St. Croix Rod, handcrafters of the Best Rods on Earth® for nearly 75 years, is pleased to announce the hiring of Josh Lantz as Corporate Communications Manager. Lantz brings 28 years of fishing-industry communications experience to the newly created position at St. Croix Rod.
A lifelong angler, Lantz, 52, grew up on Lake Wawasee in Northern Indiana and graduated from Ball State University in 1993 with a pair of bachelor’s degrees in Urban Planning and Development and Environmental Design. A freelance outdoor writer since 1994, Lantz entered the fishing and communications industries full time in 2002, continuing his freelance communications work while also serving as Editor-In-Chief of Indiana Outdoor News (2000-2016) and working as a self-employed fly-fishing guide (1999-2016).
Lantz also served as Executive Director of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) for the five-year period between 2010 and 2015 and worked as Chief Writer and Post-Production Video Editor for Raghorn, Incorporated, (2003-2014) creating over 250 episodes of award-winning, national outdoor television programming for series such as Wild Adventures, Ice Men, and Angling the Great Lakes.
Lantz has been employed for the past eight years as Communications Specialist and Group Editor with Traditions Media, helping bolster industry communications and providing media-relations services for some of the best brands in the outdoors industry, including St. Croix Rod.
“Today, native storytelling through industry distribution, quality editorial content, direct-to-angler communications and top-tier service to hardworking media partners are critical parts of any successful fishing brand’s overall marketing strategy,” Lantz says. “Traditions Media has been a pioneer in this area, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to work with and learn from this talented team.”
In his new role as Corporate Communications Manager, Lantz will work with the St. Croix Marketing Team, led by Vice President of Marketing, Jesse Simpkins. “I’ve known and worked with Jesse for many years,” says Lantz. “There are very few companies and very few people I would have left my career at Traditions Media for, but Jesse and St. Croix were at the top of that extremely short list. I have great respect for the Schluter family who have owned St. Croix Rod for the past 45 years, and their entire leadership team all come from and understand the fishing industry. That’s incredibly rare today. They clearly understand that their brand exists for and because of anglers, as does each and every St. Croix team member. In working with St. Croix over the past five years, I’ve seen how its commitment and promise to anglers guides what every person involved with the brand does every day and impacts every decision that’s made. I couldn’t be more excited to come work on this team in this angler-driven environment.”
As Corporate Communications Manager, Lantz will be responsible for creating collaborative and consistent messaging for all brands and business units within the St. Croix portfolio, including St. Croix Rod, RODgeeks, and the St. Croix Factory Store.
“Josh has become a valuable and trusted part of the St. Croix family over the past few years, helping us clearly and consistently communicate our unique brand story, our values, our technologies, our mission, and – most importantly – our promise to anglers,” says Simpkins. “We couldn’t be happier to welcome him to our team full time. St. Croix is more committed than ever to handcrafting more and better tools for all anglers. Our new Corporate Communications Manager position speaks to that commitment, and I believe Josh’s communication skills and the respect he’s earned from his peers in the fishing media are going to help position the St. Croix brand and its anglers for continued success for many years to come.
Lantz began his employment with St. Croix Rod on Nov. 1, 2022.