2009 Grits Gresham Award
POMA & NSSF Honor Tom Gresham
Orlando, Fla., Jan. 15, 2009 - ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 15, 2009 - The Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) honored veteran shooting sports journalist Tom Gresham during the State of the Industry Dinner and Gala at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.
Gresham, of Natchitoches, La., was presented with the prestigious POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award. J. Wayne Fears, the inaugural award honoree, presented the award, a bronze of one of Grits Gresham's signature hats, to Tom Gresham.
In honor of legendary outdoor communicator Grits Gresham, POMA and the NSSF developed the award in 2005 to recognize communicators within the firearms/shooting sports/Second Amendment arena who grasp the ideals, foster the commitment, and display the talent Gresham showed during his storied career.
"When the award committee considered the nominees, last year's Grits Gresham award winner Jim Carmichel hit the nail on the head when he said, 'Who else could our choice be but Tom? He is the consummate shooting sports communicator.'" Fears reported. "The committee unanimously agreed.
"Our industry is lucky to have Tom carrying the torch, lit by his father, and acting as a standard bearer for shooting sports communicators," Fears added. "Our industry's foundation was built upon the passing of knowledge and a passion of shooting to the next generation. Grits planted the seeds and Tom has grown a communications career and business to be envied and emulated."
By the time Gresham was 18 he co-authored a syndicated newspaper column. At 23, he was the editor of Southern Outdoors Magazine. Other magazines he has edited include American Hunter, Alaska, Handloader, and Rifle. He's also written several books, including Weatherby: The Man, The Gun, The Legend. Today, Gresham lives in north-central Louisiana, and from there he travels the country to tape television shows, visits gun factories, ventures out on great hunting trips and broadcasts his weekly talk radio show about guns. It's a monster of a show, carried on regular radio stations, on Sirius 108 and XM channel 139 and worldwide through live streaming, podcasts and downloadable MP3 files.
"Nothing is more gratifying than being recognized by your peers," Gresham said. "And this award - carrying my father's name - means more than anyone can know. I've been covering the shooting sports and gun rights for more than 40 years, and while I certainly thank POMA, the NSSF, the mentoring of my father and the support of my family, the biggest thanks has to go to the community of shooters and gun rights activists in this country.
"Now, more than ever, gun owners have recognized the need - even the urgency - to become politically active if they are to retain their civil rights when it comes to firearms ownership. It's this growing passion, and the public's need for responsible information about guns, that energizes me to continue creating avenues for promoting the responsible use of firearms."
Nominations for the POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award are garnered from all corners of the shooting sports industry. Gresham was unanimously selected as this year's recipient by a panel representing NSSF and POMA as well as the past award recipients.
All shooting sports industry professionals are encouraged to make nominations for the award.
Nominees and recipients of the POMA/NSSF Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award are not required to be affiliated with any communicators or industry organization.
Professional Outdoor Media Association - www.professionaloutdoormedia.org
POMA is a traditional outdoor sports communicator's organization focused on fishing, the shooting sports, hunting and trapping. Members include individual media members (editors, writers, photographers, broadcasters and publishers) and industry firms and organizations called Corporate Partners. POMA is already considered the premier professional communications organization in the shooting, hunting and fishing industries.
Mission Statement: The Professional Outdoor Media Association is a group of individual communicators and Corporate Partners who believe in, defend, support and promote the heritage of hunting, fishing, shooting and traditional outdoor sports through writing, photography and other means. By doing so, members hope to educate the general public about these sports and encourage more participation in them. The organization serves the membership by helping members grow professionally, improve their skills, better their working environments and enhance their businesses.
National Shooting Sports Foundation - www.nssf.org
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. Formed in 1961, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a membership of more than 3,600 manufacturers, distributors, retailers, sportsmen's organizations and publishers.
Mission Statement: Our purpose is to provide trusted leadership in addressing industry challenges and to deliver programs and services to meet the identified needs of our members. We will concentrate our efforts on measurably advancing participation in and understanding of hunting and the shooting sports; reaffirming and strengthening our members' commitment to the safe and responsible use of their products, and promoting a political climate supportive of America's traditional firearms rights.
Grits Gresham and the Award's History
Grits Gresham, a long esteemed outdoor communicator, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Shooting Sports Foundation at the State of the Industry Gala, Feb. 9, 2006. Gresham was recognized for his extraordinary achievements made in support of America's hunting heritage and firearms freedoms.
"Year after year, Grits Gresham has brought his great talent, his wisdom and his heart to bear in support and in defense of what all of us so much value and believe in," said Doug Painter, past president of NSSF, in making the presentation.
Though Gresham modestly has said that no one knew who he was until he appeared in a series of nationally aired Miller Lite television commercials, Gresham has long been known to the outdoors community for his work in wildlife management and for his contributions to television programming such as the original "American Sportsman," magazines, books and other aspects of communication on the outdoors.
In honor of the late Gresham's lifetime achievements, POMA and NSSF began presenting the award in 2007.
Inaugural 2007 Honoree - J. Wayne Fears
2008 Honoree - Jim Carmichel
2009 Honoree - Tom Gresham