NEW ULM, Minn. - All the ballots have been counted, and Scott Billsby of the Bohning Co., Jimmy Primos of Bushnell/Primos Hunting Calls, and Rich Krause of Feradyne Outdoors (owners of Muzzy Products Corp.) won re-election to the ATA Board of Directors during the organization's annual March balloting.
Joining the three incumbents on the 16-member ATA Board is Jonathan Shepley, president of Precision Shooting Equipment Inc (PSE). This was Shepley's first candidacy for a Board seat.
In addition, David White, president/CEO of Hot Shot Manufacturing, will fulfill the remaining year of Gold Tip's term on the Board. That's because Bushnell recently acquired Gold Tip. The company also owns Primos Hunting Calls, and ATA bylaws preclude two companies with common ownership from serving on the Board at the same time.
Also joining the ATA Board is Marty Stubstad, president of Archery Range and Retailers Organization (ARRO) and owner of Archery Headquarters in Rochester, Minn. Stubstad takes over the Board seat long held by John Larsen, owner of Bwana Archery in St. Paul, Minn. Larsen was also the former president of ARRO.
Krause, CEO of Feradyne Outdoors, has served on the Board since his company acquired Muzzy on June 18, 2012. Krause assumed the ATA Board seat from Michele Eichler, former Board chair and Muzzy CEO. Eichler remains affiliated with the ATA Board as an ex-officio member.
Billsby, who is Bohning's vice president of finance and supply chain, has represented Bohning on the ATA Board of Directors since 2011 for Bohning president Larry Griffith. Also leaving the ATA Board is Dave Gordon, technical sales consultant for Gordon Composites Inc.
"It's never easy to see great people like Michele Eichler, Dave Gordon, Larry Griffith and John Larsen leave the Board," said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president. "On the plus side, our industry has great depth, and employs many strong leaders who are committed to our sport's future. That's why we're looking forward to working with all the new Board members. It's always gratifying to see so many dedicated people and companies working together to benefit our entire industry."
This election marked Billsby's first candidacy for the ATA Board. He wants to help the ATA secure future revenue streams that fund the many archery and bowhunting promotional programs ATA launched the past decade.
"I think we can accomplish that by maintaining the stability of the ATA Trade Show and/or developing new sources of revenues," Billsby said.
Krause said he wants to help develop ways to leverage all the enthusiasm youths are expressing for archery because of recent books, movies and TV shows that featured archery. He also hopes to work closely with industry members to grow the sport and identify ways the ATA can bring them even more value. He said one way to do that is by partnering with state agencies to eliminate antiquated restrictions on archery hunting equipment.
Primos, the call manufacturer's vice president, won his third election to the Board. He was first elected in March 2007. "The main issues facing the industry are retaining current bowhunters and recruiting new hunters into our sport," Primos said. "We need to promote all types of archery programs, but bowhunting must be our main focus."
Shepley's election returns PSE to the ATA Board for the first time since 2009, when his father, Pete, served. "In today's marketplace, we must promote archery and its associated high-tech equipment," he said. "With the huge success of archery products in the media today, we must capitalize on that positive exposure to promote hunting and competitive archery products."
White returns to the Board after serving his first three-year stint from 2008 through 2010, when he represented Cajun Archery. He believes ATA members are the "Main Street" businesses of the industry's economy. "The issues that affect other small companies in our economy affect everyone," he said. "We must continue to demonstrate the value of archery as a management and revenue tool for state wildlife agencies. Those agencies need archery and we need them if we're going to grow our sports."
The three-year terms of these newly elected, five Board directors begins April 1, 2013, and expire March 31, 2016. David White's term is the exception. It ends on March 31, 2014, which marks the end of Gold Tip's term.
Easton, Summers and Shultz Return to Executive Committee
Greg Easton, president of Easton Technical Products Inc., will return as Chair of the 2013 ATA Executive Committee. He was once again nominated by the association's 16-member Board of Directors. Easton has served on the ATA Board since April 2008, and three times served as the Executive Committee's co-vice chair.
In addition, Ben Summers, director of operations for T.R.U. Ball Release Products, returns as a co-vice chair, along with Scott Shultz, president/owner of Robinson Outdoor Products LLC. ATA Executive Committee terms begin April 1, 2013, and expire March 31, 2014.
"I'm confident the ATA and its members will benefit greatly from this talented and experienced Executive Committee," said ATA CEO/President Jay McAninch. "This is a great Board that represents a wide variety of our industry's companies, dealers and rep groups."
Easton said he plans to rededicate his time and effort to supporting the ATA Board and its activities. During his time on the Board he has worked to promote cooperation between the industry and its many dealers, manufacturers, shooters, hunters, clubs and organizations.
"Archery is a small sport, so the more we pull archers together from all disciplines, the more we'll grow and support archers, as well as the archery and bowhunting industry," he said.
Summers was first elected to the ATA Board of Directors in March 2006, and was re-elected in 2009 and 2012. He said his work the past two years on the Executive Committee gave him valuable experience and a deeper understanding of ATA programs and their importance.
"As I gain more responsibilities as a vice chair, I'm prouder than ever to be an ATA Board member," Summers said. "The ATA is on sound financial footing, thanks to responsible management that provides a variety of opportunities for growing our sports."
Shultz was elected to the ATA Board of Directors in March 2012 to serve his first three-year term. Soon after, the Board elected him as one of its two vice chairs.
Shultz believes archery dealers must remain profitable for the industry to prosper. "Manufacturers must re-emphasize their commitment to grassroots independent archery-shop owners," he said. "We all need to work together to create business opportunities for our mutual benefit and success. This industry requires a strong business life other than big boxes and the marts. I have fresh ideas to help make that happen."