The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) has named two new members, Joseph P. DeBergalis, Jr. and Mark T. Wade, to its Board of Directors. The new members assumed their roles this week at the board’s annual meeting in San Antonio.
DeBergalis, of West Seneca, New York, is a board member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), where he chairs the NRA Education and Training Committee. He is also Vice President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and is active in many other shooting organizations.
Wade is the Managing Principal of Echelon Wealth Strategies, LLC in Westfield, New Jersey. He has been an active member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association for more than 30 years and is a Life Member of the National Sporting Clays Association and National Skeet Shooting Association.
“We are most fortunate to have Joe and Mark as our newest members of the Board of Directors for the SSSF,” said Louise K. Terry, Chairperson of the Board. “They both bring to their positions on the board substantial background and experience in business and the shooting sports that make them great additions to our team.”
Also at this week’s meeting, the Board of Directors held its annual election of officers. Louise K. Terry was re-elected as chair, and Ed Fitzgerald was elected vice chair, replacing Michael Hampton, Jr., whose term expired.
In 2014, Eric Tarbox of Gorham, Maine, was elected to the Board of Directors, bringing his experience working with youth programs as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America to the SSSF. Other board members include Louise K. Terry, Michael Hampton, Jr., Denis Karnosky, Ed Fitzgerald, Paul Pluff, Thomas Edwards, and Carlton Nether.
Leaving the SSSF Board of Directors following completion of her term is Kemble du Pont. “We want to thank Kemble for her years of service and contributions to our shared interest in youth development through the shooting sports,” said Terry.
Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) announces several executive and operational changes to accommodate our continued growth and position the Foundation for planned future expansion.
The Board of Directors has created a new position, Director of Foundation Development, which will be filled by our current Executive Director and President, Dan Hathaway, leveraging his extensive background in fundraising and relationship management.
“While the Executive Director has previously shouldered the dual role of operations and development, we are at the right point in our organizational evolution that a Director of Foundation Development is now warranted,” said Louise K. Terry, Chairperson of the SSSF Board of Directors. “Dan’s prior experience in development and his past two years with SSSF make him uniquely qualified for this position.”
Hathaway will assume responsibility for developing and managing new funding sources and relationships, building on the support of current sponsors and patrons. “We are fortunate to have dedicated benefactors for whom we are very grateful, especially Larry and Brenda Potterfield, as well as the MidwayUSA Foundation, who continue to support our efforts generously,” said Terry.
Assuming the role of President and Executive Director will be Ben Berka, currently a member of the SSSF Board of Directors and the Shooting Sports Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Berka created the Iowa DNR Shooting Sports Program from the ground up and has led the SCTP program there to become the largest participating state in the country. In 2013, Berka launched the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) in Iowa through the DNR.
“Ben Berka has been SSSF’s most successful State coordinator, and his results are unmatched by any other individual or state organization,” said Terry. “SCTP and SPP programs throughout the country will benefit from his experience, and we’re expecting him to direct a dynamic and exciting path forward for our programs.”
“I’m honored to join the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation in this new role,” Berka commented. “The staff members and volunteers involved in the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Scholastic Pistol Program are some of the most passionate, dedicated individuals on the planet. As part of the SSSF team, along with Program Directors Tom Wondrash (SCTP) and Scott Moore (SPP), I look forward to guiding the continued growth of youth shooting sports across the nation.”
Hathaway and Berka will assume their new positions effective March 31, 2014.
In conjunction with the upcoming executive staff changes, SSSF will also relocate home-office administration and financial operations from the current Maumee, Ohio office to the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas.
“As the Headquarters of the National Skeet Shooting Association and National Sporting Clays Association, the National Shooting Complex is a natural choice to house the SSSF’s operations,” said Terry. “In addition to the convenience of San Antonio as a central, easily-accessible location for our staff and volunteers from around the country, we will benefit from the proximity to our partners, the NSSA and NSCA. Since we are the largest feeder program for youth shooters to NSSA-NSCA, we envision this as a win-win relationship.”
As NSSA President Bob De Francesco pointed out, this move is expected to be a great benefit to both organizations. The SCTP program has helped NSSA-NSCA grow by introducing the shooting sports to many young shooters and their families. The synergies between these organizations make us perfect partners and neighbors. Having SSSF operations in the same complex as NSSA-NSCA will facilitate continued cooperation in the future. “Rest assured, however, this does not mean that the National Championships will be moved to San Antonio,” said Terry. “In order to hold our event with both shotgun and pistol competitions, we plan to continue to utilize the WSRC facility in Sparta, IL, for our Nationals.”
We trust that you share in our excitement with these announcements, and we look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of student athletes and adult volunteers to create even more opportunities for you and your teams in the coming months.