Newsmakers
August 2022

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C. Stephens

R. Carothers

AGM Global Vision Adds Staff

AGM Global Vision announced two new hires: Chase Stephens as director of brand development and Randy Carothers as director of marketing.

Stephens has more than 15 years’ experience in the optics industry, having spent most of his time in thermal products.

Carothers will work closely with the sales team and other executives on everything from creative direction, marketing communications and customer insights for product development.

“We are excited to have Randy on board and are confident he will help elevate the AGM brand to new heights,” said Mark Tarakanov, AGM VP of sales.

Carothers’ marketing background stems from roles at companies such as OSS Suppressors (now HUXWRX Safety Co.) and LMT Defense.

A. Del Rio

AOB Names VP/Chief People Officer

American Outdoor Brands Inc. (AOB) welcomed Arturo Del Rio to the newly created position of VP of HR and chief people officer. He will oversee global HR for the company and is responsible for developing and implementing human capital strategies for the organization.

Brian D. Murphy, AOB president and CEO, said, “[Del Rio’s] track record of developing and implementing intellectual capital strategies for world class, global companies, will make him a tremendous addition to our team.”

Del Rio has over 24 years of HR leadership experience in the U.S. and Mexico. He most recently served as global human resources director at Ferro Corp.

He earned a bachelor of labor degree in psychology from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon in Monterrey, Mexico; a master of organizational development at the Universidad de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico; and an MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

B. Gallasso

Primary Arms Recruits Sales Manager

Primary Arms Government welcomed Brice Gallasso as the new U.S. law enforcement territory sales manager for the western region where he will work with and represent teams across the western U.S.

“Brice has over 12 years of L.E. experience, which will surely be an advantage with his current customer base,” said Özge Cumberland, Primary Arms’ SVP of sales, marketing and business development.

Over the course of his L.E. career, Gallasso earned numerous instructor-level certifications, including TCOLE Firearms Instructor, TCOLE Basic Instructor and TCOLE Field Training Officer as well as TASER Instructor titles.

R. Donahue

Stag Arms Appoints GM

Stag Arms announced the appointment of Ryan Donahue as GM.

Elie Azar, White Wolf Capital founder, CEO and managing director said, “Ryan’s extensive marketing and brand management experience, combined with his persona and enthusiasm to drive results, is a winning formula.”

Donahue most recently served as the director of brand management at American Outdoor Brands. Prior to joining the firearms industry, he worked in the film industry as a director of production and marketing.

He earned a bachelor’s in English Language and Literature/Letters from University of Miami, and a master’s in mass communication/media studies from Lynn University.

J. Burckhalter

K. Dyroff

NWTF Announces Leadership Transition

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) CEO Becky Humphries is retiring Feb. 2023. Jason Burckhalter and Kurt Dyroff were appointed as co-CEOs, and Humphries will serve with them until she steps down.

“Building on Becky’s accomplishments and to prepare the NWTF for the future, the board decided … to tap the unique experiences and energy of not just one but two of the organization’s top executives,” said Bryan Perry, NWTF board of directors president.

As co-CEOs, Dyroff will lead the organization’s mission-related activities, including conservation, finance and accounting and general business support. Burckhalter will oversee membership and fundraising-related duties, including field operations and development, marketing and communications, membership, information technology and facility management.

Dyroff served as NWTF’s chief business and finance officer for the past three years. Before joining the NWTF, he held various conservation-focused executive capacities at Ducks Unlimited. Dyroff is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

Burckhalter was the NWTF’s CIO for the past three years following his time as VP of finance and controller. Prior to the NWTF, he held various executive roles with for-profit entities. Burckhalter is a graduate of Lander University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance/economics. He received an MBA from Augusta University and an accounting degree from Auburn University.

J. Whitten

Heckler & Koch Promotes Manager

Jason Whitten was promoted to law enforcement sales manager at Heckler & Koch (HK). Whitten is the primary point of contact for law enforcement across local and state agencies. He is also charged with growing HK’s L.E. dealer base across the U.S.

Nathan Schueth, HK director of sales and program management, said, “[Whitten’s] extensive leadership experience in law enforcement, particularly in grants and procurement, will make him quite an asset now that he sits on the other side of the desk — so to speak.”

Whitten joined HK in 2019 as a customer service representative after retiring from a 25-year law enforcement career.

