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Former SGMA Chairman John Parish Ready for Hall of Fame Induction

Date: 8/20/12

SILVER SPRING, MD – August 20, 2012 - The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Committee is ready to induct three more industry veterans into the Hall of Fame next spring.  One of those inductees is former SGMA Chairman John Parish, Sr. 

John Parish, the retired owner and CEO of Worth Sports, Inc., served on the SGMA board of directors for more than a decade and as SGMA Chairman from 1981-1982 and from 1988-1989.

“John was an exemplary business leader who achieved success with his family company and in the broader industry” said SGMA President/CEO Tom Cove.  “During his tenure, he took Worth into the age of non-wood bat manufacturing, Reduced Injury Factor baseballs and polyurethane softballs, establishing the company as an innovator and market driver.  He is fully deserving of this honor.”

“I had the distinct pleasure of working with a succession of outstanding chairmen,” said former SGMA President/CEO (1988-2005) John Riddle.   “John was the first. He's one of the most honorable men I've ever met, which combined with his strong leadership qualities produced great benefits for the entire industry.”

"John Parish was one of the ‘Young Guns' who stepped forward in the 1970s that changed the tapestry of our industry following years of turmoil due to take-overs of our major companies by large outside corporations, product liability lawsuits that were negatively impacting the sports industry, counterfeiting, and lack of influence in Washington, D.C.,” said former SGMA President (1975-1988) Howard Bruns.  “John was a major cog in the wheel that turned all this around. When not leading an effort as Chairman of the Board, committee chairman or Athletic Institute board member, he was a relentless supporter of those who were. For decades John Parish was our ‘front window,’ an industry hero and so much more. I am proud to say John Parish is a friend plus a deserving inductee into the Industry's Hall of Fame."

“With all the industry accomplishments achieved by my father, I think the one element of his career that has brought him the most joy is the successful industry transition of the 3rd generation of our family to the 4th generation in 1995.  And, this year, the Worth brand is celebrating its 100th anniversary and this would not have been possible without his leadership and vision,” said his son, Robert Parish, President of Jarden Team Sports, which controls the Rawlings, Worth, Miken, deBeer & Gait Lacrosse, and Jarden Sports Licensing.  “To this day, I employ all of the lessons that I learned from him over the years.  Over the years, we have had a father-son relationship and an industry colleague relationship.”

Other Hall of Fame inductees are Randy Hooper (Retired President – Sports Distributors of Canada, Ltd.); and Rusty Saunders (owner of Saunders Consulting).  All will be honored at induction ceremonies on Tuesday evening, May 7, during the 49th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 15th Annual Team Dealer Summit (May 5-8; PGA National Resort & Spa; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida).

Since 1956, the sporting goods industry has honored its pioneers, innovators and leaders, and the election of the 2013 inductees will bring the total number of Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Famers to 157.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry.  SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by fostering participation through research, thought leadership, product promotion, and public policy.  More information about SGMA membership and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

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