Author: Patrick Durkin
Kurt Weber, the Archery Trade Association’s marketing director, will retire March 31 from the post he has held since joining the ATA as a consultant in 2009.
Weber helped develop the ATA’s brand and distinct logo during his tenure, and launched and managed many programs and corporate-sponsorship opportunities for the annual ATA Trade Show. He prided himself on working as a team with ATA staff, exhibitors and retailers to improve the Show and increase its value for all attendees.
“We’ve worked with many gifted individuals to build and enhance the ATA Trade Show since taking it over in 2002, but no one left more visible fingerprints on the Show than Kurt Weber,” said Jay McAninch, ATA’s president/CEO. “Kurt created the Show’s professional brand and image. Kurt was also a great mentor to ATA staff, and created sponsorships that generated $250,000 to $300,000 annually for the ATA’s efforts to grow and promote archery and bowhunting programs across the country.”
McAninch said Weber will keep working with Maria Lewis, the ATA’s senior director of Trade Show and membership, and other ATA staff to develop a plan and sponsorship program for the 2018 Show before departing.
“We’ve been lucky to have someone with Kurt’s combination of sales, marketing, promotions and industry knowledge,” McAninch said. “He’s been an invaluable mentor and ideas person for our staff. And when I look at the ATA’s new logo, which forms an umbrella with the ATA’s initials, I see Kurt’s ability to symbolize the ATA’s mission statement of ‘uniting the industry.’”
"Working with the ATA was one of my most rewarding and fulfilling career experiences,” said Kurt Weber, ATA’s marketing director since 2009. “I’m proud of what we accomplished, and grateful to Jay McAninch and the opportunities he provided as part of his incredible winning team.” Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Weber said he enjoyed the challenges and camaraderie of his ATA projects.
“Working with the ATA was one of my most rewarding and fulfilling career experiences,” he said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished, and grateful to Jay McAninch and the opportunities he provided as part of his incredible winning team. Although I won’t miss traveling, I will miss the many wonderful relationships I built with ATA staff. They’re some of the finest individuals I’ve ever known.”
McAninch and Lewis said Weber’s manufacturing background as a co-owner of Apple Archery bow presses with Gregg Jenkins gave him unique insights into the ATA Trade Show. As someone who exhibited at the Show with Apple Archery from 2006 through 2009, Weber worked regularly with archery retailers. Those experiences gave him valuable perspectives that helped him craft many of the Show’s programs and sponsorship opportunities.
“Kurt built the Show’s sponsorship program from scratch,” Lewis said. “He created lucrative revenue streams for ATA programs by recognizing opportunities on and off the Show floor. Whether it’s banners, lanyards, staircase graphics, floor stickers, wall signs, column wraps, hotel key cards, or signage in restrooms and above the Show’s entrances, Kurt helped sponsors get their brand out there in front of the entire industry.”
Lewis also praised Weber for creating sponsorship opportunities for the ATA Show’s popular seminar series, and bringing the Show’s kiosk and “goody-bag” programs in-house to boost their profitability. And no matter the program, Weber made sure it benefited everyone.
“Kurt is a great salesman, but he didn’t sell something just to get the revenue,” Lewis said. “He liked working with people. He made sure he knew each company’s objectives and met their needs. He wanted them to get their money’s worth from their investment in the Show.”
“Kurt is a great salesman, but he didn’t sell something just to get the revenue,” said Maria Lewis, ATA’s senior director of Trade Show and membership. “He liked working with people. He made sure he knew each company’s objectives and met their needs. He wanted them to get their money’s worth from their investment in the Show.” Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo
Emily Beach, the ATA’s senior director of education and outreach, said she and her team often benefited from Weber’s expertise. “Anyone who visited the Membership Services Area at this year’s Show saw Kurt’s designs and signage,” Beach said. “Plus, he knows how to communicate with retailers, and helped us connect with them when they came by to learn about their ATA-member benefits. And because of Kurt and the sponsorships he sold, we expanded our Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing programs faster and farther than we originally hoped.”
Beach said Weber worked with enthusiasm, and always listened intently to help solve challenges. Kelly Kelly, the ATA’s executive assistant to the president and Board of Directors, echoed Beach’s observations.
“Kurt was always quick to respond,” Kelly said. “He always returned phone calls and believed in customer service. He listened to what you said, and helped everyone understand the marketing process and how it fit into a thoughtful, long-term plan.”
McAninch said Weber’s retirement was well-earned, and assumes he will spend more time than ever pursuing his passion for golf. Weber carries a 12 handicap, and occasionally shoots in the mid-70s after shedding his “winter rust.” He also enjoys shooting archery and other outdoor activities.
Weber said he plans to stay busy in retirement, and will never forget the satisfaction of working in the archery industry.
“The industry’s marketing executives did some incredible work with the ATA,” Weber said. “I also thank the ATA Board of Directors for their help. They always supported our marketing efforts. They showed character, courage and intelligence in their decisions on behalf of the industry. And I thank ATA staff and everyone in the industry who treated me with respect, kindness and friendship. You’ll never know how grateful I am to each of you, and how fondly I’ll remember you the rest of my life.”
Weber married his wife, Sue, in 1982, and they now live in Naples, Florida. They have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Lauran.