Mustad Brings New Industry Professionals to Foster Continued Growth – Fishing Tackle Retailer

O Mustad & Son, one of the oldest fishing tackle manufacturers, continues to hire experienced industry professionals to help strengthen its sales pipeline. They continue to add new professionals as well as produce cutting-edge fishing products to fuel this growth.

Chris Gately – North East Regional Sales Director

As Mustad’s North East Regional Sales Director, Chris Gately plays a pivotal role in coordinating sales endeavors within the North East region. With a deep understanding of Mustad’s diverse range of fishing tackle and equipment, Gatley is steadfastly committed to strategically enhancing the visibility and desirability of these offerings among retailers, distributors and key stakeholders throughout the Northeast. Experienced in the nuances of sales strategies, market dynamics and customer preferences, Gately is resolute in driving revenue growth, expanding market reach and maintaining Mustad’s prominent position as the preferred choice of fishing enthusiasts in the region.

Like many industry professionals, Gately grew up hunting and fishing. This led to him starting a guiding business in the North East. Ardent Angler Guide Service targets sea and river tuna fishing for trout, steelhead, stripers and smallmouth bass. His 15-year tenure running his guiding business caught the attention of nationally prominent sales representative agency, Don Coffee, where he transitioned into sales.

In Gately’s spare time, you can find him targeting muskies in New York and Pennsylvania, although he finds time to return to his roots fishing offshore for tuna, striped bass and fluke when the opportunity arises.

Gately takes pride in growing his land, and also enjoys the friendships he has fostered as well as the relationships built as a sales manager. He looks forward to helping Mustad continue its vertical growth trajectory while helping its dealers increase their store margins.

When asked what he is most looking forward to in the future with Mustad, Gately commented: “I am very excited to be working with the experienced Mustad team and their desire to assist a new entrant in their organization while participating in the development of innovative new products.”

“Mustad continues to strengthen our sales team in key coastal markets,” said Dave Wencell, Mustad’s senior business manager. “Captain Chris Gately joins the Mustad family as Northeast Regional Sales Manager, reporting to Brian Perry. Chris’ strong relationships with customers, Combined with his passion and knowledge of the fishery, it completes Mustad’s legacy of trust that consumers and clients have come to expect.

Ben Connelly – North West Regional Sales Manager

Introducing Ben Connelly, Mustad’s newly appointed Northwest Regional Sales Director. With a deep passion for fishing and a strong understanding of the region’s diverse fishing opportunities, Ben brings a wealth of experience to his role to help fuel Mustad’s growth. His extensive knowledge of the local fishing scene and exceptional sales experience make him a valuable asset to the company. Taking the reins in the North West region, Ben is poised to foster stronger client relationships while continuing to promote the outstanding fishing experiences available in this picturesque corner of the country.

Conley is no stranger to the outdoor industry, having grown up working in his family’s popular sporting goods store. The White Elephant was founded by his grandfather in Spokane, Washington, in 1948. As a young man, Conley spent summers working in the shop and evenings chasing the diverse species for which the Northwest is famous. After attending college to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Conley, like many others who grew up and work in the outdoor industry, returned to his roots and began selling outdoor gear after attending college.

In the mid-2000s, Conley had the opportunity to go work for Pure Fishing as Northwest Account Manager and spent the next eight years in that position before being offered a new position with Mustad. “I’m excited to help this iconic brand grow in the Pacific Northwest,” Conley said. “I want to be there to help retailers and individuals have a positive experience whether in the store or on the water.”

In his spare time, Conley loves the opportunity to pursue one of the Pacific Northwest’s lesser-known game fish, the surffish. With unpredictable Pacific waves and occasional large swells, this fish can be under-appreciated, however it is a great game fish in its own right!

When asked what he loves most about the fishing industry, Conley said, “Finding something new and sharing it has always been one of the joys of working in fishing. Being able to help clients find their own joy is both an exciting and rewarding experience.”

As Conley begins his role as Northwest Regional Sales Director, he jokes, “There are no limits to Mustad’s growth in the Pacific Northwest. They want to continue to grow and become vital partners with Northwest retailers while providing anglers the most vital part of any experience.” For fishing: Great hook.

Mustads Dave Wensel says: “Ben Conley has joined the Mustad family as the Northwest Regional Sales Manager reporting to me. Ben began his industry experience in his family-owned sporting goods store and understands first-hand the challenges buyers face. Ben is an avid fisherman and ultimate tackle addict. “Ben and Chris bring with them over 40 years of collective knowledge of the fishing industry. They are well-respected in their regions and have developed great customer relationships based on trust, respect and service. We are excited to have these two industry experts join our family.”

In addition to the new appointments, Mustad continues to support its existing dealer base with long-standing regional sales professionals who have already supported their regions for some time. Mustad Company maintains its focus by ensuring that all regions of the United States are well served by the following Regional Sales Managers:

Kobe Pawlowski It will continue to serve the Southeast region, specifically Florida, and throughout the Keys. Pawlowski, Ft. A Myers resident, he is an avid coastal fisherman and snook enthusiast. His knowledge of saltwater sport fish hooks and their applications to specific species is an extremely valuable asset to Mustad.

Billy Rothrock, a Michigan resident, will now focus on serving the Midwest. Rothrock pays great attention to chasing clear freshwater largemouth and smallmouth bass. He is deeply connected to the freshwater fishing community both professionally and personally while closely following the professional fishing circuits at all levels.

Adam Wells, Mustad’s account holder at TALO (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma), considers himself a fly junkie and resides in the Texas hill country. His broad understanding of fresh, salted and fly fishing applications serves many of the large lakes in his territory and along the Gulf Coast. Mustad is very proud to have a long-standing representative like Wells serving this key area.

About Mustad

Mustad has been leading the global hook market since 1877. Mustad’s mission is to create a comprehensive, multi-brand company that leads the fishing tackle industry with a focus on innovation, employee and customer satisfaction and sustainability. With the addition of LIVETARGET and TUF-Line, Mustad continues to strengthen its position as a full family of sportfishing brands. For more information, visit or @mustadfishing on Facebook and Instagram.

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