James L. Easton, CEO of Jas. D. Easton Inc., received the Olive Branch Achievement Award from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Allstate Insurance Co. during his induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
Easton is CEO of Jas. D. Easton Inc., an international sporting goods company started by his father, Doug, in 1922. The company includes archery subsidiaries such as Easton Technical Products (arrows and mountain products), Hoyt Archery (bows) and Delta Sports (targets). He also founded the nonprofit Easton Foundations, which develops grassroots programs in schools, colleges, universities and communities to help inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.
The USOC’s Olive Branch award honors those who best represent the international ideals of the Olympic movement by building a peaceful and better world through sport. The induction ceremony was July 12 in Chicago.
Other 2012 inductees were Gail Devers, track and field; Jean Driscoll, Paralympic track and field; Gary Hall Jr., swimming; Lisa Fernandez, softball; Kristine Lilly, soccer; Dan O’Brien, track and field; Jenny Thompson, swimming; the 2004 U.S. Olympic softball team; Ed Temple, track and field coach; James Connolly, track and field veteran; and Sen. Ted Stevens, special contributor.
For health reasons, Easton couldn’t attend the induction ceremony. His son Greg, president of Jas. D. Easton Inc. and chair of the Archery Trade Association Board of Directors, accepted the award on his behalf.
“This is a great honor for my dad,” Greg Easton said this week while attending the 2012 London Olympics. “His life work was supporting archery and the Olympic movement, and he was moved to receive this award.”
Easton said his father’s integrity, strong work ethic and passion for innovation helped grow the Easton companies. He said his father shared those principles in his work with international sports and the Olympic movement. That involvement began in 1976 when he helped return archery to the Olympics at the Montreal Games.
“My father is a humble man who always worked harder than anyone I know,” Easton said. “His humility and his integrity set the standard for the organizations he was involved with, and were of great value to these organizations. His strong personality helped change the culture of these organizations for the better, and for the betterment of sport around the world.
“My father does not talk a lot about what he accomplished in his various international roles, and I think we may never know the full scope of his positive influence. But I know everything he did was with the utmost integrity, and was driven by a passion to improve everything he was involved in.”
To see a video clip of the award ceremony and Greg Easton’s acceptance speech, visit this Web link: https://vimeo.com/45839497.
In a statement released before the ceremony, Jim Easton said: “This award … was unexpected and I appreciate the honor. I have always been proud to represent the U.S. in my various international roles. I have very good friends in the international sports community, and share this honor with them.”
Jay McAninch, ATA CEO/president, said the archery industry has long benefited from Jim Easton’s work and commitment to the sport and the Olympics.
“Our industry needs to honor and direct more attention to those who support the Olympic archery program, and no one sets a better example than Jim Easton,” McAninch said. “He’s at the head of that list, by far. Our industry must do all it can the next four years to build on Jim’s legacy and make the Olympics and world archery competition a major source of industry pride.”
Easton’s work with the Olympic and Paralympic movements included being the founding donor of the World Archery’s Fondation Internationale de Developpement du Tir a l’Arc (FIDTA). He also served as president of archery’s international governing body, World Archery (then known as FITA), from 1989 until 2005. He remains the organization’s honorary president.
He became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1994, and served as IOC vice president and member of the executive board from 2002 to 2006. He currently serves on the IOC’s nominations and marketing commissions, and is a member of the USOC Board of Directors.
“It is an honor to recognize Jim Easton with the Olive Branch Achievement Award for his contributions to the growth of Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the United States,” said Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive officer. “Jim has been a friend to the USOC for many years, and has given much in support of the aspirations of our Olympians and Paralympians. He is a true sportsman at heart and his love of sport shows in all that he does.”
Source: Archery Trade Association