Dave Bergman, ’12, graduated from Brevard College Feeling Like the Jack of All Trades.

dave bergman'12

Dave Bergman was like many students who attended Brevard College “with the hopes of figuring it out.”

At first, Bergman hoped to have his degree declared by his sophomore year; however, with the support of faculty and staff, he felt comfortable “to try many things without feeling rushed.”

While Bergman felt like he was not a great test taker, he knew he had many other talents and did not want to let that get in the way of “embracing those talents in an intimate class setting.” He was glad he chose Brevard right from the beginning, and looking back, he couldn’t see it going any other way.

Even though Bergman was a Wilderness Leadership Experiential Education (WLEE) major, he participated in many different programs across campus. Bergman was a concert choir member and a principal performer in many productions with the theatre program.

During his time with WLEE, he felt that the immersion semester helped him discover his leadership qualities and learn more about himself. By the time Bergman graduated, he felt like he learned the importance of good leadership and client care. This led him to feel confident in his work with others, and in having such an extensive skill set, he felt like he was “a jack of all trades when leaving Brevard College.”

After Bergman graduated in 2012, he spent time as a park ranger in Florida and at nearby Cesar’s Head State Park. He also guided expeditions in Alaska as the Upstate Coordinator for Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute and Jesse Brown’s Outdoors. Plus, he was the director of Blue Star Camp’s fishing program for nine summers, where he met his wife, Ambre.

Since fishing in all forms has been a passion of Bergman’s, he and his wife opened Hendersonville Outfitters in the fall of 2023, a fly and tackle shop that offers guided fishing trips. Through all of Bergman’s experiences, he wanted to provide a service as a haven for anglers of all skill levels and backgrounds. He believed in an inclusive environment, free from gatekeeping. Hendersonville Outfitters hopes to deliver private water for clients to fish by April of this year and continue to run free “fly fishing 101” classes for the community. They also have fly tying nights at local breweries.

While reflecting on his time at Brevard College, Bergman remembers the peers who have since become lifelong friends. He is grateful that living on campus forced him to meet so many people that he still considers great friends and family. When thinking back on his postgraduate journey, Bergman asked to share his advice with current BC students gearing up to graduate:

“Do not get lost in the grind of a career when you first graduate. The many experiences will teach you a valuable lesson. Be flexible and try new things. Don’t get trapped in a bubble. The world is always pushing us to be in a rush but remember everyone who gives you advice is living life for the first time, too. So, form your own opinions and trust your gut as well. Listen to others, but always remember to listen to yourself.”