2.9.11 | Ellig Joins Easton, Zelenovic and Vaicunas on ATA Board
NEW ULM, Minn. - Mike Ellig of Black Gold Sights will join incumbents Greg Easton, Tom Zelenovic and Paul Vaicunas on the ATA Board of Directors when their three-year terms begin April 1, 2011.
Ellig will fill the Board seat held the past three years by David White, president and CEO of Cajun Archery. White will not to seek re-election, and his term ends March 31.
Easton, president of Easton Technical Products, was elected to the Board in 2008, and has served as Board vice-chair the past three years. Zelenovic, CEO of Gold Tip LLC, has served on the Board since 2009. Vaicunas, senior vice president of Parker Compound Bows, was elected to the Board in 2007.
Because Ellig, Easton, Zelenovic and Vaicunas were the only candidates to declare for the Board's four scheduled vacancies, the ATA Board waived the annual election, which had been scheduled for March.
"We're fortunate to have four such qualified and well-respected individuals serving on the Board the next three years," said Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president. "The Board is losing a hard-working, forward-thinking member in David White, from Cajun Archery, but everyone is excited to welcome Mike Ellig. Mike brings unique vision, energy and statesmanship to the Board. He knows the value of working together to benefit the entire industry."
McAninch also feels fortunate to see three incumbents returning to the Board, all of whom value continuity. Easton agreed. "It's important we keep dedicating our time and effort to the ATA Board and its activities," Easton said. "I'd also like to see increased cooperation between the industry and archery organizations. The more we can pull archers together from all disciplines, the more we can grow and support archery and the industry."
Easton said much of that support relies on the ATA Trade Show and its long-term strength. "The Show is important to the industry, and it provides critical funding for the programs and initiatives the ATA members and the Board promote," he said. "The ATA Show faces new challenges, and we need the industry's major manufacturers to support it."
Vaicunas has been an activist on the Board the past four years and has attended five of the ATA's annual archery and bowhunting Summit meetings. He said the ATA and industry must keep finding ways to introduce people of all ages to archery. "Whether it's the National Archery in the Schools Program, After School Archery Programs, community archery or Explore Bowhunting, we need to give people every opportunity to enjoy our sports," Vaicunas said. "Recruiting and retaining archers must be our priorities."
Zelenovic said the 16-member ATA Board has been constructive in all those efforts, and he expects that to continue. "Every Board member brings a different perspective, and that's what you need to make good decisions," Zelenovic said. "We're still dealing with a difficult economy and we face a lot of challenges. It's important that we do everything possible to maintain the health of the industry's independent retailers."
Ellig said he's looking forward to working with the Board. He has worked in the archery industry 25 years, and owned a pro shop the first seven of those years. He sold his shop 18 years ago to concentrate on manufacturing. He has also been a bowhunter education instructor for 30 years, and is a life member of the Montana Bowhunters Association. He has worked often with the ATA on various issues, including the federal excise tax.
"As a Board member, I'll listen to dealers and manufacturers about their concerns, and try to focus on problems where the ATA can make a difference," Ellig said. "We need to do all we can to grow archery. When the sport grows, everyone wins."
White said he enjoyed being part of the ATA Board the past three years, and hopes to serve again soon. "You haven't seen the last of me," White said. "We just have a lot going on at our company right now, and I wasn't sure I could devote enough time to my Board responsibilities. Once things settle down, I'll very likely run again."
White hopes more small-business owners will consider running for the Board. "This has been a great experience," he said. "I believe in the ‘citizen soldier' model, where we take our turn serving on the Board to strengthen the industry. Even if you serve just one rotation, you broaden the Board's perspective and your own. And even if you don't win election, it's a good experience to learn more about the Board and its important work. Board members are involved in many issues that have nothing to do with the products their companies make."
The ATA Board's next meeting is April 18-20 in Minneapolis.
Did You Know?
In 2004, the average bow price was $418.