NEW ULM, Minn. – The Archery Trade Association has chosen Matt Kormann of Marietta, Georgia, as its next president/CEO, after a nationwide hunt led by an executive search firm.
Kormann is currently senior vice president of corporate account sales for the Freeman Co., a $2.4 billion world leader in event marketing. His 17-year career at Freeman helped Kormann learn the best practices of hundreds of businesses, industries and associations while becoming a business leader and passionate team coach. Kormann also learned grassroots politics while serving as a trustee for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, and as a member of its budget and finance committee.
Kormann will succeed Jay McAninch, who announced in March that 2017 would be his last year as ATA’s president/CEO. Kormann expects to begin his ATA tenure on October 16.
Kormann stood out to the ATA Board of Directors’ CEO search committee for his business acumen and diverse experience, and for his passion for archery. Kormann’s daughter is a compound-bow archer who competes nationally and internationally in 3-D and target archery; and Kormann is a certified archery instructor and judge who traveled over 4,000 miles in recent months to support his daughter in competition.
Kormann’s archery fervor guided his decision to apply for the ATA’s CEO position. “Opportunities like this are exceedingly rare,” Kormann said. “The ATA has an incredible foundation. Expert leadership and a culture of collaboration between members and staff have allowed it to thrive. I’m confident we can bring this great sport to even more bowhunting and tournament participants, while strengthening the industry as a whole. While all of that is exciting for me, this role is really unique. It blends the things I’ve been most passionate about in my professional life with what I’m most passionate about away from work. Our family fell in love with archery almost five years ago. Since then, it’s taken us throughout America and as far away as Argentina. When I learned of Jay’s retirement, I knew I had to take a shot.”
Board members were equally enthusiastic about Kormann after reviewing the qualifications of several outstanding candidates. Kormann’s most distinguished professional experience includes expertise in sales, customer service, business development, strategic planning and event management.
“Matt was the clear finalist to take to the full Board for approval,” said ATA Board Chair Ben Summers, vice president of T.R.U. Ball/AXCEL. “Rather than depending on the information given to candidates during the hiring process, Matt drilled down and talked to several dealers. He knew intricate details about our industry, and had great ideas to fix important problems. It was easy to see that Matt understands business and cares about the people he serves. Most importantly, however, Matt clearly knew archery and bowhunting like a seasoned professional. I believe he will care about our retail and manufacturing businesses like they are his own.”
Kormann said he is excited to combine his work ethic and love of archery to serve the ATA’s membership. “My first responsibility is to listen and learn,” he said. “I’ll be doing just that, beginning Day One. The Board, Jay and our incredible staff have helped build a map that ensures success. It’s focused on time in the field. I’ll be meeting with members, both virtually and in person. I’m eager to hear what’s working, and how we can work together to improve. I’m eager to listen, so that we can design a strategy that will support our members’ goals while continuing to strengthen the ATA.”
ATA Board members are confident in Kormann.
“I am very pleased to have Matt joining the ATA,” said Greg Easton, president of Jas. D. Easton Inc., and a member of the ATA Board’s executive committee. “We had a large pool of candidates, and the finalists were all well-qualified, but the search committee was unanimous in our selection and support of Matt. Matt brings some exciting skills, experience and interest in archery to the ATA’s CEO position, and I look forward to working with him.”
Mark Copeland, store director for Jay’s Sporting Goods in Michigan, and a member of the ATA Board’s executive committee, agreed. “Matt brings a level of enthusiasm for archery that was palpable in his interviews,” Copeland said. “His travel this year alone with his daughter’s competitions is a testament to his dedication to our sport. I am very confident in the skillset he brings to our team. I look forward to seeing Matt in action as he guides the ATA into the future, with fresh ideas and outside-the-box thinking.”
McAninch will remain engaged in his current ATA responsibilities to help Kormann transition into the president/CEO role. The “changing of the guard” will help foster strong relationships while building on McAninch’s 17 years of success in the position. The 2018 ATA Trade Show is expected to include a celebration of McAninch’s ATA career, and meetings between Kormann and industry stakeholders.
McAninch plans to spend more time afield bowhunting and bowfishing with his grandchildren, but Summers is confident McAninch will “continue to be a force for good in the conservation community.”