Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality
President - Wil Newlin
Wil Newlin is the co-founder of Bass Unlimited Foundation, and his passion for fishing started at a young age on the gravel banks of a family members strip pit. Fishing from sunrise to sunset was a normal summer day while on break from school. As with many young men growing up in Indiana, Saturday nights were reserved for family trips to watch dirt sprint car racing. Often while fishing and between bites Wil would be dreaming of becoming a sprint car driver himself. Eventually the dream became reality and he became a professional non-wing sprint car driver. In spite of a late introduction to the sport Wil "The Thrill" accumulated over 40 feature victories at race tracks located in the Midwest. It was his aggressive style of racing early in his racing career, which quickly earned him the nickname "The Thrill". Unfortunately for sprint car racing fans, Wil’s racing career ended prematurely in 2005, due to head and neck injuries he received from a racing accident in July of 2005.
Visionary - Treasurer – Carol Newlin
Carol Newlin is the visionary and co-founder of Bass Unlimited Foundation. Her fishing experience can be traced back to a young age, fishing on the sandbars of the Eel River with her father and sisters. Fishing on those hot summer days before the convenience of air-conditioning was a welcome retreat. After all, they would end up down river swimming and cooling off, to the displeasure of their father, because they were making too much noise. As a young country girl growing up in Indiana, often fishing in the evening was a welcome summertime activity, enjoying the light of the lantern and sharing stories with her sisters. Her idea for Bass Unlimited Foundation can be traced, to attending a conservation banquet with her husband. While she never hunted much, she did enjoy the atmosphere, food and prizes offered at many of the conservation banquets.
Secretary – Dave Pleus
Dave is a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. He’s lived in Indiana his whole life and has seen firsthand the decline in public fisheries both as a recreational angler and a tournament angler. He’s a retired military veteran and has been involved in racing for the last 30 years as a driver and crew chief.
Dave lives in Farmersburg, Indiana with his wife Lorraine and has three daughters, a grandson and granddaughter. After a career in military and civilian law enforcement he is currently working as an automotive service advisor.
Board Member – Jim Vanzo
Jim Vanzo is a member of the board of directors of Bass Unlimited. As a young boy I used to spend most of the summer at my grandparents home in Clay county IN. They had a nice pond that I spent most of my time at. Grandmother used to say I would rather fish than eat! I have a great passion for bass fishing and love the competition. I was involved in truck pulling for about 15 years. Started small with a street stock truck and worked my way into a pro stock. I have pulled in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee and made many friends along the way. After selling out of the truck pulling, the next day I purchased a bass boat and have been hooked ever since. I have been fishing tournaments for about 20 years. I have seen many changes in the sport some good and some not so good. I have my own business which I have owned for 10 years. I have fished from Florida to Canada also fished many team series and still do today. I know there is a need for our lakes to do better and I believe Bass Unlimited will be a big step in the right direction.