NEWSMAKERS: May 2020 Issue


S. Cupero

Smith & Wesson Elevates Sales VP

Sue Cupero was promoted to the role of VP of sales at Smith & Wesson. Cupero is responsible for the management of all commercial and professional firearms sales channels for Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center and Gemtech brands.

Mark Smith, American Outdoor Brands co-CEO, said, “Sue has been an instrumental leader in our sales organization while earning a high degree of respect from not only our customers, but across our entire industry. Her deep knowledge of our company, our products and our multiple sales channels positions her exceptionally well to lead our sales team into the future.”

She joined S&W in 1979 in an accounting capacity. Successful relationships established with the organization’s external customers as well as its internal sales force resulted in numerous promotions within the sales and marketing organization.

D. Ajeska

5.11 Tactical Welcomes VP

Deborah Ajeska has joined 5.11 Tactical’s executive team as the global VP, people and administration. She has worldwide responsibility for 5.11 HR and legal, working with teams in California as well as offices in Australia, Brazil, Dubai, Hong Kong, Malmo, Sweden and Mexico.

“Deb brings over 20 years of experience as a strategic executive leader, with expertise in organizational development, change management, leadership development and knowledge of the core HR disciplines,” said 5.11 CEO Francisco Morales. “She has a strong connection to the brand, with multiple personal ties to military and law enforcement.”

In her most recent role as VP of HR and administration at West Marine, she oversaw human resources, benefits, payroll, talent management, legal and loss prevention, as well as financial planning and analysis.

K. Kipping

NASGW Selects Director

NASGW has selected Kelly Kipping, who has over 25 years of experience in association management, to fill the position of member services director.

She is responsible for managing the NASGW membership database, regular membership, financial reporting, processing dues payments, processing Expo registrations and booth selections/purchases and assisting the NASGW financial manager.
Kipping earned a bachelor of science in textile and apparel design from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

J. Wisniewski

NSSF Presents R3 Award

NSSF presented its R3 Leader of the Year Award to Jenifer Wisniewski. Wisniewski is currently chief of outreach and communication with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency where she is responsible for recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts.

NSSF Director of Research and Market Development Jim Curcuruto presented the award, noting, “Jenifer has been a leader in the R3 world for many years. We appreciate her efforts, as well as those of many others who are working to learn about and implement successful R3 techniques.”

Wisniewski is also president of the Association for Conservation Information, chair of the marketing working group for the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports and the chair of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies outreach working group that created the Making It Last toolkit.

Bill Hicks & Co. Ltd. Hires Director

Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. announced the hire of Randy Moeller to fill the director of sales position. Moeller will focus on maintaining and enhancing current customer relationships, while pursuing new accounts and business development.

Pure Archery Group Promotes Sales VP

Pure Archery Group promoted Jon DuMars to VP of sales. He has been with the Bowtech brands for the past four years as the director of sales.

During his four years as director of sales, he led the sales team to grow all brands under the Pure Archery Group portfolio.

Prior to Pure Archery Group, DuMars spent 15 years in the archery industry developing business, brands and markets while working for several outdoor companies.

Benchmade Mourns Founder

Les de Asis, founder of Benchmade Knife Company, passed away February 21, 2020.

Les’ son, Jon, shared, “My father loved all customers, employees, friends and the storied list of knife makers who influenced him and the world of knives since his humble beginnings in the ’70s. He was especially passionate and proud of the knife and shooting sports industries and always hoped they would thrive well beyond his years. … The values, culture and essence of our brand are all thanks to his lifelong pursuit of making great knives even better, and providing users with products they can depend on every day, no matter the circumstance.”

Pelican Products Inc. Merges Units, Promotes CCO

Pelican Products Inc. has combined two of its U.S. divisions into one entity. The company’s Consumer Division (outdoor/adventure, hunt, fish, camp, etc.) and Commercial/Government Division (military, fire/safety, police, industrial, aerospace, etc.) have merged into a single unit. To lead the newly combined entity, Stephan Corti was promoted from his previous position as president of the Commercial/Government Division to chief commercial officer.

Several other key leaders have been promoted to take on new and/or expanded roles: Mitra Giles to SVP of U.S. sales; Kevin Deighton to SVP of engineering and product development; Michael Tessman to VP of commercial and government sales; Catherine Shilander to director of commercial and government sales, eastern U.S.; John Luna to senior director of product management; and Mike Iacono to director of sales operations and financial support.

Faw’s Communications Open For Business

With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, Michael D. Faw has opened a full-service agency to bring products to market and build brands.

Faw’s Communications will offer a full range of marketing and PR services including: event creation and hosting, developing marketing and branding strategies and tracking/reporting results, press releases and white papers, exec and employee communication coaching and ad creation and catalog production.

Faw served in the U.S. Army, was a L.E. officer and has served on the editorial staff of several hunting publications.

HEVI-Shot Welcomes Director

HEVI-Shot welcomed Scott Turner as the new director of sales and marketing. He will focus on educating consumers about HEVI-Shot’s high-density performance advantages, translating these into high-margin opportunities for the company’s dealers and significant exposure opportunities for marketing partners.

Turner has a distinguished military career and is credited with building Northwest Self-Defense Education, a business serving shooters from beginner level to more advanced SWAT teams.

Click To Read More Shooting Industry May 2020 Issue Now!