Scott Shultz, president/owner of Robinson Outdoor Products, took over as chair of the ATA Board of Directors on April 1. Shultz was elected to the Board in March 2012 to serve his first three-year term. Soon after, the Board elected him as one of its two vice-chairs. He served in that role the past two years.
Shultz has owned Robinson Outdoor Products since 2002 and he acquired Whitewater Outdoors in 2003. Upon his election as ATA Board chair, Shultz shared a few thoughts on the ATA and its mission.
Question: You’re beginning your third year on the ATA Board and your first as its chair. What’s your assessment of the ATA Board?
Shultz: The current ATA Board shares a sense of satisfaction from its stability and balance. That kind of satisfaction can only be achieved by diverse, comprehensive groups of thoughtful people. They all have different talents, perspectives and God-given gifts, but they all share a common goal of promoting archery and seeing the ATA succeed. They willingly sacrifice their time, talents and energy to help make it so.
Question: You served two years with Board chair Greg Easton (president, Jas D. Easton Inc.) and as Board co-vice chair with Ben Summers (director of operations, T.R.U. Ball Release Products). How do you feel about moving up to chair as Greg and Ben share the vice-chair role on the Board’s Executive Committee?
Shultz: Greg Easton leaves behind a very large pair of shoes to fill. He’s been a terrific chairman. I also know Ben Summers could easily fill the role of ATA chairman. For my assistance and for everyone’s peace of mind, I take comfort in knowing they both still have a few toes in those big shoes alongside mine. As the Executive Committee, we have pledged ourselves to serve the industry well by leveraging every asset and talent we have.
Question: You took over Robinson Outdoor Products in 2002, not long after Jay McAninch, the ATA’s CEO/president, took over the Archery Trade Association in 2000. What’s the “state of the ATA,” in your opinion?
Shultz: As I look back over the past 14 years, I’m amazed by what Jay and his venerable staff have accomplished. In 2000, the ATA was deep in turmoil, debt and litigation. Over the long years of hard work, hard decisions and smart moves that followed, the ATA’s growth, sacrifice and tough, tenacious determination paid predictable dividends. The ATA today holds an amazing leadership position atop our industry. It’s debt-free, it has millions in the bank, and it enjoys a revered reputation throughout other markets, industries, membership organizations and trade associations. That’s a Herculean achievement by Jay, his staff and the many good people who have served on the ATA Board of Directors.
Question: What lies ahead for the ATA?
Shultz: As we look to the next 14 years, we’re in the midst of changing times. But change always represents opportunity for those who know where to look, and the ATA is overflowing with opportunities. We have many doors of opportunity in front of us, and many of them have already swung open. They’re simply waiting for our organization to decide if we want to enter.
Question: As you review your past two years on the ATA Board, what comes to mind when thinking about the people with whom you’ve served?
Shultz: I have thoroughly appreciated the conservative, thoughtful remarks of Mike Ellig, Todd Vaaler, Scott Billsby and others. I know well the risk-tolerance and business savvy of people like Dean Snelson, Jay Scholes, Tom Gallagher, Rich Krause, Bruce Hudalla, Rob Kaufhold and many others. We all welcome the wise counsel of Jimmy Primos, Jim Chandley, Kurt Bassuener, Mark Copeland, Randy Phillips and the like.
I also believe every member of the ATA Board would march through fire if Jay blew the trumpet for a good and honorable cause. That’s the beauty of the ATA Board. Our varied ranks provide the necessary checks and balances that professional boards provide. We have a great appetite for success and opportunity, and it’s perfectly tempered by the deep, thoughtful and conscientious efforts of every board member. It’s a wonderful group that works together, makes great decisions and accomplishes great things.
I’m sorry to see Mike Ellig leave the Board. I’m not sure if he was the Board’s “check” or the “balance,” but he was indeed its anchor. He’s a true statesman with good, straight-forward, conservative values. He spoke what was in his heart.
Question: Do you have an inspiration quote that helps you focus on your work?
Shultz: Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a Beginning; Keeping together is Progress; Working together is Success.”
I can’t promise I’ll be anything special as ATA Board chair, but I promise to do my humble best to meet or exceed expectations, and to help Jay and his team move this great organization forward. We’ll work together toward success. The ATA will continue to grow, realize a wider scope and achieve higher levels of operation. We’ll look to balance and capitalize on all those “overflowing opportunities.”
Question: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Shultz: I’m excited about the times ahead. I sincerely thank everyone for this opportunity, and may God bless you all.