Water Sports Industry Association Hire 3 New Staff, Promote Gatts to Vice President of Government Affairs

Water Sports Industry Association Hire 3 New Staff, Promote Gatts to Vice President of Government Affairs


July, 19 2023

Orlando, Florida – The Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) is thrilled to announce the promotion of Lee Gatts to Vice President of Government Affairs in addition to the hiring of Aaron Hallenberg as Northwest Government Affairs Manager, Ethan Hellier as Midwest Government Affairs Manager, and Megan Thielfoldt as Communications & Marketing Director.

WSIA has made these significant team expansions to support their efforts at leading the towed-waters sports industry to success. The new additions to the team round out an already distinguished staff and will allow them to leverage a variety of skillsets to continue advocating for the industry, increasing membership, and educating the public.

Aaron Hallenberg has established a commendable professional career working in various capacities within government, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to WSIA. Hallenberg’s experience spans across local, state, and regional issues, allowing him to effectively bring together diverse stakeholders such as business leaders, community members, and other key players to drive policy advancement. His commitment to collaboration and consensus-building in his previous roles as a staff member for the Pierce County City Council and as a staffer in the Washington State House & Senate will undoubtedly prove invaluable to WSIA as it works to preserve the vitality of towed water sports.

Ethan Hellier has an impressive background in grassroots advocacy, legislative affairs, and political activities. Hellier’s passion for advancing impactful initiatives aligns perfectly with WSIA’s vision and goals. Hellier’s previous role as the Senior Manager of the Midwest Region at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce expanded his ability to implement legislative strategies and political activities. He has also worked as Committee Legislative Assistant in the Minnesota House of Representatives, contributing to his deep understanding of state-level politics and policy development.

“Growing our government affairs team is a massive step forward for us. This new, expanded team will enable the Waters Sports Industry Association to have intensified reach in all 50 states and enhance our engagement on behalf of our members and the entire recreational boating industry,” said Lee Gatts, who was recently promoted to Vice President of Government Affairs. 

Megan Thielfoldt has a deep understanding of the importance of effective communication, relationship building, and media strategy. Her background in journalism, political technology, and local campaign management offers her a unique perspective on the most effective way to communicate any given issue.

WSIA has experienced remarkable growth, which it plans to use toward enhancing its presence across the United States with the help of these new hires. As the trusted voice for the water sports industry, WSIA will continue to deliver top-notch education, advocacy, risk-management, and events for members and the water sports industry as a whole.

For more information, contact Megan Thielfoldt at Megan@wsia.net

About Megan Thielfoldt