Brian Kick / President
I currently reside in Farmington, AR and was raised local to the Northwest Arkansas area. I’m a 4th generation fly fisherman and have been fly fishing religiously since I as 12 years old. At the age of 14, I started the adventure of Fly Tying which led me to meet key representatives in the industry. In 2002, I joined TU as a way to “give back” to this great sport. In September of 2012, I found the need to “give back” at a higher level and joined the Chapter Board. While on the Chapter 514 Board, I have volunteered in numerous roles such as Membership Chairman, Conservation Chairman, and Chapter Vice President. In my current role as Chapter President, my focus is providing leadership and oversight with the Chapter Board and membership as we continue our involvement in stream restoration / habitat improvement projects, youth activities, and community events. I enjoy working with TU and our local chapter for the main benefit of improving the environment, working on local tail water habitat improvements, educating our youth about conservation, and ultimately increasing fishing success. When not at work I enjoy time spent with family and friends on the water. People that know me well know that I consider trout streams as my paradise.
David Baltz / Vice President
I have been with TU as a member since 2016, and have previously served on Chapter 514 Board. I look forward to continuing to serve the Chapter as Vice President. My focus is providing leadership and oversight with the Chapter team as we continue our involvement in stream restoration / habitat improvement projects, youth activities, and community events. I enjoy working with TU and our chapter for the main benefit of helping the environment, local tail water improvements, and ultimately increasing fishing success. I currently reside in Fayetteville, AR and was raised local to the Northwest AR area. I have been fly fishing since I was eight years old primarily fishing warm water. It is my TU Family that has helped me grow and succeed as a cold water fisheries conservationist and fisherman. When not at work I enjoy kayaking and canoeing all of Arkansas waters, camping, and fishing with my amazing eight year old daughter Lily, and wonderful wife Carolyn.
Ron Blackwelder / Secretary and Treasurer
I am a long time member of TU and recently retired to Northwest Arkansas with the intent of doing more fly fishing. As Treasurer, my main goals are to engage chapter members, increase chapter membership and for us to collectively work on improving the NWA trout fishery and fishing experience.
Jeff Belk / Youth Education Coordinator and Trout in the Classroom Coordinator
Jeff and his son live in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. He graduated with a B.S. in Zoology from U of A in 1995, and M.A.T. Secondary Science from the U of A in 1998. He received his Wilderness Education Association National Certification for Outdoor Leadership in 1996. In 2004, he received the Arkansas Environmental Education Association’s Environmental Educator of the Year, Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Educator of the Year, and National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award. In 2007, he received the Rogers High School Teacher of the Year Award and in 2017 Jeff was awarded the Ray Smith Conservation Award for his achievements in promoting and growing outdoors and conservation education for youth throughout northwest Arkansas.
Jesse Bishop / Membership Chair
Jesse is a native Arkansan currently residing in Fayetteville, AR. Fishing has always been a hobby of his growing up, but became more significant when he picked up a fly rod in college. He now spends a lot of his time on the local tailwaters, and even spent a few weeks in Patagonia chasing South American trout in early 2017.
Jesse studied at the University of Arkansas from 2009 through 2013 and now helps manage the Petcare segment at Mars incorporated. We believe his business acumen and strong local relationships will be a great addition to Chapter 514’s Board. This is Jesse’s first position within the TU organization.
He spends a lot of time with his fiancé, Jessica, and their two dogs Bo and Cedar. He is passionate about conservationism and the sport of fly fishing and looks to further the improvement of the sport as well as the general wellbeing of Trout habitats.
Hailey Spears / Women’s and Diversity Initiative Coordinator
I am an Arkansas native and a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences. After working as a microbiologist for Tyson Foods, Inc. for two years, I discovered one of my passions was in education. I pursued a career as an educator with Farmington High School with a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Arkansas State University. I also have two small children, that I like to include in my list of accomplishments, who also share a love for animals and the outdoors with me.
Growing up on a family farm in Farmington, AR, I have always enjoyed the outdoors. Trout Unlimited entered my life last year when I became a Trout in the Classroom teacher for TU’s Arkansas Chapter 514. The experience was so enlightening for both my students and me. I became friends with Brian Kick, Chapter President, and started volunteering for events and getting into fly-fishing along with conservation efforts. Chapter 514 even sponsored my first fly rod and Brian Kick taught me how to fly fish. This Chapter has changed my life in so many ways and I look forward to giving back by helping others get involved in the amazing work TU and Chapter 514 do for conservation, youth outreach and the Women’s and Diversity Initiative.
Jill Rohrbach / Conservation Banquet and Auction Coordinator
I’m excited to help grow the membership of women in TU and Chapter 514. I hope to connect more women to the sport of fly fishing and fishing in general, as well as impart the importance of conservation and restoration of our waterways. A travel writer by trade, I plan to put my skills in writing, photography, and social media to good use for this group as well. I live in Fayetteville with my husband and two boys. I started fly fishing when I first met my husband about 18 years ago but have been fishing in general since I was a young girl growing up on farmland in Northwest Arkansas. I still remember catching my first sunfish on the creek running through the back of our land.
Other Board Members /
John Sturgis / Arkansas State Council Chair
Bruce Darr / Arkansas State Council Secretary
Kerri Russell / Grassroots Representative TU Board of Trustees
Ray Smith / Arkansas State Council Treasurer
Bill Thorne / National Leadership Council
Lee Ward / Board Member at Large
Clay Goforth / Board Member at Large