Tom W. Bedell
A native of Spirit Lake, Tom Bedell earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1973 and attended the UI College of Law. He left law school to head a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., where his father, former U.S. Representative Berkley Bedell, was serving in Congress. In 1979, Bedell took over as president of what was then Berkley & Company, the fishing tackle company that his father founded as Berkley Fly Company in 1937. The company was renamed Pure Fishing in 1998.
To those at Pure Fishing, the company is much more than a business—it's a passion that is shared by fishing enthusiasts worldwide. It's about nature and the outdoors, the water, the excitement, and the good times in the company of family and friends. The company's portfolio of leading tackle brands includes Abu Garcia®, Berkley®, Fenwick®, Johnson®, Mitchell®, Red Wolf®, and Spider® products. Pure Fishing is dedicated to helping anglers everywhere have more fun catching more fish.
"One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences in my life has been helping Pure Fishing grow from an Iowa-centered company to a truly global success story," Bedell said. "These days, what I'm finding most enjoyable is sharing what I've learned about entrepreneurship with young people who are eager to grow the next generation of dynamic, global companies right here in Iowa."
In an effort to encourage a spirit of entrepreneurship among students at Iowa, Bedell made a $660,000 gift commitment to the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa. The Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, located in a former fraternity house at 322 North Clinton Street in Iowa City, was named in recognition of his support. He received the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award in 2004.