Come to the NRA Leadership & Development Workshop in Chicago

The final Club Leadership & Development Workshop in 2011 starts tomorrow morning in Chicago, Illinois. A perfect place to learn how to make your firearms related operation run just a little big smoother, the amount of information you can compile from NRA Staff and the outside experts will be well worth the trip. If you live in the Chicagoland area, or within driving distance, this is an opportunity too good to pass up.


NRA Clubs & Association NRA Club University has changed its name. Now the all-in-one day workshop that provides tips and insight for running your range, gun club or firearms related youth group is known as the NRA Club Leadership & Development.

“The new name better describes what the seminars offer,” said Clubs, Associations and Range Services National Manager Elizabeth Bush. “And we've changed more than just the name."

The other change is the introduction of the Club Leadership & Development webinar. Instead of waiting for a Club Leadership & Development workshop to arrive at a city near you, now you can receive some of the same advice from the comfort of your own home.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - It’s Sunday here at NRA’s Annual Meeting and that means Club University. A one-stop shop for anyone involved in the shooting sports, Club U provides the basics you need to know when you’re running a club or range. How to design a range, what programs to offer, how to apply for grants, what type of insurance to carry, etc…

Headlined by Marketing Manager Son Nguyen and National Clubs & Associations Manager Liz Bush, the seminar started at nine in the morning and will run through most of the day.

While NRAblog was in Arizona for Club University Phoenix, we were invited to join NRA Field Representative Donna Cassidy and a few hundred others over in Mesa for a Friends of NRA Dinner. There we were greeted by East Valley Friends Chairman Devin Guill, introduced to a few dozen supporters, and dug in for the night.

Here's a few shots of the opening, the auction, the goodies, and more ...

Carol Ruth, Katie Paulsen, and Patsy Morris of Arizona Women's Shooting Associates on NRAblog ran a story about the rise of female participation in the shooting sports. At our recent Club University in Phoenix, Arizona, NRAblog got to see a little of that first hand.

Meet Carol, Katie & Patsy — three ladies representing the Arizona Women's Shooting Associates. Based out on the famed Ben Avery range, the club has met every other Wednesday for the past ten years.

“We’ve got women who never shot before and women who’ve been shooting since the day they could walk,” explain Carol Ruth, President of the club and a NRA Certified Instructor. “One thing’s for sure, attendance is usually better during the cooler months.”

No matter what the attendance, the general schedule is far from general at all. The AWSA’s agenda ranges from rifle to 3-gun to Cowboy Shooting to scenarios.

“We don’t just stand behind the line and go bang bang, said Ruth. “We also teach women out there what to look for and how to better protect themselves.” While they were hesitant to name a favorite, all three ultimately agreed that the scenarios are the most popular with the crowds.

“Patsy and her husband Brian set up scenarios,” said club rep Katie Paulson. “For example, they might set up a bedroom and we pretend there’s a robbery. First we react, then review our reaction and then discuss what we could have been better.”

Now they are looking for more. More women to join the club, more scenarios to run, and more programs to offer to all in attendance. But most importantly, they want to make sure they don’t lose sight of the important things.

“We want to make sure that everyone learns,” said club Vice President Patsy Morris. “And that they have fun.”

East Valley Friends of NRA dinner Chairman Devin Guill on While packing up our goods following last Saturday's Club University in Phoenix, NRA Field Rep Donna Cassidy cornered Son (Marketing Manager Son Nguyen) and I with a suggestion; how about coming to tonight’s East Valley Friends of NRA dinner? After consulting our cohorts (Marketing Coordinator Melissa Betts and Youth Programs Coordinator Claudia Olsen), we jumped in a cab and headed for Mesa, Arizona.

Arriving about thirty minutes into the action, we began taking in the night by slowly traveling from table to table and game to game. There was Plinko, the Big Wheel of Fun, raffles, silent auctions, live auctions, grills, guns, and a toaster that emblazes the NRA logo on your morning toast.

