nsga offers inspiring kickoff and sendoff to management conference and team dealer summit

President’s Council on Fitness Executive Director Shellie Pfohl; Inspirational NCAA Champion Wrestler Anthony Robles Share Their Stories


CONTACT: Marty Maciaszek, Director of Communications

                    (847)296-6742, ext. 1260



MOUNT PROSPECT, IL (February 4, 2014) – Sports participation is often linked to inspiration. That makes Shellie Pfohl and Anthony Robles a perfect combination of speakers for the 50th NSGA Management Conference and 16th Team Dealer Summit.

Pfohl, the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, will kick off the Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit on the morning of Monday, April 28, by discussing ways to solve the growing childhood obesity and inactivity problem in the United States. Robles will give the powerful sendoff speech to the attendees on Wednesday, April 30 when he shares his amazing story of how he became an NCAA wrestling champion despite being born with only one leg.

“I can’t think of a better way to get our members energized about the importance of this year’s Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit than to hear Shellie Pfohl talk about a dilemma that has a major impact on the sporting goods industry,” said NSGA President and CEO Matt Carlson. “Anthony Robles becoming a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition last year makes for a perfect tie-in. Anthony’s story of overcoming incredible odds to become a champion will be a great way to send our members back to their businesses inspired and energized.”

Pfohl was appointed by President Barack Obama in February 2010 to lead the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. She manages the Council activities and operations and leads its efforts related to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative to solve childhood obesity within a generation. Pfohl’s background in fitness and health includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Community Health Education and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Exercise Physiology/Fitness Leadership.

Tied into Pfohl’s speech will be a Monday afternoon session entitled “Solutions for Greater Sports Participation: An Idea-Generating Forum.”

“This will be an opportunity for members of the sporting goods industry to share their thoughts on solving the dilemma of declining participation,” Carlson said. “If we don’t generate effective ways to solve the problem of declining participation, not only will our industry be adversely affected, but so will our country with increasing numbers of health problems from inactivity.”

Robles’ participation in one of the most physically demanding sports is amazing. He wasn’t deterred by his birth without a right leg. He faced many challenges when he started the sport, including skepticism and doubt about his accomplishments, which led to little interest from the top NCAA Division I wrestling programs. Robles became a three-time all-American at Arizona State and capped his college career by winning the 2010-11 NCAA title at 125 pounds. He received the 2011 NCAA Best Wrestler of the National Tournament Award and the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards.

The author of Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion, and ESPN NCAA Wrestling Analyst and Expert, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012. President Obama appointed Robles a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in 2013.

More about the Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit

The NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit, the longest-running event of its kind and the premier educational and networking event in the sporting goods industry, will also provide plenty of formal and informal opportunities for networking with leaders and colleagues from all corners of the industry at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, which is located near Palm Springs. The event will include a tennis clinic, golf tournament, “Mr. Newsome’s Neighborhood Walk” with Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Famer Mickey Newsome and new opportunities to connect in a social setting.

On Tuesday night, the industry’s past will be embraced with the annual Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony. Ira Silberman of Diversified Products and Bob Zide of Zide’s Sports Shop make up the Class of 2014 and will join more than 150 leaders, innovators and industry icons who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since 1956.

On Monday afternoon, the industry’s present and future will be recognized at the third annual NSGA All-Star Awards Luncheon. Awards will be presented to companies that have made significant contributions to the industry and the 2014 NSGA College Scholarship program recipients will be announced.

Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane will be speaking on Tuesday morning. More details on other speakers will be announced soon. To register for the 2014 Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit, which will be held April 27-30, or to get more details, go to the conference site at www.nsga.org/conference.