In 1987 I was fortunate to get hired as a part time associate for a local sporting goods store. Man, I was so lucky! I grew up outdoors – hunting, fishing, camping, skiing… and now I get to work at a store selling sporting goods. Little did I realize at the time that would be the start of an amazing 30 plus year career in the sporting goods industry. The following year I enlisted in the U.S.A.F. Reserves. Similarly, I didn’t realize at the time that I would be blessed to wear the Cloth of The Nation for 31 years. Then in 1991 I married the love of my life Jennifer, and my life changed forever.
The 90’s is when I first started to meld the leadership skills and experience I was gaining through my military service to my civilian career. I must admit that it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. However, the result was that before I realized it, I had gained the reputation as a “fixer” and was highly recruited throughout the sporting goods industry. During this period, my young family and I made several moves across the country and I was fortunate to work for several of the best retailers in the industry while participating with some of the top Squadrons in the Air Force. I learned a tremendous amount during this period from many great mentors.
December of 1999 was another defining moment in my life – I accepted a Sr. level position with one of the premier sporting goods buying groups in the country. I had come full circle. I left big box / chain retail behind and came back to my roots – helping locally owned and operated sporting goods stores and the brands that support them to thrive. While it was my reputation as a “fixer” that brought me here, it was here where I became known in the industry as a “builder”. I began to consciously meld the leadership, team building, and culture development skills I was gaining through my military service to my civilian career. Importantly, I began teaching these skills to the rest of the management team. Over the next 2 decades we built a RESILIENT company that drove positive change in the buying group channel of distribution while growing the company to over 400 dealers with programs from over 1,800 brands.
In the Spring of 2019, it was time to retire from the U.S.A.F. Reserves. It was an amazing 31-year career that went by way to quickly… As you can imagine this big life decision led me to consider others. Within a few months of retiring from the Air Force I found myself reflecting on what I wanted for my professional career in the coming decade. If I could do anything I wanted, what would that be? It didn’t take long to make another big life decision – it was time to leave what I was doing and get back to my roots once again. it was time to make a difference in the lives of others by helping them build great purpose driven businesses. That is what I am passionate about. I have been blessed to be at a point in my life where I can RELENTLESSLY pursue MY passion. I started Sports & Recreation Management Group with one focus – Dedicated to strengthening & growing the “grassroots” of the sporting goods industry.
You can view my detailed profile on LinkedIn