The Price is Right: Getting to Know USA Shooting Board Chairman Jeff Price
Today's feature comes to us from USA Shooting.
Successful businessman and shooting sports industry consultant Jeff Price was named Chairman of the USA Shooting Board of Directors on March 11. His passion, business acumen and drive are already proving to be a tremendous asset to USA Shooting in helping solidify its current status as a shooting sports power and to pave the way for the National Governing Body well into the future. We sat down with Chairman Price to learn more about him and his interest in keeping USA Shooting on target.
What was your interest in becoming a USA Shooting BOD member?
I've always had a personal interest in the shooting sports. As a young boy with my first .22 rifle to today, hunting upland birds, it's just been a part of my life. So, when the opportunity came along to volunteer some time to help our Olympic athletes in the sport of shooting, well, it was an easy decision to say "yes."
What type of impact do you hope to have with athletes, staff & sponsors?
Simply said, I hope I can create some excitement for USA Shooting. For the athletes, I would hope that they will see that the new BOD really wants to help them succeed. Help can come in many forms, of course, money, which can help with their training. But frankly, I think that our more open and transparent style of governance, with more inclusion by the athletes, can help to create a different culture where everyone realizes that we are working together towards success. For the sponsors, I see a huge opportunity for USA Shooting to further the sport of shooting. By working together, we can bring many more kids into the sport - a sport that truly lasts a lifetime. And for the staff, I recognize that change can be difficult, but at the same time, I believe that people all want to be a part of a winning team. USA Shooting can and will be a winning team for the athletes, the shooting industry and America.
The USA Shooting BOD is a diverse group of professionals, athletes and officials. As you begin to know more about them and the organization, what will be the main focus of the BOD to help move the organization to the next level?
I truly am humbled by the quality of people that are represented on the USA Shooting Board. It seems by all accounts that this NGB has been tasked to be run in a much more business-like manner and to that end, our athlete reps, our officials and the independent BODs, along with staff, are all working together to increase our level of professionalism and effectiveness.
With four highly-successful business professionals sitting on the BOD as Independent Directors, what business values do you all bring to the table that will help transform USA Shooting for the better?
I have worked at (one time) and with nonprofits much of my life. Years ago, there were significant differences in the way for-profit companies and not-for-profit entities were run. While I still see differences, the deltas are being reduced and the really good non-profit organizations are much more like for-profit companies. Our independent directors, just because of their life experiences, will attack this "project" as they would any other. I'm sure you'll see a focus on planning, on measurable goals, on driving income and on taking care of customers - in this case, our athletes and our sponsors.
As leader of a new BOD, what type of impact can you have in helping shape a new direction for USA Shooting?
Frankly, I'm hoping I can have an impact on revenues. The last company that I ran had some 600+ employees when I arrived and for the most part, they felt like they had been neglected. I remember saying to them on my first day that I was going to focus on driving revenues, not on cutting costs. We became hugely successful as a company - a company of individual winners working together as a team. I think the same holds true here. If we focus on revenue, we will better provide for the success of our athletes, and at the same time, grow the sport of shooting in America's youth, which will better provide for the success of our sponsors.
What are the hot-button issues you're helping to address a couple months into your role as Chair of USA Shooting?
Right now, there are some significant issues that our sport is facing on the international front. Changes in the Olympic shooting events being proposed for Tokyo in 2020 are being met with stiff opposition in some places around the world. I believe that it's possible that my relative "outsider status" can actually be an asset in helping to bring our industry together. Politics and personal agendas have a place, but right now we need to work together in an environment of transparency to help further the sport.
How is the BOD planning to help address prior issues raised by membership and athletes regarding USA Shooting
operations while also trying to move the organization forward?
I was obviously not here during the "prior issues," and while I do not want to spend significant time looking in my review mirror, my overview of the issues seems to lead me to believe that the issues centered largely around a lack of transparency. So, just as in the issues being faced by the international community, a more open environment is required in today's world. Today's best companies are not run with a top-down management style. Rather, today's best companies are run through practices of inclusion. And as I have said, this NGB will be run much more like a business.
You're particularly interested and invested in increasing industry awareness and support for USA Shooting. What steps will you be taking to reach that goal?
I plan to increase awareness in the benefits of the shooting industry's involvement to our sport of Olympic shooting -- features and benefits -- it's really quite simple. The feature is that nowhere else in our country is there a more favorable view towards shooting than Olympic shooting. Great, but how does that translate into bottom-line performance of our sponsors? The association of sponsors to the tangible people, our Olympians, and our good old Red, White and Blue is a proven success model in sport after sport. Its message is easy to communicate, but we just need to do more of it.
What message do you have for USA Shooting's athletes and your desire to ensure their success?
My message is: "Words are easy and cheap. Don't judge me and this new Board by words you may hear or see. Rather, see what we are doing, what we are trying to accomplish, and ideally see it firsthand. Get involved with us. Let us know if you're interested in helping. As a team, we can be the best in the world - literally. I know I can speak for everyone on this new Board when I tell you that we are giving of our time because we care about YOU!"
What conclusions have you drawn thus far about USA Shooting in the short time you've had to observe, listen and help guide?
It's the people in the USA Shooting world that I love. I've only met just a small fraction of our athletes and then only ever so briefly, but as with every Olympic athlete I've met during my life, these people represent some of the best in America. Through their efforts, the hard work by the staff and the financial support from our sponsors, I envision a winning future.
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Winchester Ammunition is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team: WinchesterÆ Ammunition has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor and supplier of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team since 1999. Members of the past two shotgun teams brought home a combined six medals from London and Beijing using Winchester AA International Target loads. Winchester is an industry leader in advancing and supporting conservation, hunter education and our country's proud shooting sports heritage. For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products, visit winchester.com.
About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at usashooting.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting