Gerber’s Bill Raczkowski Named AKTI President – Rod Bremer Is Organization’s New VP

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Two knife industry veterans—Bill Raczkowski of Gerber Legendary Blades and Rod Bremer of Columbia River Knife & Tool—have been named president and vice president, respectively, of the American Knife & Tool Institute (, which describes itself as “the reasonable and responsible advocate for the knife-making and knife-using community.”

The American Knife & Tool Institute (, a non-profit advocacy group committed to “ensuring your rights to buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools,” has announced the names of its new top elected officers on the Board of Regents.

Bill Raczkowski, Category Manager of Knives with Gerber Legendary Blades, is the new AKTI president. Rod Bremer, co-founder and President of the Columbia River Knife & Tool in Oregon, was named Vice President.

Raczkowski, the group’s previous vice president, replaced president Goldie Russell, President of A.G. Russell Knives, who had served a four-year term. The group’s mission is “to ensure that Americans will always be able to buy, sell, own, carry and use knives and edged tools.”

“Because of efforts all over the country to severely limit our right to carry and use knives, the existence of a strong and highly effective organization like AKTI is critical to the knife community,” outgoing president Russell said. “AKTI functions as the core around which all parts of the knife community can organize to change or clarify existing laws, and to resist new laws and regulations which impede the individual’s right to own and carry tools used in everyday life.”

Russell added that much progress has been made in the past four years, most notably the change in 2009 to the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act. “Under AKTI’s new leadership, I expect to see this progress multiply as we work to not only change laws where needed and resist threats to our rights, but also to be sure that members of law enforcement are aware of and acting under the current laws,” she said.

The announcement about Raczkowski and Bremer being selected AKTI’s new officers was made during the 2011 Blade Show, June 10-12, in Atlanta, GA.

As a knife-industry veteran, Raczkowski has been involved in manufacturing, engineering and marketing within the industry. He said that his goal as AKTI’s new president is to be “pro-active in looking for different states to target” regarding laws affecting knives and edged tools. In addition he said he wants to “educate the public as to what’s legal and illegal.”

AKTI’s new VP, Bremer, agrees: “We are developing some exciting new ideas that we hope to launch soon to aid the Law Enforcement community and individuals to better understand of the issues via new and developing electronic media,” he said, adding that, “Going forward my hope is that AKTI’s vigilance on the legislative front brings continued success to protect our rights to carry and use knives”

For more information about the American Knife & Tool Institute, visit or call (307) 587-8296. The mailing address is 22 Vista View Lane, Cody, WY 82414-9606.

ABOUT AKTI: The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) is a non-profit organization (501(c)6) representing all segments of the knife industry and all knife users. AKTI has been the reasonable and responsible voice of the knife community since 1998.


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