The Best of the Best

A long-standing tradition at Daiwa’s annual North American sales meeting, the company announced it ‘Summit Award’ winners for sales achievements. Pictured here (left to right) is Daiwa’s national sales manager Gerad Cawhorn; Jackson Gillaspie with Rogers Sports Marketing, winner of the ‘Summit Dealer Development’ award; Graywood Sporting Group’s Warren McRae, winner of the ‘Summit Change Leader’ award; Greg McIntyre, principal at Graywood representing the agency as winner of the ‘Summit Rep Group’ award; Ferguson-Keller’s Jeff Allen, winner of the ‘Summit Outstanding Leadership’ award; and Daiwa USA president Carey Graves.


Cypress, CA (June 7, 2023) – With its emphasis being on new tackle introduced at ICAST and beyond, and sales strategies that this year focused on market share gains within independent tackle shops, Daiwa’s sales representatives looked forward to the company’s announcement of its achievement awards at its recent national sales meeting. Daiwa’s key recognition honors are its ‘Summit’ awards, which this year went to Jeff Allen with Ferguson-Keller Associates, Graywood Sporting Group, Jackson Gillaspie with Rogers Sports Marketing, and Warren McRae with Graywood.

In being recognized with the ‘Summit Outstanding Leadership’ award, Daiwa’s regional sales manager Greg Johnson noted Jeff Allen’s personal success in growing his own accounts in tough economic times and also the assistance he provides to not only other Ferguson-Keller reps, but also other Daiwa reps groups through his responsibilities with buying groups. Allen has more than 16 of service to Daiwa in his sales and management roles with Ferguson-Keller.

Noting the impact Canadian anglers and the Canada tackle market has on Daiwa’s overall business, especially in the bass fishing market over the past year, Peterborough, Ontario-based Graywood Sporting Group was honored with the ‘Summit Rep Group’ award for the overall impact from the entire rep group for its sales success across all the Canadian provinces. When presenting Graywood principal rep Greg McIntyre with the ‘Summit’ trophy, Daiwa president Carey Graves noted that with Canada now having its first Bassmaster Classic winner and its first angler recognized with a major service award from the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, how appropriate it was for Graywood to be acknowledged in 2023 for their efforts also. The Graywood Sporting Group also won Daiwa’s rep group of the year ‘Summit’ award in 2021.

Daiwa USA president Carey Graves welcomes the company’s manufacturer representatives from across the U.S. and Canada to its annual North American sales meeting, taking place again at the The Dana on Mission Bay in San Diego. Graves noted in his opening remarks that Daiwa is a manufacturer first, with its main goal being to challenge the fishing tackle market with new and innovative products to attain an industry leading role.

Daiwa’s ‘Summit Dealer Development’ award winner Jackson Gillaspie with Rogers Sports Marketing is a “walking textbook on bass fishing, and his dealers took a quick understanding of his skill set to help them manage their Daiwa business,” said Daiwa’s Johnson. “His support abilities at the recent Bassmaster Classic with exhibiting tackle dealers brought a great deal of success to both the dealers and Daiwa’s efforts.”

In being recognized with Daiwa’s ‘Summit Change Leader’ award, McRae continued the major role the Canadian fishing market has on Daiwa’s business. This award recognizes his efforts with key programs and initiatives to enhance his independent tackle retailer business with Daiwa, including added rod placement, in-store event, demo programs and quickest to market with new items.

Also recognized with ‘Key Objective’ awards for specific product category sales and faster -to-market efforts include Brad Olson with Ferguson-Keller, Drake Hollander with Rogers Sports Marketing), and Ben Babbitt, Scott Byrne, and Cale Engelage all with Maschmedt & Associates.

“Our ‘Summit’ and ‘Key Objective’ awards have been Daiwa’s way of recognizing both individual and group performance for what we consider above-and-beyond efforts to continually grow Daiwa market share in the U.S. and Canada,” said Daiwa’s national sales manager Gerad Cawhorn. “Our reps learned this year that is wasn’t about double-digit growth or opening more retailers, but their commitment to sustaining our business as both tackle retailers and the angling public deal with our current economic issues not only in the U.S. and Canada, but across the globe. From all of us at Daiwa, we say congratulations to not only our award winners, but also the nearly 60 other individuals with our five rep groups who proudly represent Daiwa in the marketplace.”