July 07, 2021
It has been said that change in life is inevitable, just as change brings opportunities and is often good.
Everything is apparently true on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains as it was earlier this week, Hoyt Archery found itself in a rare season of change with the announcement that Zak Kurtzhals will become the new president of the company on July 19, 2021.
Kurtzhals, currently vice president of operations for the longtime Salt Lake City-based bowmaking company, will succeed retired company chief Randy Walk, who announced his retirement in May.
The promotion was announced by Greg Easton, President of Jas. D. Easton and owner of Hoyt Archery, who noted that Kurtzhals brings many solid qualifications to the table, along with great leadership skills and a passion for archery hunting and archery.
âZak has a proven history with the company and a strong vision for Hoyt’s future,â Easton said in a company press release. “I am excited about this new opportunity for Zak and for Hoyt.”
Kurtzhals, a native of Nebraska who has held several key positions with Hoyt over the years, knows he has his work cut out for him to succeed an archery industry legend.
âI have big shoes to fill in to replace Randy,â Kurtzhals said. “He has been an amazing mentor and friend, and I am grateful for everything I have learned from him over the 18 years we have worked together.”
Walk, who was president of Hoyt for 26 years, has no doubts that he is leaving the company in good hands.
âZak is a very talented leader who has greatly contributed to Hoyt’s success over the years,â said Walk, long-time Bowhunters Hall of Fame member. “He will do an incredible job as president and I couldn’t ask for a better successor.”
While Walk’s retirement – which comes after three and a half decades of service and eight different positions at Hoyt – was originally scheduled to begin on September 1, 2021, internal promotion has apparently accelerated the succession process. Now, Walk will have even more time to spend with the family and hunt elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer this fall with his Hoyt bow in hand.
As this rare season of change begins, much has changed since Earl Hoyt, Sr. founded the company. Far from the original small arch store in Saint-Louis where the curved and long arches were carved from wooden billets, the company today manufactures thousands of arches each year in its state-of-the-art 150,000-foot facility. square in Salt Lake City.
But from knives drawn from the 1930s to high-tech machines of the 21st century, the goal remains the same.
And it is for making a variety of world-class bows, archery products and accessories that include compound hunting bows, compound target bows, traditional hunting bows and recurve bows. Olympics which will be used by some competitors later this month during the Tokyo Summer Olympics. .
Today, Hoyt has over nine decades of bowmaking experience and fuels the annual dreams of gold medal and trophy-hunting competitors as well as big game and white tail hunting enthusiasts. who just want a freezer full of wild meat and wood for the wall every fall. season.
Despite the rare change in leadership for the Utah bowmaker, company officials remain confident that as the world begins to move away from the worst of the pandemic, Hoyt is strongly positioned to remain the one of the best bow manufacturers and iconic brands in the bow hunting world.
This confidence is built year after year on solid sales, continuous innovation and product design, and an ability to meet the wants and needs of the thousands of archers who put on a Hoyt Archery cap every time they go. .
This is also due to the fact that Hoyt retains a strong and talented management team who bring over 85 years of experience to the company. That experience includes Todd Erickson, vice president of finance, who joined Hoyt in 1998; Tom Driffill, vice president of sales, who joined the company in 2001; Gideon Jolley, Director of R&D and Intellectual Property, who joined Hoyt in 1996; and Jeremy Eldredge, director of marketing for Hoyt, who joined the company in 2004.
This management team sums up the things that have always been synonymous with Hoyt Archery since its founder began his dreams of archery not quite a century ago: from hard workers who are hunters to the bow and enthusiastic archers who have never stopped pushing the boundaries of the proverbial envelope in sport.
With such stability and commitment remaining in place with the Walk by Kurtzhals succession, there is no doubt that Earl Hoyt, Sr. â who, along with Fred Bear, Saxton Pope, Art Young and 23 others, was elected founding member of the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame â would be all smiles today.
Because the mission continues uninterrupted at Hoyt Archery, a mission that the company describes with this statement on its website:
âThe same principles and philosophies on which the Hoyt Archery Company was founded in 1931 are stronger than ever in the business today. Hoyt’s nearly nine decades of industry-leading products and long-term stability are a testament to the commitment, dedication and passion of its employees. And as we look to the future, we will remain 100% committed to building the most innovative and technically advanced equipment for the most serious archers and hunters around the world. We know who you are because we are one of you. Become serious. Get Hoyt.
And in the case of the latter part of this statement, the more things change, the more they stay the same.