4.5.10 | Eichler, Griffith, Primos, Gordon Elected to ATA Board
New Ulm, Minn. — Michele Eichler of Muzzy Products, Larry Griffith of the Bohning Co., and Jimmy Primos of Primos Hunting Calls won re-election to the ATA Board of Directors during the organization's annual elections ending in March.
Joining them on the 16-member Board is David Gordon of Gordon Composites, who won his first three-year term. The new terms of the four Board directors begin April 1, 2010, and expire March 31, 2013.
In addition, Todd Vaaler of Gateway Feathers, rejoins the Board to fulfill the remaining two-year term vacated earlier this year by Pete Shepley, president of Precision Shooting Equipment. Vaaler previously served two terms on the Board from 2002-2008.
President of Copper John Corp. Doug Springer, who fulfilled his term, stepped down from the Board on Wednesday, March 31.
Other candidates in the 2010 Board election were Scott Alread, business development manager for CenterPoint Hunting & Outdoors, a division of Crosman; Steve Ward, product consultant for Quake Industries/Blackpowder Products Inc.; and Thomas Saunders, director of Saunders Plant 3 for the Saunders Archery Co.
"It's tough to see people like Doug Springer leave, but this industry is fortunate to have many leaders with a strong commitment to our future," Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president said. "The Board needs vision, energy and statesmanship. When Board members meet, they hang up their companies' brands at the door and work on strategies the ATA can implement to benefit the entire industry."
Eichler, CEO of Muzzy, was first elected to the ATA Board in 2000 and is its longest-serving director. She is the lone individual from the Board that hired McAninch as ATA CEO/president in August 2000.
"Continuity is so important to our organization, and I enjoy working with the ATA staff," Eichler said. "Their work is vital to our industry and the future of our sports. It's great to see ATA forming so many partnerships with wildlife agencies around the country to expand our Community Archery Strategies. By combining and coordinating our efforts with the agencies, we're accomplishing far more than would ever be possible on our own."
McAninch admires and respects Eichler's leadership. "Michele has always been an insightful, supportive and hard-working director, yet has not hesitated to tell us when we're off track," McAninch said. "She provides invaluable history and instruction for her fellow Board members and everyone on the ATA staff."
Griffith, president of the Bohning Co., earned widespread respect for his well-rounded expertise as Board chair in 2009. "Larry's financial background helped us formalize a permanent operating fund proposal that ensures ATA will endure any unexpected financial challenges in the future," McAninch said. "Larry also has great experience and expertise overseas which led him to help ATA look beyond North America to support the archery industry's international markets worldwide."
Primos, chief operating officer for Primos Hunting Calls, brings unique perspectives as a bowhunting accessories manufacturer. "The ATA will always have a strong core of archery-product manufacturing companies," McAninch said. "But in recent years the ATA has broadened in scope. Jimmy provides important input from the many ATA-member companies specializing in bowhunting products. He has helped us immeasurably in Washington, D.C., in our work with wildlife agencies and with our efforts to join the firearms industry to grow hunting and the shooting sports."
Gordon, meanwhile, has served since 1989 on the ATA's ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Standards and Safety Committee, including the past four years as committee chairman. He has also worked extensively with the ATA's Technical Committee.
"We're all looking forward to Dave's contributions because he brings so much credibility to the table," McAninch said. "Not only does he have expertise from his years of ASTM and Technical committee work, but he comes from a company with deep industry roots."
Gordon Composites Inc. (GCI), formerly Gordon Plastics Inc., has been in business since 1951, and an ATA member since 1974. Dave Gordon has worked there since 1971, including roles as vice president of manufacturing (1975-1988), and as president (1989-2001). He has been an independent consultant for GCI the past nine years. In addition, he is a member of the NFAA Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bowhunter Hall of Fame.
This was Gordon's second run for the Board. "I've been working in this industry nearly 40 years, and it's just a way to give something back," he said. "There's never been a better time to be on the Board. The ATA is more proactive now than it's ever been in promoting archery and bowhunting. It knows how to generate operating cash through the Trade Show, which is important if you want to influence and support programs to grow the industry."
Vaaler said he was flattered to rejoin the Board after a two-year absence. "Anytime your peers invite you to help, it's an honor," he said. "The ATA is moving forward fast. I like what I'm seeing from programs like Explore Bowhunting. It's an exciting time to be on the Board."
Did You Know?
The ATA trade show averages more than 450 exhibitors, 8,000 attendees and more than 150,000 square feet of exhibit space.