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Shimano America to bid farewell to veteran campaigner

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Throughout his career at Shimano, Phil Morlock was instrumental in advocating recreational fishing issues to government leaders, such as when fishing with US President George H.W. Bush.
↑ Phil Morlock with US Representative Rob Wittman, of Virginia’s First Congressional District.

Shimano North America Holding has announced the retirement of its environmental campaigner for over 29 years.

Phil Morlock will retire at the end of June as Vice President of Government Affairs/Advocacy for the US and Canada. From the beginning of his near 30 years tenure at the group, he recognised the potential for corporate leadership in environmental conservation, scientific research and government policy as critical for the future of fishing and mountain biking.

Morlock said: “At this juncture in my life, I believe it is time to change gears and spend more time on personal initiatives and new projects.

“In the decades since Tom Brooke at Shimano Canada first proposed the concept to me I am tremendously proud of what we have accomplished across North America through our Shimano sport fisheries and cycling initiatives.”

Thanking those who have supported him throughout his career, in particular his and the Shimano family, Morlock went on to encourage his friends and colleagues to stand with him in his ongoing efforts to keep access to the great outdoors open to all.

“Over the past 29 years, Phil has embodied Shimano’s mission statement – ‘to promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us’,” said Jim LaFrance, Executive Vice President, Shimano North America Holding.

“His unwavering passion and genuine relationships with key leaders at the federal, state and provincial levels in the US and Canada have helped protect places we fish and ride.

“We are grateful for Phil’s efforts and dedication and know the result of his work will continue to be enjoyed by anglers and cyclists for many years to come.”

Morlock has led Shimano’s corporate efforts in fish habitat improvement, scientific research to improve catch and release fish handling methods, youth conservation initiatives, academic scholarships for fish and wildlife studies and improving mountain bike trail planning and access. 

“We always felt it was important to put something back into the natural resources from which we earn a living,” he added.

Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation said: “Phil’s dedication to sportsmen and women, not just in Canada, but across the United States, has been critical in helping protect and advance policies allowing anglers and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their favorite pastimes.

“He is a tried and true sportsman who is passionate about our time-honoured traditions and we are grateful for his support.” 

Morlock has served as Chair and as a member of a wide variety of fishing and bike industry committees and boards, including the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), People for Bikes, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA).

CSIA President Kim Rhodes said: “Phil has been the Government Affairs Chair of the CSIA for over 15 years. During his tenure, his contributions to the association has been invaluable. There is no doubt that Phil is one of Canada’s most valuable players in the advocacy branch for recreational fishing and the country’s natural resources.”

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