New President and CEO brings deep industry experience, angling passion and a history of success to the Best Rods on Earth®.
St. Croix Rod CEO and co-owner, Paul Schluter, announced a planned transition of leadership to St. Croix Team Members in January of this year. In his statement, Schluter cited his desire to hand over the day-to-day operations of the 70-year-old company in order to focus on family, fishing and other aspects of the company he most loves.
Paul’s journey with St. Croix started in 1983 when his father, Gordon, hired him to manage retailer accounts in Minnesota. A year later, Paul was promoted to Sales Manager. In 1989, Gordon stepped aside, and Paul assumed the role of President. Brothers Paul, Jeff, Dave and sister Pamela Smiley purchased St. Croix from Gordon and Irene in 1990, and continue to own the company to this day.
Forristall brings a keen understanding of the fishing-rod business and the greater fishing industry to St. Croix, earned from a rich employment history with premier companies such as Eagle Claw, Johnson Outdoors and Far-Bank Enterprises, parent company to the Sage, Redington, and RIO Products fly-fishing brands. Most recently, Forristall served as President and CEO of the R.L. Winston Rod Company and Bauer Reels. His strong fishing lineage, industry knowledge and disciplined management style position the “Best Rods on Earth” for continued success in the company’s Balanced Scorecard approach to operations and measured company performance.
“St. Croix is the strongest brand in fishing rods in the US,” says Forristall, who shares the enthusiasm and pride of St. Croix’s employees and customers. “To come to work in Park Falls for this premier, family-owned business with US manufacturing is a rare opportunity in this industry that I love. St. Croix – its people, products and ties to the community – is everything I value and want to be part of.”
“Scott comes to us with vast experience managing premium outdoor brands and exhibits a management style which is consistent with all that we value at St. Croix,” says Schluter. “I’m really excited to watch Scott and the rest of our strong team further our objective of providing every angler the upper hand. Between my father and myself, a Schluter has been responsible for the execution of St. Croix’s mission for the last 41 of our 71 years. I have the highest confidence in Scott as he assumes this leadership role while I remain an active member of our Board of Directors, and, of course, an owner of St. Croix along with my brothers Jeff and Dave, and sister Pam.”
In addition to fishing, Forristall enjoys training and competing in triathlons during his free time. He and his wife of 44 years, Lynn, will relocate to Park Falls from their current home in Dillon, Montana. Forristall began work at St. Croix on June 24.
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