Kenyon Gleason

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President's Message: The Show Must Go On

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 6/11/20 8:00 AM

In the immortal words of the band Queen, “The show must go on.”

And the 2020 NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting is going to happen. We continue to see movement and changes in the re-opening of our economy and in hotels, event spaces and pretty much every other business and service you can think of. This is true now in many states.

In the case of the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX, they are actually going to be hosting some fairly large events in July, August and September, long in advance of our arrival. The hotel has developed protocols regarding events at their facility. We’ve posted information from the hotel, along with a whole host of information on a SPECIAL COVID-19 webpage as a part of our NASGW Expo website. You can find it here: https://nasgwexpo.org/covid-resources#.

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President's Message: Moms, Dads and Life Lessons

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 5/13/20 1:45 PM

I love baseball.

Ok, so I love a lot of sports, but I desperately want baseball to return this summer. I really hope it does. I don’t care if it’s a shortened season. The crack of the bat and ball coming together is a sound I’ll never get tired of hearing.

 Growing up in the ’70s and '80s just outside a small town in North Dakota, baseball was our life in the summer. And my small town was actually rather well-known for its baseball prowess. There are probably state championship banners still hanging from the rafters in the old school gymnasium, right there next to the words of our old school fight song.

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President's Message: Standing Together, Standing Strong

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 4/17/20 11:17 AM

I want to go back in time just a few months, to October and our annual NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting in Orlando. Every year we kick off our show with an annual banquet and awards show. For those of you in attendance, you’ll remember I talked rather candidly about the tough year for shooting sports distribution in 2019.

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President's Message: One Day At A Time

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 3/16/20 12:45 PM

I can honestly tell you, as I now approach 50 years on the planet, I’ve had the opportunity to experience some pretty amazing and unique things. Some good, some really awful.

When I was a television anchor and reporter, I had the chance to fly with the Blue Angels. Won’t EVER forget that. As controversial as the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone was (and still is), it was still pretty incredible to be in the enclosure the day they brought in a mother and her pups. We were allowed to film and even pet the wolf pups briefly. It was surreal.

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President's Message: An Optimistic Outlook

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 2/17/20 11:37 AM

On the farm where I grew up, in a very rural part of North Dakota, summers were hot, and the winters were brutally cold. In the spring and fall of the year you enjoyed a few days of spectacular weather and boy did we appreciate them.

That’s a pretty big exaggeration, but those of you from the northern U.S., and rural communities in particular, likely understand just how difficult the winters can be and how quick the summers fly by. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to believe it takes a certain type of person, generally a very optimistic person, to deal with the wild swings in weather and the inherent seclusion that comes from living where you mostly have to do it yourself, and you sometimes just need to do without. There were no YouTube instruction videos to help!

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President's Message: 2020 is Here, Are you Seeing Clearly?

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 1/15/20 5:27 PM

Trade show “silly season” is upon us. Many of you reading this have already taken part in a whole host of trade show activities and you’ve been traveling like mad as the 2020 sales season gets into full swing. I wish I could alleviate that pain for you all, but it won’t get much better until after IWA in March, and then only just a slight reprieve before we’ll be back at it for the annual NRA event in April. As I’m writing this, and surely as you read this, many of you are putting the final touches on your 2020 Shot Show preparations.

As you do that, I want to take just a moment to wish you all a Happy New Year! I know a number of you, who had a difficult year last year, would prefer to never think of 2019 again. So, let’s all resolve to make 2020 a fantastic year in our industry and put 2019 into the dustbin of history.

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President's Message: The Best Presents Don’t Always Come in Boxes

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 12/13/19 11:21 AM

Sometimes the best presents don’t come in a box, aren’t found under the Christmas tree and aren’t decorated in fancy paper and bows. Every once in a while, the best presents come from cutting a giant ribbon out front of your new building, with hundreds of friends there to celebrate with you.

Such was the case earlier this month when Taurus cut the ribbon for the grand opening of their new manufacturing facility in Bainbridge, Georgia. Taurus was very warmly received in the state of Georgia, and even Governor Brian Kemp was on hand to offer his congratulations to one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers for opening up shop in the state. There were hundreds of industry leaders, city, county, and state officials and plenty of local supporters and gun enthusiasts on site.

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President's Message: Did Somebody Turn up the Metronome?

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 11/18/19 8:32 AM

I was a music student as a kid. Took piano lessons, played saxophone in the band, was a singer in the choir. In each of these musical endeavors, the metronome was involved. If you’re not familiar, or not a musician, a metronome is a device that makes a clicking sound at a regular beat, to make sure that everyone stays on time and the music progresses at the proper speed. 

 Every once in a while, some wisecracker would crank up the metronome to get the band playing at a ridiculously fast pace, prompting the music teacher to sprout a few bulging blood vessels in frustration. Of course, we all got a good chuckle.

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President's Message: Uncomfortable? Good, It Will Make You Better

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 10/14/19 8:47 PM

“In order to take things to the next level, you need to become really uncomfortable where you are.”

I wrote that down recently in a journal I keep. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down where I saw or heard it. But that’s something I often do, jot down short notes that strike me as meaningful to my life and work.

I thought this statement was exceptionally relevant right now, because If this is true, then the shooting sports business should be in for a very nice “level up” in the near future.

As I’m sure you can imagine, in my role leading the NASGW, I have the privilege of speaking to people from across the industry on a regular basis. And every year as the Expo draws near, the frequency of those conversations is much more active.

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President's Message: Real Communication Requires Effort, But Comes With Rewards

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 9/16/19 11:41 AM

It’s gotten to the point in the past few weeks that I barely even sign on to my Instagram, Twitter, or other social media accounts. Time spent on those apps has decreased significantly.

It’s not because I don’t find some value there, but often I get the distinct impression when scrolling through my news feeds that many people have forgotten the fine art of reading and comprehension. I liken the experience of reading through a Twitter feed to being in a room full of people screaming at each other. There’s no talking, listening or understanding, just a cacophony of loud, irritating and irrational noise. (Might be a bit of a stretch, but I hope you see my point.)

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