“This is the Eighteen Annual Dinner & Auction, but it’s my first running the show,” said Friends Chairman Devin Guill. “I can’t tell you how much respect I have for those who did this before me. It’s a lot more work than you think. Well worth it, but a lot of work.”

Guill didn’t stop at running the show. He also made sure his family was there to share in the evening. More

Mr. Noble C. Hathaway, President of the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association at Club University on NRAblog Mr. Noble C. Hathaway, President of the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association, took a turn at the podium during NRA's Club University last weekend in Phoenix. After making sure that every local club was current with their state membership, he hit on some of the highlights in Arizona's programs.

"May 7th is the date for our 102nd Annual State Banquet Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel," said Hathaway. "We've got a number of different dinner packages available, a lot of great exhibits, and special guest Mr. Otis McDonald."

A pet project of Hathaway's is Roadrunner. Designed to spread the shooting sports to all corners of Arizona, the Roadrunner program goes on the road to provide equipment and range time to smaller communities. By reaching out to the more remote areas of the state, Hathaway hopes to get families and juniors everywhere out there to shoot. And that is where his passion truly rests.

"We got to start those Junior Programs and we've got to keep them going," said Hathaway.

With everything from air gun to smallbore to shotgun to a High Power Rifle team that annually treks north to Camp Perry, junior shooting programs in Arizona appear to be on solid ground. And it couldn't make Hathaway any happier.

"Junior Programs," he said with a grin. "That's what I'm all about."

NRA Recruiting Program Manager Randy Clark at Club University in Phoenix on NRAblog When NRA's Recruiting Program Manager of Randy Clark took to the stage, he was all smiles. Soon enough, everyone attending the NRA Club University here in Phoenix was all smiles too.

"It's all about wins," said Randy. "We win, the recruiters win, and new members win. It's great."

The winning comes in the form of benefits. The NRA benefits from having recruiters recruiting new members, recruiters benefit from serving a cause they believe in, clubs benefit from funds raised by signing their members up with the NRA, and new members benefit from all of the discounts (and for lack of a better word ... benefits) from joining the NRA.

"There's a never ending list," explained Clark. "We supply all sorts of materials for the Recruiters. They find prospective members, provide a discount when possible, and the NRA grows. They can recruit via the web, at events, through ads or newsletters. Then even more magic happens."

When a club successfully signs up 100% of their members with the NRA, then they are one step closer to becoming an NRA Gold Medal Club. That means greater access to grants, a beautiful plaque, and more.

"NRA members receive all sorts of great information from headquarters on all sorts of topics. Plus they receive the magazines, better rates at hotels & rental cars, and discounts for insurance, prescriptions, etc... It's a win, win, win."


Arizona Field Representative Donna Cassity during her portion of NRA's Club University in Phoenix "We need you to get more involved."

Those were the words of Arizona Field Representative Donna Cassity during her portion of the NRA's Club University here in Phoenix.

"The time you spent and the money you raise is vital to the continued success of shooting sports for our community and our kids."

With almost two hundred thousand dollars in grant money provided to Arizona clubs and operations over the past year, it's understandable why Cassity is so passionate about her work.

"Have you ever attended a Friends of NRA dinner? Did you enter the raffle? Do you serve on a committee? These are all things we can do to help ensure that our sport continues to thrive in the Grand Canyon State."

Because of Cassity's hard work, as well as all that of the Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association and local NRA affiliated clubs, groups like the Rio Rico His School Army JROTC, the Globe Miami Gun Club, Mohave Top Guns, and Big Shots 4-H all received sizable grants for 2011. But it doesn't stop with grants. But as a Field Rep, Cassity is involved in more than just NRA grants in Arizona.

"We have a Friends Banquet tonight in Mesa, Arizona and a Women On Target® Instructional Shooting Clinic at the Casa Grande Police Range the first Sunday in April. Come out, it'll be fun!"

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