Congressional Athletes Foundation Outdoor Policy Leader Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

Last week, the Congressional Athletes Foundation (CSF) Board of Directors welcomed new members to the Board, completing a full list of individuals representing various industries who share a mission to work with the Foundation’s leadership and staff to protect and promote our outdoor heritage. This latest round of members includes Peder von Harten, Chairman and CEO of Nicholas Air; Brandon Maddox, founder and CEO of Silencer Central; and Vishak Sankaran, President, Outdoor Accessories and Golf Vista Outdoor Inc. Together, these gentlemen not only bring decades of diverse experience to the CSF Board of Directors, but also a deep passion for conservation and the sports lifestyle.

“Just as the outdoor way of life is a tradition passed down from generation to generation, so is the privilege of serving on the CSF Board of Directors,” said board chairman Richard Childress. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with all of our new members, who will bring fresh perspectives from each of their industries to the Board of Directors.”

“The CSF Board of Directors provides crucial oversight and linkage between the Foundation and many of our Mission Partners,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “The addition of these new members will continue to strengthen the Board and, by extension, allow CSF to continue its purpose as the most respected and trusted sports organization in the political arena.”

Peder von Harten is the President of Nicholas Air, a rapidly growing boutique private jet membership program based in Oxford, Mississippi. In addition, he is also the founder of Piper Ranch Media, which helps brands manage growth strategies while also producing several publications dedicated to the outdoors, hunting, ranching, American heritage, and lifestyle. country lifestyle. Outside of work, Mr. von Harten is an active hunter, rancher, investor, and conservationist.

Brandon Maddox is the founder and owner of Silencer Central, a leader in the firearms sound suppression industry and one of the fastest growing companies in America. Mr. Maddox is not only an accomplished entrepreneur and investor, but is also a passionate sportsman whose recoil and sound reduction products have helped improve the experience of thousands of hunters and shooters.

Vishak Sankaran is the president of golf and outdoor accessories at Vista Outdoor Inc. Mr. Sankaran is a recreational hunter and shooter who has spent decades leading businesses in outdoor equipment and sporting goods, healthcare and consumer products. As part of his portfolio at Vista Outdoor Inc., he runs more than a dozen hunting and shooting brands with close ties to the sport conservation community.

Additionally, during the meeting, outgoing CSF Board of Directors Chairman Simon Roosevelt was named to CSF’s Honorary Board of Directors, joining a distinguished group of sporting and conservation icons. Since 2014, Mr. Roosevelt has served on the Board of Directors, holding the positions of Member, Vice President and, most recently, Chairman of the Board. CSF thanks Mr. Roosevelt for his service to the organization and his advocacy on behalf of America’s 55 million athletes.

In early 2023, the Board of Directors also welcomed new member Mark Smith, Chairman and CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. Mr. Smith has held leadership positions for more than a decade and brings a variety of experience professional to the Board, from his time in the consulting world to his roles in operational management. In addition, Mr. Smith is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and snow sports.

Leading the Board in 2023 is Richard Childress Racing President and CEO, Richard Childress as Chairman; Pure Fishing CEO Harlan Kent as vice president; the CEO of Bekun, LLC and Berverst, LLC Francisco Bergaz as Secretary; and Rather Outdoors, LLC CEO Ken Eubanks as treasurer. For more information on the leadership of the 2023 Board, please see this announcement.

Founded in 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is the informed authority on outdoor issues and serves as the primary conduit for influencing public policy. Working with the Congressional Athletes Caucus (CSC), the Governors Athletes Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Athletes Caucus (NASC), CSF gives a voice to hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and hunters on Capitol Hill and in all state capitals. advocate for vital outdoor issues that are the backbone of our nation’s conservation legacy. For more information on CSF’s policy work, visit