Jan. 11, 2024 (St. Louis) – The Archery Trade Association is pleased to present its fifth annual 2024 award winners, including a recipient for the ATA’s new Industry Icon award, recipients for the ATA’s Impact Award and products for the revamped New Product Launch Showcase awards. ATA staff announced and congratulated the winners on Jan. 11 at the 2024 ATA Show during ATA’s Industry Celebration, presented by Mossy Oak.
“Each award recipient has gone to impressive lengths to grow the archery and bowhunting community or create innovative products that help participants enjoy archery and improve their skills,” said Jeff Poole, ATA’s president and CEO. “It’s truly amazing to see archery bring out the best in people, and we’re honored to present this year’s award winners.”
New for 2024: ATA’s Industry Icon Award
The ATA’s Industry Icon Award is presented to someone who’s founded an industry-leading company, developed industry-changing products or helped significantly grow participation in archery sports. This person is an industry pioneer who’s become iconic because of their contributions. The ATA presented its inaugural industry icon award to:
- Pete Shepley, founded and lead PSE Archery for 50-plus years: Shepley is one of the most well-known figures in the archery industry. He founded PSE Archery more than 50 years ago in a backyard shed and grew it into one of the largest and most respected companies in the archery industry. Shepley helped design and engineer hundreds of PSE products and is credited with over 77 archery patents. He started the PSE Dealer School in the early 80’s to teach archery professionals about products and archer development. Throughout his archery career, Shepley also competed internationally and hunted big game all over the world.
ATA’s Impact Award Recipients
The ATA’s Impact Award is presented to people and companies that use their voice or platform to inspire others to enjoy and participate in archery and bowhunting. The 2024 recipients are:
- Heath McDonald, founder of Young Guns Archery LLC: McDonald inspired and encouraged more youth to try archery through his nonprofit organization, Young Guns University and the Young Guns Archery mobile trailer he created. He passed away in 2022 but his legacy and efforts live on through the program and archery scholarships created in his name.
- Aaron Scheer, Executive Director of Centershot Ministries: Scheer took over Centershot Ministries in 2019 and grew the organization tremendously in the past four years. He created two new innovative archery programs to connect people to Christ through archery. Scheer competes nationally in 3D archery and has been a pro shop technician for over 12 years.
- J.D. Strong, former director for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation: Strong served the state of Oklahoma for over 30 years and was the OKDWC department director for seven. He was instrumental in creating a digital licensing system for the state and expanded hunting and fishing land holdings by nearly 80,000 acres during his tenure. He served on numerous outdoor leadership committees and helped foster outdoor education and training of over 55,000 students.
New Product Launch Showcase Award Recipients
The New Product Launch Showcase features products launched at the 2024 ATA Show. This year, three out of over 150 products were awarded for their new product design, innovation and ability to meet customer demands. The winning products are:
- 1st Place: StealthRig Lite by StealthRig LLC
- 2nd Place: Hypo 2 Blade by ANNIHILATOR BROADHEADS
- 3rd Place: HyperLite Climbing Sticks by Trophyline USA
The ATA also added six new award categories for the New Product Launch Showcase this year and the winners are:
- Best New Bow: Ballista MegaBAT by BALLISTA
- Best New Broadhead: Hypo 2 Blade by ANNIHILATOR BROADHEADS
- Best New Release: The Ultimate Flex by T.R.U. Ball & AXCEL Archery
- Best New Technology: QuivAR – Archery Shot Analysis App by QuivAR
- Best New Gear: Tetrad Ultimate Duffle Bag by Twisted Iron Hunting
- Best New Accessory: Tree Gear Collection by JAKT GEAR
The ATA created the awards program in 2020 to recognize individuals and companies that make significant contributions to the future of archery.
About the Archery Trade Association
The Archery Trade Association is the organization for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. The ATA has served its members since 1953. We work to increase the recruitment and retention of new, current and once-active archers and bowhunters. We are the driving force in defending, educating, and lobbying for the greater good of the industry and sport. We preserve and promote archery and bowhunting’s rich heritage to ensure active consumer participation, and successful manufacturing and retailing for generations to come. The organization also owns and operates the ATA Show, the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and longest-running trade show worldwide.