The Archery Trade Association (ATA) Board of Directors voted a new Executive Committee into office and installed a new chair and two new vice-chairs to the Committee.
Mark Copeland, store director, Jay’s Sporting Goods, was named Executive Committee Chair. James McGovern, owner, Rinehart Targets, and Jeff Adee, president, Headhunter Bow Strings Inc., were named Vice-Chairs. Those elected to the Executive Committee serve a two-year term.
Departing the Executive Committee are Ben Summers of T.R.U. Ball/AXCEL Archery and Randy Walk of Hoyt Archery.
“Mark Copeland is ready and able to be a strong Chairman of the Archery Trade Association,” Summers said. “As a Vice-Chair of ATA, Mark Copeland has been involved in important industry decisions for a very long time. He looks for every opportunity to build bridges between dealers and manufacturers. Now that Mark is Chairman, I expect unprecedented cooperation between the most critical segments in our industry. Knowing Mark on a very personal basis, I recognize he is a man of integrity who is able to make the best high-level decisions for the entire industry. He revitalized the Retail Council and provided a way for dealers to vote for their own representatives on the ATA Board. He then gave dealers a voice to speak, while considering the impact on all other industry stakeholders. He is a fair and positive leader in this difficult time in world history. It’s an honor to pass the torch of ATA Chairman to such an accomplished and effective leader.”
Mark Copeland discussed the larger issues currently facing the industry.
“It’s time to reflect on our strategic pillars,” Copeland said. “We need to evaluate our effectiveness and confirm they’re still relevant in these uncertain times. We need to focus on telling our story. We need to find better ways to communicate our benefits and expand the access of tools for each category of membership. I’m continually amazed at the number of members unaware of the hard work conducted by this small, dedicated ATA staff. They work hard to create education components, establish programs and secure partnerships that help build a strong base of archers who will grow into longtime consumers.”
“Businesses need resources and tools to assist them in the ever-changing landscape of our industry. None of us could have predicted the scope or impact of this pandemic. The Association’s ability to pivot and give guidance is critical. Understanding how to help someone move forward in a very challenging environment while looking for positive lessons or opportunities to grow is important. We need members to become engaged, provide open and honest feedback, and find the best methods of sharing that information.”
“We also need to look for ways to diversify our revenue stream beyond the ATA Trade Show. My personal goal has always been and will continue to be keeping the retail voice relevant. Archery has been a passion of mine for many years and I consider it a blessing to be a small part of its growth.”
Newly-elected McGovern added his thoughts: “The world is an unpredictable place right now. I look forward to working with the ATA to navigate a course through this so we can continue to focus on our future together.”
Jeff Adee also made a statement about the election results: “Assuming this responsibility after the excellent job Ben and Randy have done is very daunting,” Adee said. “I’m glad that Mark will be there to push me to measure up to the high standard that the three of them have set these last few years. I think that more than any other time since the Great Recession of 2010, the challenges facing the industry right now are incredible. Some shops and manufacturers are still figuring out how to survive two months of zero cash flow from the pandemic shut-down. Others are now running wide open having banner years, yet are struggling with their supply chains to get components and finished product in-house to sell. Everyone is struggling with getting employees back or hiring more employees. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that everything has changed for our members the last five months. The ATA has done a very good job of giving advice, guidance and the necessary tools to aid members in surviving these turbulent times, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
ATA President and CEO Matt Kormann shared his thoughts on the election results: “I’m incredibly grateful for Ben Summers’ service to the archery and bowhunting industry as a longtime Board and Executive Committee member,” Kormann said. “He has been consistently eager to challenge our staff to do more for our members, and we’re fortunate to have had him at the helm for the last several years. While no longer serving as Board Chair, I know we can count on Ben to continue as a strong voice for all members.”
“Randy Walk has spent nearly his entire career serving the industry through service to the ATA board. In his most recent time as Vice-Chair, I’ve come to rely on his vocal input on our most challenging issues. As we’ve seen from so many of our Directors, Randy is especially adept at advocating for the industry’s best interest and encouraging his counterparts and our staff to maintain our priorities.”
“Mark Copeland was a clear choice for his fellow Directors to succeed Ben Summers in the role of Board Chairman. The fact that many of our manufacturing members supported him speaks volumes for his ability to see clear paths through challenging times. Working for a successful brick-and-mortar retailer, Mark is uniquely qualified to bring a diverse thought process to our leadership team, and we’re excited to continue working with him.”
“Rounding out our Executive Committee, Jeff Adee brings a wealth of experience from his current role at Headhunter Bowstrings and his previous life in corporate America. Jeff’s commitment to serving the Board has never wavered, even when he’s not held a seat as a director. James McGovern has charted a course for Rinehart Targets through challenging times for our industry and has often called into question the status quo of your ATA in ways that have allowed us to evolve for the benefit of our members.
“While change brings inherent challenges, I’m excited to work with this new leadership team, and am confident in their ability to continue our long-range goals of bringing additional value to each of our members.”
Photo courtesy Archery Trade Association