GPO USA Names Operations Manager

C. Higgins

Carol Higgins is the newly appointed operations manager for German Precision Optics (GPO) USA. She oversees the entire organizational process of incoming product orders, manages shipping and inventory, project oversight, technical training and development, client account management and implementing operational policies and procedures.

“I am very excited to be utilizing my many years of experience in customer service in the sporting optics industry to help grow GPO USA. It is critical our customer service is to the high standards our products are,” Higgins stated.

She joins GPO after working more than 30 years at Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

Pelican Products Inc. Enhances Leadership Team

G. Platisa

In addition to welcoming George Platisa as CFO, Pelican Products Inc. named Elizabeth Park the company’s senior director of financial planning.

Platisa leads Pelican’s financial strategies worldwide and oversees financial planning and analysis, strategic planning, accounting and reporting, budgeting, investor relations, due diligence activities associated with acquisitions and divestitures, treasury, tax and risk management. He will help guide growth and profitability and will participate in setting the financial strategy for the company.

E. Park

Park is responsible for financial reporting and analysis on new initiatives, projects, pricing and business opportunities. She has more than 15 years’ financial and analysis experience.

Umarex USA Welcomes National Sales Manager

A. Green

Andy Green now serves as national sales manager for Umarex USA. Formerly the national accounts manager, Green oversees all aspects of North American sales including management of sales representatives, buying groups and distribution channels.

Umarex USA VP of Sales, Brad Webb shared, “[Andy’s] zeal for customer service combined with his ability to think outside of the box and his knowledge and experience of our product lines has prepared him well to lead our North American sales efforts.”

Daniel Defense Promotes Design Engineering VP

L. Thompson

Lee Thompson promoted to VP of design engineering at Daniel Defense where he is responsible for leading and implementing all design and new product initiatives for the company.

Daniel Defense President and CEO Marty Daniel shared, “[Thompson] has played a significant role in helping our company develop the processes, knowledge and talent to excel at bringing new products to market. Lee has also excelled at continuously improving our design process.”

Thompson played a key role in the design of the DDM4ISR, the company’s Integrally Suppressed Weapon System. He also implemented the company’s mill turn and bolt carrier group production cells.

He has a bachelor’s in biosystems engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky.

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NSSF Appoints Board Members

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced the appointment of Paul Chartier and Tom Gresham to its board of governors.

Chartier is the EVP and CFO of O.F. Mossberg & Sons. Prior to joining Mossberg he spent several years at a public accounting firm in both tax and audit capacities.

Gresham is an author, magazine editor and writer, television host, director and creator and online video producer. He was awarded NSSF’s Ken Sedlecky Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

Samson Manufacturing Selects Manager

Samson Manufacturing sales team announced the addition of Kirk Whatley as strategic accounts manager. Whatley is responsible for increasing Samson’s brand and product awareness with strategic distributors, retailers and law enforcement markets.

He has been involved in the shooting sports for over 40 years, and has been involved in two-tier distribution and direct sales for more than 35 years.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. Names Chairman

Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. announced the appointment of Ronald C. Whitaker as chairman of the board of directors. Whitaker replaces former chairman, C. Michael Jacobi, who remains on the board. Whitaker has been a member of board since 2006 and has served as chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee, the compensation committee and as a member of the audit committee. 

Reno Cerakote Advances Director

Reno Cerakote announced the promotion of Michael Orms to director of operations. He joined the company in 2017 as the production manager.

Prior to Reno Cerakote, Orms worked in the minting business for more than 10 years where he quadrupled production at Northwest Territorial Mint after successfully moving the production facility from Auburn, Wash., to Dayton, Nev. He then went on to build Republic Metals’ state-of-the-art facility in Miami.

Blue Heron Communications Expands Staff

Blue Heron Communications named Steve Scott to the newly created role of special projects coordinator, and Valarie Shaw as production and traffic manager.

Scott will build upon Blue Heron’s deep network of relationships with outdoor industry journalists, editors and representatives of companies focused on shooting, hunting, tactical and conservation interests.

Shaw will maintain Blue Heron’s established procedures and standards for client support and ensure all projects move through the company efficiently and maintain their critical schedules. She will also assist in social media and steering in-house production. She earned a B.A. in criminology from the University of Oklahoma.

Rinehart Targets Taps National Sales Manager

Rinehart Targets hired Joe Mulheim as national sales manager to continue growth in the U.S. Mulheim is responsible for the company’s sales team, driving revenue, widening product distribution and retailer network and general management responsibilities.

Mulheim has enjoyed a long career in the outdoor sporting goods industry and also has more than 15 years’ experience tailoring programs for retailers, merchandisers and regional mass merchants.

Mulheim has a bachelor’s in business management from Western Illinois University.

Chattanooga Shooting Supplies Adds Buyer, Board Member

Chattanooga Shooting Supplies (CSSI) recently welcomed Nick Evans as a buyer. He is responsible for establishing new vendor relationships, managing inventory and increasing sales through product selection. He joins the merchandising team, which focuses on exceeding customer expectations and driving profitable sales.

Additionally, CSSI announced the appointment of two new members, Todd Seyfert and Matt Buckingham, to its board of directors. Seyfert is currently the CEO of FeraDyne Outdoors and Buckingham is the VP of manufacturing at Precision Inc.

Meopta USA Sport Optics Recruits Field Advisor

Barton Hege joined Meopta as a field advisor where he assists with online consumer service, provides extensive content generation and answers Meopta-related questions on many social media platforms and forums.

Hege, a competitive shooter and avid hunter, joins Meopta after nearly 10 years with Nikon Sport Optics.

Legacy Sports International Names VP

Legacy Sports International named Travis Branzell VP of merchandise and product development. Branzell will focus on supply chain management, market and analysis as well as new product development. He will also assist the sales team to provide attractive products and pricing to customers. With the support of the Legacy’s ownership, he started Reno Cerakote in 2015 — a company within Legacy Sports International. 

Branzell earned a B.S. in wildlife management and environmental analytics from the University of Nevada, Reno.

ODIN Works Names Marketing Director

ODIN Works selected Wendy Surface as its new marketing director. She is responsible for the direction of all marketing initiatives including development of digital strategy, content marketing, public relations, media production and trade show management as well as evaluating trending new media and market influencers. Surface has over a decade of marketing experience in the firearms industry. 

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