CEO's Blog

CEO Blog: ’Tis the Season!

Matt Kormann discusses his industry wishes for this holiday season.
Photo Credit: Matt Kormann

Author: Matt Kormann

As we race from one holiday to the next during this frantic month, it’s difficult to take a moment to reflect on the holiday season. A couple of weeks ago we gathered with friends and family to give thanks. Now we’re reviewing lists of what we want from each other.

Kormann is grateful for the bowhunting gear under his tree. Photo Credit: ATA

As we indulge in this season of giving, I’m reminded how especially great it feels to do just that: give. But it drives my family a little crazy. They want to know what I want. I’m content to give more than receive. The past several years I’ve often found archery and bowhunting items under the tree. I’m a little warmer in the stand this year, and I’ll probably be tuning up my new target bow as you read this. But what do I want for this great industry we all share? If I could submit my list to Archery or Bowhunting Santa, what would I include?

Kormann wishes for experienced bowhunters to take a newcomer on a trip. Photo Credit: ATA

Much like asking for world peace, I’d put a limitless supply of new bowhunters atop my list. Having fallen in love with this sport later in life, I know two things: It’s way more rewarding than I thought it could be, and it’s easier to break into than I once feared. So, rather than wish for something impossible, I’ll propose this: Let’s do all we can to give something back to our sport and industry. I’ve often said I would’ve taken my bow into the woods a whole lot earlier had someone asked me along. It’s really that easy to break the ice. But we’re uncomfortable asking favors for ourselves, and our mentors can feel uncomfortable reaching out. The more we reach out, though, the better our future looks.

Speaking of big wishes, my Christmas would be complete forever if we could end chronic wasting disease. Yes, our members and your customers bowhunt more species than elk and whitetails. In fact, I enjoyed a great story last month about bowhunters going after pheasants. But the species most affected by CWD are really the cornerstones of our bowhunting industry. Eradicating this always-fatal disease would have immeasurable impacts on us. But that’s not going to happen this holiday season, so perhaps we can find common ground in supporting reasonable and appropriate state and federal policies based on widely accepted science-based policies to help slow this killer’s spread. Our Deer Protection Program members have done lots in this regard, but we certainly have a long way to go.

Wishing prosperity to our friends in the retail business. Photo Credit: ATA

Meanwhile, my many years in sales won’t let me forget to add this simple business wish to my list: I wish this Christmas for a record year for each of our members’ businesses. Our free-market system, however, makes that a bit of a pipedream. So, instead, I hope all ATA members find one simple way to improve their business for the community they serve. That might mean a little more focus on customer service. Maybe it’s an extra effort to a year-end sales blitz. Or maybe it’s partnering with a like-minded business to help you both succeed a little more in 2019.

Like everyone at this time of year, I enjoy putting together a wish list. But I’d also trade many things on my list to harvest my first whitetail with my bow!

What’s on your list? Or, if you’re an overachiever, what wishes have you already made realities for yourself, your business, your family or your customers? Stop me at #ATA2019 and tell me all about it.

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