A Lifetime with Brenda
MidwayUSA's Potterfield credits wife with GMA Lifetime Award
By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com
LAS VEGAS – Larry Potterfield wore a yellow jacket, one given to him by the NRA because he “gave them a lot of money.” His wife, Brenda, has one too, but she wasn’t wearing hers because Larry said he thinks she looks better in red.
The jackets signify that the MidwayUSA owners are charter members of the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom. Potterfield dug up more gold at the 14th Annual Golden Moose Awards when he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions and activism in the outdoor community. They are many.
“It’s a very special award for very special person,” Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said. “They said he grew up poor in rural Missouri, boy were they wrong. He grew up with the American dream, and that’s all he needed.”
LaPierre described how Potterfield opened a small shop in 1977 and from it grew MidwayUSA, an “empire that employs hundreds and stands as a giant in the shooting industry today.”
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“His energy is as boundless as the hunting adventures which have taken him all around the globe,” Lapierre said. “His instructional videos are popular all over the Outdoor Channel. He’s a highly regarded public speaker. His company is regarded as one of the best companies in America.
“In early 90s, he posted the first Friends of NRA program. Now there are over 1,000 chapters. He established 10-year endowment at $50,000 a year, and rounded up customers to next dollar to give to NRA Institute for legislation action. That program along has brought in $10 million to support the Second Amendment.”
The Potterfields also began the Scholastic Shooting Trust Fund in 2007 and it has raised $55 million to benefit collegiate shooters.
“When it comes to protecting the second Amendment of our great American freedom, the NRA will stand and fight,” LaPierre said, “and I’m proud to say this person stands and fights with us every single day.”
There are a number of venues on Outdoor Channel that has Potterfield’s golden touch. MidwayUSA sponsors a number of popular shows, including Gun Stories, The Best Defense and Rapid Fire. MidwayUSA sponsors a block of shows on Wednesday nights, and Potterfield’s also writes about his hunting exploits.
It all comes from having one of the best-run, most respected businesses in America, all in the hope to benefit customers.
“If we didn’t do that, we certainly wouldn’t be here tonight,” Potterfield said. “We practice nine traditional family values: Honesty, integrity, humility, respect for others, a positive attitude, teamwork, accountability, stewardship and loyalty.
“Those are the things we hire by, we promote by, live by. Those are nonnegotiable values that made the MidwayUSA company run.”
The first point of Potterfield’s acceptance speech was applauded wildly by the crowd and admired in mentions by other presenters during the GMAs.
“For 43 of my 65 years on this planet,” he started, “I’ve been married to the same woman. I would not be here tonight if it wasn’t for Brenda Potterfield.”
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