Newsmakers: December
2020 Issue


J. Deasis

Benchmade Names President, CEO

President Jon deAsis has been named the president and CEO of Benchmade, replacing Roberta deAsis who filled the role after the sudden passing of her husband and founder, Les deAsis. Jon takes on the new title to provide strategic leadership focused on guiding and solidifying Benchmade’s position in the market. Roberta now serves as chairwoman of the board.

Roberta deAsis shared, “Jon had been filling many of the CEO duties prior to the sudden passing of Les, and it was our longstanding goal to always be good stewards for Benchmade. I am proud to see Jon continuing to uphold the hallmark reputation his father started.”

Jon grew up in the business, learning and preparing himself for this role through various positions. He spent time in China honing his skills in supply chain and manufacturing management, and earned an MBA in 2015.

J. Brownlee

ASP Inc. Hires Gov’t Sales Director

John Brownlee joined ASP as the new director of government sales.

ASP VP of Sales Daryell Harmon said, “We have known John for some time and are excited to have him join the team. He’s established and respected in the industry, and already has significant experience selling ASP products, so we know he’ll hit the ground running.”

Brownlee brings 20 years of sales and management experience to his new role — a decade of which was spent in the public safety industry — and has worked for leading companies in both the retail and manufacturing sectors.

Most recently, he was a territory business manager for Elbeco Uniforms. He also held management positions at Galls and Atlantic Tactical.


Walk The Talk America Adds Board Member

Walk The Talk America (WTTA), a non-profit organization designed to bridge the gap between the firearms industry and owners and the mental health industry, welcomed the addition of Dustin Jones, CPA, as a new board member and its treasurer.

WTTA Founder Mike Sodini commented, “Dustin’s experience, skill set and work ethics bring so much to our organization. Besides his financial knowledge, organizational and public speaking skills, Dustin is passionate about helping people. … his experience with non-profits is an added plus for WTTA.”

Jones also serves as a board member and CFO (SVP) for Armscor Precision International. He worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Big Four Public Accounting firms prior to joining Armscor. He is also an author and holds several patents for products within the firearms industry.

M. Halleron

Fiocchi Appoints Sales VP

Fiocchi announced the appointment of Michael Halleron as the new VP of sales.

President and CEO of Fiocchi of America Anthony Acitelli stated, “Having Halleron at the helm of our sales force will continue to strengthen our relationships within the industry while providing expertise and guidance to the staff, as well as Fiocchi customers.”

As a 25-year industry veteran, Halleron’s experience is steeped in all aspects of sales and national business development. Before joining Fiocchi, he held instrumental roles at companies such as Federal Ammunition.

Halleron noted, “With [Fiocchi’s] expanding portfolio and company vision clearly outlined, I look forward to playing an integral part of the brand.”

M. Waldran

J. Blake

XS Sights Selects Ambassadors

Michelle Waldran and Jen Blake have been named XS Ambassadors for XS Sights where they will support the company’s social media efforts and introduce and educate women on firearms safety as well as training for self-defense.

Zack Kinsley, XS Sights’ marketing manager said, “We are delighted to have Michelle and Jen as XS Ambassadors and know their efforts will help us bring awareness to even more women about the importance of learning firearms safety and training for self-defense.”

Waldran is a certified NRA pistol instructor, Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) handgun instructor and Oklahoma Self-Defense Act instructor. She is also a member of Team Walther Arms.

An avid 3-Gun participant, Blake is a concealed carry instructor and appointed NRA Counselor who teaches and certifies students to become NRA Instructors in southern Ohio. She has also traveled the country training women how to use firearms safely, and enjoys helping grow the number of women who own firearms.

B. Singletary

M. Okun

A. Whatley

A. Torres

Primary Arms Hires, Promotes Staff

Primary Arms Online hired Beth Singletary as soft-lines merchandising manager. This position covers all apparel and gear categories within the assortment. She will lead comprehensive soft-lines strategy and establish key relationships within the tactical apparel industry. Singletary has more than 10 years’ retail and merchandising experience in the apparel industry.

Matt Okun was promoted to hard-lines merchandising manager for Primary Arms Online where he oversees the buying strategy for most firearms products, including rifles, pistols, optics, ammunitions, parts and accessories. Okun joined the company as an FFL manager in 2018, and over time joined the merchandising team as an associate buyer where he managed the firearms category and other hard- goods categories.

Aaron Whatley promoted to Primary Arms Online director of merchandising after joining the company in 2012 as a marketing manager. During that time, he greatly expanded Primary Arms’ online offerings while enhancing profitability and market reach.

As U.S. inside sales and operations manager for Primary Arms Optics, Antonio Torres is responsible for managing OEM opportunities, GSA and prime vendor accounts and sales operations. He joined the company in 2018 as the order operations specialist and promoted to sales operations specialist in 2019.

Lubrication Specialties Inc. Advances Director

As director of branding and promotions for Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), Kyle Fischer is responsible for working closely with the directors of marketing and sales to develop positioning for Hot Shot’s Secret branded products for each market. Fischer will also coordinate and implement promotional activities to select targeted audiences ensuring a consistent brand image, and to increase brand awareness and product sales in the U.S. and abroad.

Fischer joined LSI in 2017 as director of marketing followed by a promotion in 2019 to director of sales. He has more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, sales and management positions, and degrees in both marketing and business administration from Franklin University.

RubLine Marketing Adds Graphic Designer

RubLine Marketing added graphic designer Abi Johnston to the agency’s team. She is responsible for helping clients with logo development, designing print and digital artwork for advertisements and other placement, developing digital assets for client websites, monitoring and managing client branding efforts and supporting digital storefronts for various e-commerce clients.

Bangers LP Retains Buyer

Bangers LP welcomed Chris Davenport as a buyer within their purchasing team.

Davenport most recently held the position of product line manager with Palmetto State Armory (PSA) where he managed purchasing and demand planning for the ammunition category across five retail locations as well as e-commerce sales.

Previous to PSA, he served as an ammunition category manager/buyer for United Sporting Companies.

DRG Manufacturing Hires COO

DRG Manufacturing LLC recently hired Jason Curns as COO. He will oversee the operations of all CNC OEM projects, as well as provide additional support in the business development department.

Curns brings 13 years’ experience from working firearms manufacturing industry, as well as 12 years’ experience in compliance, customer service/logistics and supply chain operations. Most recently, Curns was VP of Grey Ghost Precision where he designed the MKI and MKII rifle platforms.