Vaaler, Walston, Summers, Shultz, Pezzoni Elected to ATA Board
Todd Vaaler of Gateway Feathers, Mike Walston of Wildgame Innovations, and Ben Summers of T.R.U. Ball Release Products won re-election to the ATA Board of Directors during the organization's recent annual elections.
Joining them on the 16-member Board are Scott Shultz of Robinson Outdoor Products, and Mark Pezzoni of BowTech, who won election to their first three-year terms on the Board. The new terms for all five Board directors begin April 1, 2012, and end March 31, 2015.
Leaving the ATA Board are Gregg Jenkins, former president/owner of Apple Archery; and Rob Mason, president of Parker Compound Bows. Jenkins resigned his Board seat Dec. 16, 2011, after selling his company to Field Logic Inc. Mason resigned his company's Board seat Nov. 29, 2011, five months after assuming the seat in June 2011 when former Board member Paul Vaicunas left Parker Crossbows to become president of Maximus Crossbows.
"It's always tough to see good people like Gregg Jenkins, Rob Mason and Paul Vaicunas leave the Board, but this industry employs an abundance of strong leaders who are committed to our sport's future," said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president. "The Board will always require vision, energy and statesmanship. We'll continue to get those qualities from Ben, Mike and Todd, and we're looking forward to reaping the benefits Mark and Scott bring to the Board."
Vaaler's re-election continues his second stint of Board service. He rejoined the Board in 2010 to fill a vacancy after a two-year absence. He previously served on the Board from 2002 through 2007, and served as its vice-chair in 2011, as well as from 2005 through 2007. "Anytime your peers invite you to help, it's an honor," Vaaler said.
He hopes to help grow the number of youth archers and bowhunters by working with state fish and wildlife agencies, and by expanding the ATA's Explore Bowhunting Program. "Everyone on the ATA Board wants to make sure the money companies spend each year in membership and exhibiting fees at the Trade Show is used wisely and effectively by the ATA to grow our sports," Vaaler said.
Walston was first elected to the Board in 2009 when he was with Lone Wolf Portable Treestands. When announcing his re-election bid recently, Walston said the industry's recruitment and retention efforts should be everyone's No. 1 priority. He promised to work for the continued success of the ATA Trade Show. "This is already a ‘must attend' event for all retailers and manufacturers, and we must make sure it stays that way," he said.
Summers, now beginning his seventh year on the Board, said it's important to maintain the Trade Show's vitality because it "allows all manufacturers the best place to meet face to face with their best customers." He intends to help grow archery through his work with the Community Archery Program Committee. "We need to build archery parks surrounded by a network of dealers, colleges, hunters, archery clubs, state fish-and-game officials, school archery programs, and city parks and recreation departments," Summers said.
Shultz said he hopes to use his experience, staff and assets to help the ATA Board. He thinks the ATA can help create and present vital opportunities for archery dealers. "Manufacturers must restate and re-emphasize their commitment to grassroots independent archery shops, and work together to create opportunities for our mutual benefit and success," Shultz said.
Pezzoni left his group-president job at Snap-on Tools in May 2009 to become BowTech's president, citing his passion for archery, the outdoors and the chance to lead the BowTech team. He promises to "listen, learn and help improve the industry" through his work on the Board. "We need to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of archers, and preserve work skills and employment here in the United States," Pezzoni said.
Did You Know?
The ATA has funded research that analyzed the effectiveness of NASP, and created an ATA “Insight” brochure that promotes the values and many benefits of school archery programs.