Industry

ATA Takes Team Approach to Manage Member Priorities

"By restructuring slightly, we can quickly provide more specific and effective options, and more insightful customer service to address our members’ needs." - Jay McAninch, ATA President/CEO

Author: Scott Gieseke

The Archery Trade Association has reorganized its 20-plus-member staff into three main teams as part of its commitment to serving its members.

This renewed approach demonstrates that managing industry issues is a top ATA priority. Its members identified two such issues during the industry’s strategic planning meeting in May and the ATA Board of Directors meeting in July: increasing bowhunting participation, and boosting retailers’ business acumen through the Retail Growth Initiative.

“The number and types of services ATA has been asked to provide, and the kind of programs we’ve been asked to develop have grown for many years,” said ATA President/CEO Jay McAninch.

For instance, the ATA Trade Show has grown, as has its communications efforts. The ATA has also increased its direct contact with consumers, primarily through Archery360.com and Bowhunting360.com. Meanwhile, it has developed several partnerships and educational programs.

The ATA will further expand those efforts through a three-team approach. “By restructuring slightly, we can quickly provide more specific and effective options, and more insightful customer service to address our members’ needs,” McAninch said.

This reorganization included promoting staff members into expanded leadership positions. These leaders will function as part of a senior executive team with McAninch. Emily Beach leads the outreach and education team, Teresa Johnson leads the communications and administration team, and Maria Lewis leads the membership and Trade Show team.

“Promoting these three deserving employees recognizes they can take on leadership roles that will improve the ATA and its services,” McAninch said. “These changes also allow our staff to focus more time and energy on our members, and help them improve and strengthen their businesses. They’ll set goals and review outcomes each year to improve our members’ experiences.”

Let’s take a closer look at the ATA’s three team leaders.

Emily Beach
Senior Director of Education and Outreach

Emily Beach, ATA’s senior director of education and outreach, is confident in her team’s abilities to meet the growing needs of ATA members and the archery industry. Photo: Shannon Rikard/ATA

Emily Beach of Maryland develops outdoor educational programs for archery and bowhunting. Her passion for conservation and getting youths into the woods helped drive her to create ATA programs such as Explore Bowhunting, Explore Archery and, more recently, Explore Bowfishing. In April 2015, the Explore Bowhunting program received the prestigious Pope and Young Conservation Award for its contributions to bowhunting’s future.

Beach’s work has taken her to city and county parks-and-recreation agencies in Maryland and Minnesota, where she taught outdoor education classes. She also worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in white-tailed deer research; and for the Bureau of Land Management, where she surveyed endangered-bird nesting sites in Oregon.

“The professionals I work within the ATA’s Outreach and Education team make this transition and our goals exciting and undeniably attainable,” Beach said. “Jennifer Mazur (director of archery and bowhunting programs), Michelle Zeug (director of community and international programs), Katie Haymes (education programs manager) and Nicole Nash (manager of retail programs) all showcase expertise that expands the ATA’s domestic and international outreach and education programs. Meeting the growing needs of ATA members and the industry remains our priority. That requires innovative programs, enduring partnerships, steadfast leadership and effective outreach. I look forward to achieving our team’s goals.”

Teresa Johnson
Senior Director of Communications and Administration

Teresa Johnson, senior director of communications and administration, manages the ATA’s communications and administration team. She oversees public and media relations, social media, and the Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360 websites. Photo: Shannon Rikard/ATA

Teresa Johnson of Connecticut joined the ATA in January 2014 to develop and carry out its public-relations strategies. She manages the ATA’s communications and administration team, and oversees public and media relations, social media, and the Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360 websites.

Previously, Johnson worked from April 2007 to March 2011 as the programs and public-relations director at Hall’s Arrow Inc. in Manchester, Connecticut. In that role she managed the nation’s largest Junior Olympic Archery Development program for one of the country’s largest archery ranges and pro shops.

Johnson previously worked several years as a public-relations consultant for USA Archery. In that role she provided live coverage of domestic and international archery competitions. She also managed USA Archery’s media relations, social media, and content creation for its website. Johnson has also served as a social-media consultant for the World Archery Federation.

Johnson is working with her team to develop Bowhunting360. She has also worked with other ATA staff to improve the shop-locator tool that consumers use on Archery360.com and Bowhunting 360.com.

“This is a unique time for our industry, with fantastic potential for growth but also challenges that need to be faced head-on,” Johnson said. “The ATA’s Communications team is excited to inform and educate our members and consumers, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this effort.”

Maria Lewis
Senior Director of Trade Show and Membership

Maria Lewis, senior director of Trade Show and membership, said the ATA’s reorganized staff puts the ATA in position to efficiently serve its members, exhibitors and Trade Show attendees. Photo: Shannon Rikard/ATA

Maria Lewis joined the ATA in September 2009 and works in its New Ulm, Minnesota, office, where she manages the ATA’s Trade Show and membership teams. Lewis’ responsibilities have steadily increased the past seven years. In her original role as member-services manager she helped enroll members and managed ATA’s membership program. Eventually she began coordinating the ATA Trade Show, where she most recently served as director of Trade Show operations.

Besides working one-on-one with exhibitors and sponsors to craft and meet their objectives, Lewis helps coordinate Trade Show events and programs. She also leads the Trade Show team’s site selection and contracting efforts, and works with all the Show’s service providers.

Lewis enjoys working with exhibitors as they prepare for archery and bowhunting’s largest trade show. When asked about the highlights of her job, she said they include constant communication, developing solid relationships with ATA member-exhibitors, and opportunities to meet members face to face at the Trade Show and other industry events each year.

“Since 2009, the scope and depth of the ATA’s membership program and Trade Show steadily expanded with accountability,” Lewis said. “Meeting the needs of our members and exhibitors through our programs, support and customer service will always be our greatest responsibility. This reorganization puts the ATA in position to efficiently serve our members, exhibitors and Trade Show attendees. That’s what I find most exciting about this change.”

McAninch said the reorganization also recognizes that this is the first time in ATA history that so many great programs and opportunities are available to its members.

“Those possibilities have been overlaid by many changes in staff and on the Board of Directors,” McAninch said. “It’s been a hectic year. We’ve had a general reorganization of the ATA, an industry summit and strategic planning meeting, a challenging and down year in bowhunting, and a year where recreational archery participation continued to rise. We reorganized the ATA staff to ensure we can meet these challenges and better serve our industry. With our strong teams of dedicated employees, I anticipate many good things ahead.”

The ATA staff reorganization began in July and will continue into autumn.

Feature Photo: Shane Indrebo

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