American Knife & Tool Institute Expands Board of Regents to Increase its Impact

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The American Knife and Tool Institute (http://www.AKTI.org) has increased the size of its Board of Regents as part of a new initiative to expand its impact as an advocate to ensure that Americans will always be able to own, carry and use knives and edged tools. AKTI was formed in 1998 as a non-profit organization representing all segments of the knife industry and all knife users.

The American Knife and Tool Institute (http://www.AKTI.org) recently increased the size of its Board of Regents from seven to nine members as part of an initiative by the non-profit organization to expand its impact as an advocate ensuring that Americans will always be able to own, carry and use knives and edged tools.

The announcement comes as AKTI prepares for its annual Membership Meeting and Legislative Update on Sunday, June 6, during the Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair, June 4-6, at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA.

In addition to the two new board members, AKTI announced a third new member who will be replacing one whose term had ended.

The new members are: Rod Bremer, Columbia River Knife & Tool; Mike Manrose, Meyerco, and Clint Kadel, United Brands.

“No member receives compensation for their board participation and all members pay any expenses related to attending meetings,” Executive Director Jan Billeb said, adding that, “Together with Advisory Members, they meet to determine direction and association programs, providing broad input from across the entire knife and tool industry.”

Here is the background of the new AKTI board members:

Rod Bremer — The co-founder and president of the Columbia River Knife & Tool in Oregon, Rod has accepted an invitation to fill a vacancy as a Regent. He has been involved in the industry for 23 years and associated with AKTI for a decade. He said he “happily agreed and was thrilled that they asked” him to be on the board. Rod added that he is passionate about AKTI and its mission, particularly in what he called “challenge times.” He also said that his “passion for the industry is as strong as it’s ever been.

Mike Manrose — As Vice President of Meyerco, Mike is active outdoorsman with a passion for fishing and hunting. He describes his industry as "a small tight knit group and quite a few are now my extended family.” He became involved with AKTI when an issue came up in Texas. “It's amazing how active we can get when the problem strikes close to home,” he said. “Being a native Texan, I always viewed Texas as conservative and never thought we would have legal issues with knives here.”

Clint Kadel — Clint is President /CEO of The Edge Enterprises, a successful multi-divisional company that includes BUDK and United Brands, "the leader in producing top quality licensed collectibles," among them, Lord of the Rings. Clint, who grew up in Moultrie, GA, says he loves the water, wildlife and being outdoors. He became involved with AKTI because “The right to keep and have knives in American lives says it all,” adding that, “I feel AKTI is an organization where I can contribute and have some input.”

AKTI's goals are to:

Educate the public, legislators and law enforcement about knives.
Promote reasonable, responsible and consistent knife legislation.
Inform with accurate industry, historical and technical information.

According to organizers, AKTI has successfully saved millions of Americans from being considered criminals by promoting reasonable, responsible and consistent knife laws, laws that punish individuals who commit crimes not those that use a valuable tool.

For more information, contact Jan Billeb, Executive Director, American Knife & Tool Institute, 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY 82414-9606. The phone number is (307) 587-8296. The Web site is http://www.AKTI.org.

ABOUT AKTI: The American Knife and Tool Institute is a non-profit organization (501(c)6) representing the combined efforts of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, custom knife artisans, journalists, and concerned citizens united to educate, promote, and inform the American public about various types of knives and folding multi-tools. It was formed after discussion among industry leaders about the need for a unifying organization to represent the knife-using and knife-making community.

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