Talent is not hard to spot. Think about it, whether you’re watching the NFL, NHL, NBA or even a singing contest like “The Voice,” it’s easy to spot the stars. They jump out at you. I’d argue that the same is true in the political and advocacy arena. When you meet a difference maker, a go-getter, a star, you know it. They just have “it,” that intangible, hard-to-define combination of charisma, poise and intelligence that others lack.
Well, N Stephanie Spika is one of those talented individuals who have it, and I was pleased to learn that she is putting together a campaign to run for the NRA Board of Directors. However, before she officially throws her hat into the ring and puts her name on the ballot, she needs signatures from 250 lifetime NRA members.
If any of you out there are lifetime members, I’d urge you to consider signing Ms. Spika’s petition. Take it from me, she won’t let you down. I’d also encourage you to do your own research on the young lady. She has a N. Stephanie Spika for NRA Board of Directors Facebook page where you can reach out to her personally to ask questions and get the info you need to sign the petition.
In the meantime, check out our brief Q&A below:
S.H. Blannelberry: What was the impetus behind your decision to run?
N. Stephanie Spika: I am currently the Social Media Manager for Benelli USA. Previously, I worked at the National Rifle Association for over four years. I held four different titles while at NRA, the most recent being Social Media Manager. NRA’s Facebook page had just broken the 1 million fans mark when I took over, and I when I left the NRA we had 3.8 million fans. The key to my success in more than tripling the amount of our Facebook fans was not only the power and efforts of NRA activities as a whole, but my engagement with our fans. I responded to every message we received – whether that message was about membership, legislation, or any other issue. Not all of these messages were positive and I took great pride in trying to remedy each complaint. I was able to experience one-on-one communication with our NRA members on a daily basis. The knowledge I’ve gained through these interactions makes me uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of our members. I’ve been able to see what NRA does best for its members and what NRA can tweak to better serve its members. But most importantly I got to experience the passion and drive of our members and that left a lasting impression on me.
S.H. Blannelberry: What unique skill set do you bring to the table?
N. Stephanie Spika: I also served the NRA as a spokesman. Not only did I write press releases and opinion pieces, I was frequently quoted in print articles, appeared on TV interviews, and regularly participated in radio interviews. I prided myself in knowing the NRA’s official position on nearly every issue. The NRA trusted me to speak on its behalf and now I’d like to take that to the next level as a Board Member of the NRA.
S.H. Blannelberry: What’s on your agenda if you get elected?
N. Stephanie Spika: Over the past few years, the NRA has put a major focus on recruiting and retaining younger members. Being one of these “younger members,” if elected to the NRA Board, I would be able to help expand and enhance these efforts. My experience with our NRA members and fans on social media makes me unique qualified to understand what appeals to our younger members and those on the fence about joining our great organization. The future of the NRA hinges not only on the political future of this country, but on the recruitment and retention of a strong membership with a loud and united voice.
S.H. Blannelberry: What would you like NRA members to know about you?
N. Stephanie Spika: I grew up in rural Montana and passed hunters education on my 12th birthday. While hunting and shooting were a way of life in my youth, I never fully understood the value of our Second Amendment heritage until I entered the political realm. After working on various political campaigns and then working for the NRA-ILA, I realized more than ever how valuable our Right to Keep and Bear Arms really is. It takes all of us as gun owners to work together to defend the constant attacks against our rights.
S.H. Blannelberry: What’s your vision for the NRA of tomorrow?
N. Stephanie Spika: As a NRA Board Member I’d work relentlessly to preserve our Second Amendment and to strengthen the NRA. The attacks against our way of life will not decrease in the future so we need to work now on building the best NRA possible so that generations in the future can experience the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.