inSIGHTS is a new series that I will be producing to give our users a behind the scenes look into goHUNT and where the team and I will be taking the product and company. We have been getting a ton of questions through the website about what states we will release next for INSIDER or if we have thought of new enhancements to bring to our users -- this series should answer a lot of those questions. This should also surface the life of the goHUNT team and the personalities that make this company great. For the first one, I want to focus on the team.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, I did not let my city upbringing get in the way of my passion for hunting. I hunted throughout Utah and Nevada and have been infatuated with both the sport and the industry since I can remember. I was fortunate to get a scholarship to play football for the University of Montana after an active football career playing strong safety for Bishop Gorman High School. I knew my choice of colleges would be heavily influenced by my desire to get back to hunting while still following a rigorous football schedule. During my senior year of high school, I was constantly injured and decided that I did not want these injuries to impact any future I had hunting. I decided not to play college football even though I still attended the University of Montana. I am incredibly glad that I did. I graduated in 2010 and decided to focus on starting a hunting company – which came to fruition in 2013: goHUNT.com.
When this company was just an idea I knew that in order to get the vision from A to Z, I would not be able to do it alone. Enter Chris Porter, COO of goHUNT.com.
While Chris has an extensive background in online marketing and user experience of websites, when he started he had absolutely no experience or knowledge of hunting. I knew that was exactly what this vision needed. Chris and I set off to build goHUNT in late 2013 and have brought on plenty of talent and personalities since then. From the very beginning, we knew it was important to have a team and culture of hunters and non-hunters to create the best working atmosphere and, ultimately, the most well rounded product. Whenever a team is weighted too heavily one way or the other in terms of passions, lifestyle and focus, it breaks the fragile ecosystem needed for a company to reach its full potential. It is the counterbalance of culture and lifestyle that keeps us level.
Once Chris and I created a solid business plan for goHUNT, our first big hire was Andrew Baca, Director of Product Development and Technology. Andrew, also a non-hunter, came from a long history of building complex websites and e-commerce platforms. This is exactly what we needed because of the level of depth and detail that our INSIDER platform is designed to do. It takes a certain person to be able to make sure all those dots connect and that the product works as it is supposed to. Andrew also knew we needed to hire another tech and design expert in order to execute the level of detail required for goHUNT.com.
We hired Ben Stoner, Product Manager, to fill that position. Ben also comes from a non-hunting and high tech platforms background. Previously, he was in charge of multi-million dollar e-commerce platforms and the design behind them. He has been a great asset to the team.
When we turned our focus to adding hunters to the team, Brady Miller, Digital Content Manager, was the first to join goHUNT. Surprisingly, I found him through Instagram and the following he was able to build through his bowhunting expertise. He was a standout from day one and continues to be a rockstar. His day to day job is managing all of the writers as well as content editing and managing our social media efforts.
After Brady, we added Brandon Evans, INSIDER Research Manager, to the team. We needed someone who could grind the state regulations and proclamations to the point of bleeding eyes, and he goes beyond that in his level of thoroughness. He is our soldier and makes sure we have the most up-to-date information on the site daily.
Kody Smith, Outfitter and Tag Manager, has been our most recent hire. He was brought on to run our outfitter and tag program. He brought with him his background of being a top sales rep for Staples, which means that he brought a level of sales that teamed perfectly with his level of hunting expertise. It really made for a great fit for the role goHUNT needed.
Lastly, but surely not least, we needed to hire a leader and face for the hunters. Dave Loescher was brought on board as the Head of INSIDER. When it comes to hunting experience across the Western states, not too many people know more than Dave. He is in charge of the content and strategy pieces we produce for our INSIDER members. As a user myself, I find his information to be highly informative and productive. (Not to mention his campfire stories are insanely good!)
This is a look at a few of the key members of our team. You will likely see other team members make appearances in this series through staff photos or product feature mentions as time goes on.
With the balance we run as a team, it keeps us focused on what enhancements and updates we bring to our users first. While those of us who are hunters in the office may get a little anxious about the features that fit our current goals and hunting schedules, the non-hunters on our team help to keep us focused on what is really important — a user-friendly site with cutting edge hunting information! We have a very focused idea of what enhancements we will be bringing to our users and we stay dedicated to bringing more value to goHUNT.
Next week on inSIGHTS, I will fill you in on what enhancements are coming down the line and what you can expect before the end of the year from us. We have paid close attention to what our users have asked for and we are committed to making those requests happen.