Author: Cassie Gasaway
The Archery Trade Association recognized two individuals and three organizations in its second annual Impact Awards program, which debuted at the 2020 Show.
Your ATA thought it imperative to recognize those who continually work to grow archery and bowhunting, even in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Impact” means having a strong effect on someone or something. Those who use their voice or platform to inspire others to participate in archery and bowhunting were eligible, and anyone could nominate a business or individual for an award. A nominee’s impact could be driven by creativity, service, technology, engagement, longevity, sustainability, and overcoming adversity and/or awareness.
The resulting nominations confirmed that the archery and bowhunting industry is filled with people and organizations committed to making an impact in the outdoor community. The ATA is honored to recognize two individuals and three companies with a 2021 ATA Impact Award.
Impact Award Recipients:
– Individual: Randy Phillips
– Individual: Suzetta Wise
– Nonprofit: HHA USA
– Retailer: La Crosse Archery
– Manufacturer: Bear Archery
Randy Phillips has served on the ATA Board of Directors for over 20 years. Photo Credit: Randy Phillips
Phillips is an ATA Board of Directors member, an ATA Retail Council member, a National Archery Buyers Association Board member, and owner of Archery Headquarters in Chandler, Arizona. He has served on the ATA Board for over 20 years, and continually represents, and fights for, the interests of archery and bowhunting retailers.
Suzetta Wise coaches archers in the National Archery in the Schools Program and the Shoot Like a Girl organization. Photo Credit: Suzetta Wise
Wise is a school teacher by day and an archery coach by night. She instructs participants in the National Archery in the Schools Program, and encourages them to compete. She also helps fit newcomers with a bow, and teaches them how to shoot through the Shoot Like a Girl organization.
“This is really exciting,” Phillips said. “It’s a great opportunity. I definitely appreciate it. (I’ve) been with this industry a long time. The industry’s been really good to me. It’s paid all my bills. It feels good to be recognized for the efforts to give something back, beyond your personal growth in the industry. We try to do things that help the whole industry grow and flourish in the sport I love. It’s exciting. I appreciate it.”
Wise expressed similar thoughts. “I’m absolutely speechless and honored by this award,” she said. “I love archery, bowhunting, and most anything to do with our great outdoors. Archery and bowhunting have made such an impact on me and my life over the years. I’m ecstatic for every chance I get to share my passion for archery, whether I’m working with beginners and witnessing them shoot their first arrow, or talking to advanced bowhunters and archers. Archery is a wonderful sport that’s truly for everyone. I’m so thankful to continue on a family legacy with bowhunting, and hope I can share my passion as long as I live!”
Chris Hamm helps veterans and active-duty military service members connect to archery and the outdoors through HHA USA. Hamm (right) is pictured above with World War II veteran Hubert Johnson (left). Photo Credit: Chris Hamm
HHA USA helps veterans and active-duty military service members connect to archery and the outdoors. The organization also hosts tournaments to raise money for veterans groups. Chris Hamm founded HHA USA in 2019. He strives to create a community for service men and women while growing the archery industry.
“As a business owner, I feel it is our responsibility to share our blessings with others,” Hamm said. “All of us at HHA USA are humbled and honored to receive the 2021 ATA Impact Award. None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers, sponsors, and the archery shops and clubs that open their doors to us and all who attend our events. First and foremost, thank you to our veterans and active-duty military who defend our country and protect our freedoms. We owe them everything, and look forward to introducing more servicemen and women to archery and the outdoors, and showing them the respect and appreciation they so greatly deserve.”
La Crosse Archery donates annually to the Kicking Bear Foundation’s La Crosse chapter, sponsors 4H shooting sports events, and regularly partners with the rotary club. Schmidt (right) and Rosenthal (left) are pictured above. Photo Credit: La Crosse Archery
La Crosse Archery in Onalaska, Wisconsin, is owned by Anthony Schmidt and Laura Rosenthal. The La Crosse Archery team offers premier archery equipment and technical support to hunters. They’re active in their community, and host many benefits and food competitions annually to help those in need. La Crosse Archery also donates annually to the Kicking Bear Foundation’s La Crosse chapter, sponsors 4H shooting sports events, and regularly partners with the rotary club.
“We’re super honored to receive this award,” Schmidt said. “A lot of people in this industry must work hard just to stay open right now – and we’re one of them. Over the last few years we learned how to adapt to lots of things. I think COVID, and everything that came down the track the past six or eight months, was part of that. We’re fortunate to be here, let alone to get this award. We’re very thankful.”
Bear Archery works to ensure everyone — regardless of age, size or gender — has access to a properly fitted bow. Bear shares his passion with his family, pictured above. Photo Credit: Bear Archery
The legendary Fred Bear founded Bear Archery in 1933. Bear’s goal of making archery accessible to all remains the company’s priority. Bear Archery works to ensure everyone — regardless of age, size or gender — has access to a properly fitted bow. The company also strives to make bows that are friendly to all beginners and budgets. Alec Wyman, Bear Archery’s marketing manager, said everyone at Bear Archery feels honored to receive the Impact Award.
“The entire Bear Archery team feels humbled to be recognized as this year’s Impact Award recipient,” Wyman said. “Fred Bear had one goal in 1933 when he started this company, and that was to open archery’s doors for everyone. To this day, we have that same philosophy across all of our brands and products, and could not be more proud to be part of such an exciting sport.”
Watch the Recipients’ Reaction to Winning
Your ATA connected virtually with each Impact Award recipient to share the news and talk about their work in the archery and bowhunting industry. The video aired at 11 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Log into your MyATA member dashboard at www.archerytrade.org/login, and click the “Impact Award Winners” video to tune in.
Also watch for communications from the ATA next October about the nomination process for the 2022 awards.
For more information about the ATA’s awards program, please contact Allison Jasper, ATA’s senior director of marketing and communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 392-3190.