Doug Painter – Senior Advisor, Former President & CEO to Retire from NSSF

Doug Painter – Senior Advisor, Former President & CEO to Retire from NSSF

National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

NEWTOWN, Conn –-( The National Shooting Sports Foundation has announced that Doug Painter, former president and chief executive officer and NSSF’s longest-serving employee, will retire on March 31, 2011.

NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

Currently senior advisor and trade liaison, Painter has enjoyed a distinguished career at NSSF covering 37 of the organization’s 50 years. Appropriately, one of his most recent tasks was to author “The National Shooting Sports Foundation: A History 1961-2011,” a publication marking NSSF’s golden anniversary and a chronicle of the organization’s achievements, many of which Painter witnessed first-hand.

“It’s been a great privilege,” said Painter, “to play a role in helping to sustain and strengthen America’s sporting traditions over the past four decades. Much has changed over the years, but the importance of investing in the future of our outdoor heritage has not. I look forward to continuing to remain active in such efforts.”


Doug Painter
Doug Painter - Senior Advisor, Former President & CEO to Retire from NSSF

NSSF will recognize Painter for his many contributions to NSSF and industry at the State of the Industry Dinner at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas in January.

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing Doug and working with him for 31 event-filled years, and throughout some pretty trying times he has remained a stalwart source of good humor, sound advice and creative advocacy for our cause,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO.

“He leaves some pretty big shoes to fill at the NSSF, but I’m confident that those who remain will have profited greatly from Doug’s imparted wisdom and will continue to fulfill his vision for the NSSF as the premier industry trade association. That magnificent voice will echo around here for a very long time!”

During a wide-ranging career, Painter served NSSF as media relations specialist, director of communications, vice president of marketing administration and executive director prior to being named president and CEO by the NSSF Board of Governors in 2002. He also served as president of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Fund and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.

In the 1970s and ’80s, Painter was the point person for NSSF’s efforts to bring increased visibility to the shooting sports via television. He has fond memories of working with TV personalities and fellow shooting and hunting enthusiasts Grits Gresham, Roy Rogers and Curt Gowdy, among others. Painter honed his own on-camera skills to eventually become the recognized face of NSSF in many of the organization’s television and online video productions, as well as serving as host on a broad range of outdoor television productions.

Before arriving at NSSF in 1973, Painter was assistant headmaster at the Maret School in Washington, D.C. In a sense, he was an educator at heart throughout his career at NSSF, helping to promote hunter safety education and authoring many of the Foundation’s publications and public service programs in the areas of wildlife conservation and hunter ethics. Later in his career, he was the impetus behind one of NSSF’s most successful education programs ever, Project ChildSafe, the nationwide firearm safety education effort that has distributed some 35 million gun lock safety kits and was adopted by President George W. Bush as his administration’s key firearm safety initiative.

Known as an outstanding public speaker and storyteller, Painter has given speeches to major sportsman and conservation groups throughout the country. He was active on the boards of directors of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Wildlife Management Institute, Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Trust and Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, and currently is co-chair of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Steering Committee.

A lifelong sportsman, Painter has traveled from the tropics to the tundra to pursue his outdoor passions, which range from hunting big-game in Alaska to waterfowl on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, to shooting clay targets with friends and colleagues, to traveling wherever game fish beckon him to cast a fly.

Painter plans to stay involved in efforts to promote the sporting activities that have meant so much to him while also spending more time with his wife, Susan, and their sons, family and grandchildren in one of their favorite places, Nantucket Island.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

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