J.D. Blackburn – Nashville, Tenn.
Stuffed into a commuter train bound for another chaotic workday at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1994, J.D. decided his work-life would someday involve people who positively love what they are doing.
After graduating as an All-American student-athlete from Lipscomb University in Nashville, J.D. worked with Deloitte, the world’s second-largest business services firm, gaining experience in a broad range of industries with Fortune 500 companies as well as medium-sized and small businesses. J.D. served ten years in physician management in Nashville’s healthcare industry. He helped found Lighthouse Family Ministries in 2003 and served as the Treasurer of that non-profit organization for seven years.
J.D.’s passion and family heritage is fishing and introducing it to others. An extension of that passion was founding Back40 in 2005. J.D. created an annual bass tournament that, over 18 years, has introduced over 500 people to their first fishing tournament. He has also organized multiple charity, youth, and high school fishing events.
A desire to help outdoor industry clients led J.D. to merge his business management background and passion for fishing into the formation of PFM. He believes in the sport’s growth and its place in the hearts and minds of those who enjoy it. After all, don’t we all want to spend time pursuing our passions instead of being stuffed into a commuter train?
J.D.’s favorite quotes are by C.S. Lewis and Abraham Lincoln. “Our problem is not that we want too much, but that we are satisfied with so little” and “I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.”
Hunter Hanks – Jacksonville, Fla.
Also a Lipscomb student-athlete, Hunter Hanks was PFM’s first-ever intern. He has an eye on making the fishing industry his life-long career home. Hanks is a natural on social media and a gifted content creator and was part of Lipscomb’s first collegiate fishing team.
A 2019 marketing major graduate, Hanks grew up fishing in and around Jacksonville, mostly in saltwater. While in Music City, he began scratching the fishing itch in ponds and fell in love with largemouth bass. He’s active on Instagram and brings a youthful enthusiasm to all relationships and projects. His focus is on social media and content creation.
Brenden Kanies – Harrisonville, Mo.
Bringing outdoor experience from stints with Bass Pro Shops and manufacturer’s rep group Alexander-Townsend, this 2012 Missouri state graduate is well-versed in the outdoors. Brenden is a gifted communicator across social, written, and video platforms.
At Bass Pro Shops, he rose from Internet Marketing Specialist to running the various social media platforms. He expertly curated internal and external content to drive online growth for the #1 retail force in the outdoor industry. Kanies also produced blogs, graphics, and videos on a seasonal basis to help the Bass Pro website stand out in the industry.
At Alexander-Townsend, Brenden created and managed a nationwide pro staff program that added value to his client accounts’ retail and online portions.
Ethan Brown – Columbia, Ky.
Ethan’s earliest fishing memories were catching bluegill on local ponds, saltwater fishing with his dad, and following his cousin, Major League Fishing pro and long-time PFM client Bradley Roy, compete as a professional. Ethan developed an obsession with bass fishing during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it excited him, like so many people, and took hold as a new favorite hobby.
One of the first graduates of Western Kentucky University’s Social Media Marketing program, Ethan welcomes challenges in fishing and creatively. He has skills in graphic design and, more recently, videography and photography. Ethan hopes to bring a fresh creative perspective to the fishing industry.