for high school students and other youngsters as well as the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series.
“I’m proud to have served as director during these efforts,” Corkran said, “and I’m confident that the B.A.S.S. Nation — although not as large as it was a decade ago — is stronger now than at any time in its history.”
“Our organization and the sport of bass fishing will miss the leadership of Noreen and Don,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “We are grateful not only for their innumerable accomplishments on behalf of bass fishing, but also for their service to our nation during their previous careers. We wish them well in their retirement.”
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.