The International Game Fish Association named veteran business leader and avid recreational angler Nehl Horton the organization’s new president. He replaces long-time IGFA President Rob Kramer, who is stepping down from the role on Sept. 1 after nearly 15 years of distinguished service.
“Based on his broad business background, strategic leadership skills, deep experience in international markets, proven expertise as a public policy advocate and genuine passion for game fishing,” said IGFA Chairman Charles W. Duncan III, “we are confident in Nehl’s ability to enhance the rich legacy of the IGFA and increase its impact across a range of priorities.”
Horton, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, graduated in 1985 from Duke University with majors in English and Political Science. He has 30 years of experience in business, government and journalism, a unique blend of experience for the position. Horton said he is “humbled and honored by the opportunity to lead the world’s most prestigious international recreational angling organization.
“I am also indebted to the many captains, mates, guides and fellow anglers around the world who have helped fuel and focus my passion for fishing throughout my life,” Horton continued. “I look forward to working closely with the IGFA trustees, staff, international representatives, corporate sponsors, individual donors, philanthropic institutions, scientific partners and general membership to preserve and protect our precious marine and freshwater resources and species in the years ahead.”
As IGFA’s seventh president since its founding in 1939, Horton will be on working with the IGFA Trustees to develop a new long-range plan for increasing the organization’s connectivity and relevance to anglers, improving its strong network of international representatives and building new revenue streams, while strengthening its commitment to worldwide conservation.
He most recently served as senior vice president and chief communications & government relations officer for food-service distribution leader Sysco Corporation. That followed nearly a decade at Miller Brewing Company and MillerCoors, where he last served as chief public affairs & communications officer. Nehl’s international work experience includes stints as head of global media relations for Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, as well as vice president, public affairs for The Coca-Cola Company’s Europe & Eurasia Group, based in London.
Early in his career, Nehl held several senior government and political communications roles. He was press secretary for U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler, Jr. of Georgia; communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and press secretary and director of legislative affairs for former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. He started his professional career as a staff writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.