S. Faldon

Umarex USA Retains Marketing Manager

Scott Faldon was appointed marketing manager for Umarex USA. In this position, he will lead, manage and execute holistic marketing strategies for the company’s product categories in North America.

Justin “JB” Biddle, Umarex VP of marketing, said, “We’re excited Scott brings with him both a passion for the outdoors and a solid marketing background that will assist us and our retail partners in connecting our brand and products with the end user.”

Faldon’s industry career spans more than 25 years. He joins Umarex after several years with PRADCO. Prior to that, Faldon covered sports news as a writer and editor at the Times Record of Fort Smith. He earned a bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Arkansas.

W. Smith

ETS Group Taps Sales Manager

ETS Group welcomed Wylie Smith as national sales manager where he oversees national accounts and sales reps.

“Wylie brings with him a skill set essential in the hook-and-bullet market,” said ETS Group VP of Sales Jim Hansen. “We believe Wylie will help us to position ourselves as a premier business in the tactical and outdoor industries.”

Smith has over three decades of experience in sales, purchasing and distribution from serving as director of purchasing at RSR Group.

K. Jones

APEX Ammunition Welcomes Marketing Director

Kile Jones has joined APEX Ammunition as the director of marketing where he will spearhead the development and management of marketing initiatives for the company and work with the current advertising, communications and social media teams.

Jason Lonsberry, APEX CEO stated, “[Jones] will be a key part of our team as we continue to navigate the explosive growth we’ve experienced these past few years and find new ways to engage with our customers.”

Jones was an APEX Ambassador before joining the company. He previously served as marketing specialist for Dive Bomb Industries and worked for Higdon Outdoors/Power Calls as national sales manager.

Have new hires or promotion announcements to share? Send releases to: editor@shootingindustry.com

NEW PARTNERSHIPS

Distribution

Chattanooga Shooting Supplies expanded its offerings with the addition of Rugged Rare’s line of concealed carry bags, wallets and EDC belts.

Kinsey’s added Rock Island Armory firearms and SIG SAUER Electro-Optics and ammunition to its distribution assortment.

Wolf Premium Oils announced a new distribution relationship with Blue Ridge Knives. Blue Ridge Knives will assist in getting Wolf Premium Oils products into the hands of dealers across the country.

International

Blaser Group hired Gravel Agency as its manufacturer’s representative group for Canada. The Gravel team will serve as Blaser Group’s sole sales representatives for the Blaser, Mauser and Sauer brands.

Sales Representation

Blaser Group announced Dunkin-Lewis Inc. is now its sole manufacturers’ representative for all the company’s brands throughout the U.S. The brands include Blaser, Mauser, Sauer and Rigby rifles; Minox optics; and Liemke Thermal Optics.

Liberty Ammunition is teaming up with Maschmedt & Associates for sales representation in the Western U.S.

AMERIGLO entered a new partnership with Outtech Inc. for exclusive sales representation of the AMERIGLO product line in the U.S. market.

PR/Marketing

Wild Society Coffee engaged Hunter Outdoor Communications as its public relations agency of record. The company will manage Wild Society Coffee’s public relations and communications strategy worldwide.

Fast and Friendly Brass partnered with hunting and shooting sports firm Full-Throttle Communications for press relations, advertising and marketing.

GAT Marketing welcomed AMMO Inc. as a new customer. Ammo Inc. is the owner of GunBroker.com and producer of ammunition and components.

Blue August LLC was selected by ET Arms Inc. to assist in public and media relations through brand awareness, event promotion and industry presence. Blue August will guide marketing efforts to ensure all promotional platforms work together seamlessly.

Fisher Space Pen and Barnett have named Source Outdoor Group as agency of record. Source Outdoor Group is tasked with a wide range of responsibilities for the brands, including public relations and influencer management. Additionally, Medal of Honor recipient from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Edward Byers Master Chief Ret. selected Source Outdoor Group as his agency of record. In this role, Source Outdoor Group will provide brand development, social media marketing and public relations services.

GPO USA announced its partnership with QuickFire to handle its social media and organic managed services.

Duck Commander named Murray Road Agency as its marketing agency of record, which includes day-to-day public relations efforts and media buying for all Commander brands: Duck Commander, Strut Commander, Fin Commander and Buck Commander.

Riton Optics selected Chevalier Advertising as its strategic public relations agency of record.

3Rivers Archery and Veil Camo have renewed commitments with UrgeMedia.

Liberty Ammunition teamed up with Frontier Media Labs for marketing and media services.

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