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Tag: Ben Berka

SSSF’s Ben Berka Discusses National Championships on Cam and Company

The upcoming SCTP – SPP National Team Championships and its explosive registration launch this month seized the attention of NRA News, which featured SSSF President and Executive Director Ben Berka on Cam and Company, a talk show airing on the Sportsman Channel.

Berka discussed the National Championships with host Cam Edwards. Watch the interview.

Cam and Company

SSSF Extends Agreement with WSRC to Host Nationals Through 2017

Art Ashbrook, Ben Berka
Art Ashbrook, left, and Ben Berka

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation has contracted with the World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) to hold its National Team Championships at the Sparta, Illinois facility through 2017. Ben Berka, SSSF President and Executive Director, and Art Ashbrook, WSRC Executive Director, signed the agreement recently to formalize the three-year extension of the foundation’s relationship with the complex.

“We are pleased to call Sparta ‘Home of the SSSF National Championships’ and look forward to meeting our SSSF extended family there each year during the second full week of July,” said Berka. “The Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex are great to work with and are committed to working together with the SSSF to accommodate our growth, both in numbers of participants and in the diversity of events we are offering.”

WSRA’s Ashbrook echoed those sentiments. “The World Shooting and Recreational Complex and the IDNR are extremely pleased by the commitment of the SSSF to hold its National Championships here for the next three years, and hopefully for the next 100,” said Ashbrook. “We think we work very well together, serving the community and young shooters alike.”

More than 10,000 people came to Sparta for the 2014 SCTP National Team Championship and SPP Junior/Senior National Championship at the WSRC in July, including approximately 2500 shooters plus coaches, family members, and other supporters.

SSSF Announces Staff and Operational Changes

ImageGenScholastic 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.

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