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This week is special for USA Archery: the organization is celebrating the career of Membership Coordinator Christine "Chris" McCartney, who is retiring from her position at USA Archery after serving the organization and its membership for over 25 years.
McCartney has held positions in nearly every part of the organization, starting with coordinating membership and accounting. "Back in 1982, I came to Colorado and found a job with the National Archery Association. I had an accounting background, so I applied for the job, and lo and behold I got it."
That accounting and membership position set McCartney down a road that included becoming Executive Director. Along her journey, she hit countless career highlights, including attending the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where she saw Jay Barrs win a gold medal, and the recurve women's team - including present CEO Denise Parker - win a bronze.
"We were all excited about this kid with this wonderful smile that was doing so well," McCartney recalls about Parker. "There was a big interview and there was a reporter and lights. She was sitting between her parents and I thought to myself, 'how lucky we are to have this young lady! She's going to do a lot for archery.'"
"Those early years held lots of highlights for me," McCartney explains. And they weren't just about high profile events, either. "Getting a newsletter published and out on a regular basis was huge. I loved doing that and being part of that. I used to write all the press releases for the organization, and articles for the magazine and newsletter. Those were very special to do."
"We used to do fundraising activities around the national teams," she continues. "We were just getting into a lot of marketing activities then, and we were establishing the Resident Athlete program at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. Later, we were there for the groundbreaking of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Oh my gosh, that was huge."
"I was some lucky girl to be in on all that stuff," McCartney says. The feeling is mutual, according to CEO Denise Parker.
"I've known Chris since I was 12 years old, when she was the Executive Director of USA Archery, and I have always remembered her as helpful," Parker explains. "From my standpoint as athlete, and now in the role of CEO, Chris was one of the few people who would do anything she could to help me and to help archery in any way she could. She has always done so happily and out of love and out of a desire to help me and to help the sport. I will always be grateful for her both personally and professionally."
"Chris has been the go-to gal for many of those who needed membership help," commented archer and Coach Liz Coombe of Cincinnati Junior Olympians. "She has been there, literally forever! Chris doesn't really realize how many people she has touched."
McCartney has high hopes for USA Archery: "I'm very excited for the organization right now, and for the future. We've got absolutely marvelous staff, who are so passionate about everything they do. The growth has been phenomenal."
For those who think McCartney will spend her retirement away from archery, think again: she'll be assisting USA Archery as a volunteer, helping to assemble the organization's historical data, including past awards. "A lot of people may not think it's important, but it really is," says McCartney. "I look forward to that; it's always fun to come into the office."
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