President and CEO
Jay McAninch of Centreville, Virginia, was hired in August 2000 as president and CEO of the Archery Manufacturers & Merchants Organization (AMO). Under Jay’s guidance, the AMO was reorganized in 2002 into the Archery Trade Association to unite the industry behind a clear identity, and to focus the industry on promoting, protecting and growing archery and bowhunting.
Jay has developed a sound financial foundation for the ATA, and has reinvented the ATA by assembling a motivated, high-quality professional team. His staff helps develop and implement strategic plans that grow community-based archery and bowhunting programs nationally and internationally. At the same time, Jay works to ensure all ATA staff and resources support the industry and make the association’s members more profitable.
As the ATA’s president/CEO, Jay has expanded the industry’s efforts to grow archery and bowhunting through innovative programs, especially those administered through state wildlife agencies, and shooting and hunting organizations. These include the Explore Archery, Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing programs, and the Retail Archery Program.
These ATA programs and other nationwide efforts, including the National Archery in the Schools Program, receive substantial funding from net revenues generated by the annual ATA Trade Show, which the ATA has owned and operated since 1997. The Show is the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and most inclusive event. This member-driven international trade show is designed to facilitate commerce while uniting the archery and bowhunting industry.
Jay holds ATA staff and himself accountable to the industry and the ATA Board of Directors for growing archery and bowhunting, and the industry itself. Accountability and transparency are the hallmarks of Jay’s tenure at ATA.
Jay and his wife, Janet, have two kids and four grandkids. Their daughter, Becky, and her husband, Mark Graham, live in Chicago, Illinois, along with granddaughter Evie. Their son, Ben, and his wife, Jill, live in North Mankato, Minnesota. They have three sons, Bart, Frankie and Jack. Jay and Janet dated in high school in their hometown of Red Oak, Iowa, and work together to represent the ATA. Jay began bowhunting white-tailed deer as a teenager with a recurve bow on nearby farms and the Nishnabotna River’s bottomlands in southwestern Iowa.
Jay earned a bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife biology from Iowa State University. He earned a master’s degree in wildlife ecology from Ohio State University. After college, Jay led wildlife research programs on topics ranging from white-tailed deer to Lyme disease to bowhunting. Jay is perhaps best-known for his work on managing deer in problem situations, and especially for his landmark study on bow wounding that has been used to defend bowhunting across the country. Before joining the ATA, Jay worked for the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He then moved to Washington, D.C., to lead the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.