This is a story about the first 40 years in the life of a small business, in the not-so-big sporting goods industry, in a small community, in the great state of Missouri. Of all the sporting goods businesses that started up back in 1977, MidwayUSA is one of the few that’s still in business; and certainly the one that has made the greatest leap from obscurity to prominence.
Always focused on the core of the industry – guns, shooting, reloading and hunting; the interests of Company ownership have always led the product offering and the business direction — inseparable, you might say — no golf, no marine, no running shoes.
No one could have planned the Company’s History, chapter two; there are simply too many twists and turns for anyone to have ever predicted it. However, woven through that history is a relentless focus on serving Customers, on continuous improvement, and on hard work – recipes for success in any business.
Who can possibly imagine the role this now 40-year family-owned business will play in the future of the Shooting Sports Industry?
Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA
About the Author
Larry Potterfield often describes himself as a ‘country boy from rural Missouri.’ Certainly that’s true, but so was Mark Twain, Omar Bradley and Harry S. Truman. His compass is always pointed true north; he’s a role-model for personal values and the discipline to do the right thing. A husband, father, grandfather and willing mentor for many, Larry leads by example in everything he does. Through hard work, curiosity, creativity, focus and passion, he has become a real-life example of The American Dream.
It has been said that a man who likes guns is either a hunter, shooter, or gun collector; and that hunters don’t shoot, shooters don’t hunt and collectors neither shoot nor hunt. Larry Potterfield is all three: a hunter, shooter and gun collector; and you can throw in reloader and amateur gunsmith – his experience and knowledge in all of these areas is quite broad.
An adventurist by nature, Larry has been there and done things that many of us only dream about. This 40 year history provides an interesting perspective as to how he sees the world and his lifelong love of guns, hunting and shooting – and the MidwayUSA business.
As the Founder and current CEO of MidwayUSA, an internet retailer of shooting, hunting and outdoor products – established in 1977, Larry is one of the most-respected small businessmen in the shooting sports industry. Larry received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1971 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville in 1974. He served six years in the U.S. Air Force. Larry, and his wife Brenda, have received numerous awards for leadership and benevolence from the Key Conservation Groups and the Shooting Sports Industry. They live in Columbia, Missouri and have two adult children and six grandchildren.