5.18.11 | Eichler, Summers, Vaaler, Primos Elected to Executive Committee
NEW ULM, Minn. - Michele Eichler, CEO of the Muzzy Products Corp., won re-election as Chair of the 2011 ATA Executive Committee by the association's 16-member Board of Directors. Eichler is the Board's longest-serving director, and a year ago became the first woman elected Chair. She previously served as an ATA vice-chair in 2003-2004, 2006 and 2008-2010.
In addition, a tie vote for the second year in a row for the Executive Committee's two vice-chair seats resulted in three Board members sharing those duties. Ben Summers, director of operations for T.R.U. Ball Release Products, was re-elected; Todd Vaaler, director of operations at Gateway Feathers, returns after serving as a vice-chair from 2005 through 2007; and Jimmy Primos, chief operating officer of Primos Hunting Calls, was elected for the first time.
A review of ATA bylaws after the 2010 elections found the Committee can have "two or more" vice-chairs. Therefore, ATA CEO/President Jay McAninch again proposed seating three vice-chairs to capitalize on Vaaler, Primos and Summers' experience and willingness to serve. The Board approved the recommendation on a follow-up ballot.
Eichler said she's honored by her re-election. "I'm proud to be a small part of this and to help in anyway I can," she said. "We have a great Board that represents a wide variety of companies, dealers and rep groups."
During the year ahead, Eichler wants the ATA and the Board to build on its many programs for growing archery and bowhunting. "Our programs continue to be successful, thanks to Jay McAninch and his great staff," she said. "The ATA is on solid financial ground because of our Trade Show's continued success. The Show is a can't-miss event, whether you're an exhibitor or a retailer. Its success allows us to use revenues it generates to promote and protect archery and bowhunting at levels that have never before been possible."
Summers said his work the past year as a vice-chair gave him valuable experience and a deeper understanding of the ATA's programs and their importance. "As I gained more responsibilities as a vice-chair last year, I was never more proud to be an ATA Board member," Summers said. "The Association is on a sound financial footing, thanks to responsible management. That allows all of us to benefit from these opportunities to grow our sports."
Vaaler said he looks forward to returning to the executive committee after a four-year absence. "It's always an honor to be chosen to work as a vice-chair, and to help Jay McAninch and his staff," Vaaler said. "They're making things happen for the ATA. I really want all ATA members, whether they're retailers, manufacturers, distributors or sales reps, to know we're here as the Board to listen. We have a diverse Board and Executive Committee, and every ATA member can reach out to us and tell us what they like or don't like. I'm a small manufacturer, and we have Board members from every aspect of our membership. We want to make sure ATA members get the attention they deserve."
Vaaler also encourages ATA members to get involved in its programs to help grow archery and bowhunting even faster. "It's up to each one of us to get involved however we can to get boys and girls outside and excited about archery. We can help them have fun with the bow and arrow."
Primos said he's excited to be elected as a vice-chair. "I've seen the ATA itself come a long way the past three or four years with its programs and procedures, and I think it will continue building in the year ahead," he said. "We're seeing a lot of the ATA's efforts bearing fruit, and I'm very excited about its efforts in hunter retention and recruitment. ATA has taken a leading role in that area, and I hope the Board and I can help keep that going."
Primos describes the ATA as increasingly efficient and organized. "The ATA's programs are now in place and getting more focused and fine-tuned," he said. "Everybody is going in the same direction."