John Sullivan Steps Up as President and Kurt Ronacher Takes Over the Vice President’s Position
At its 2019 Blade Show meeting, the Board of Regents of the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) elected John Sullivan of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company to serve as the eighth person as president of the nonprofit trade association advocating for the knife community. Kurt Ronacher, President of Boker USA, was elected as the vice president.
“AKTI best represents the interests of the knife industry and the concerns of individual knife users. I’m pleased to work with a united board that is committed to the growth of our industry and to ensure that our customers can freely use the knife of their choice,” said John Sullivan
John Sullivan currently serves as Director of Special Projects for W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company, where he focuses on key sales initiatives and programs for Case, and its parent, Zippo Manufacturing Company. Sullivan has worked in a variety of roles over his 25 years with Case, including National Sales Manager and Director of Marketing. Well known in the cutlery industry, he joined the Board of Regents of the American Knife & Tool Institute in 2012 and most recently served two terms as vice president.
A native of Bradford, PA, Sullivan attended the University of Pittsburgh’s Bradford campus, receiving his baccalaureate degree in 1988. Always wanting to give back to his community, Sullivan served previously as President of the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce and in local government, as a Township Supervisor. Sullivan resides in Bradford, Pennsylvania, with his wife Christy and their daughter Kennah.
“I believe in what we here at AKTI are doing to explain and simplify the laws regarding knife ownership and possession in the U.S. Currently, many states and municipalities have varying it laws that makes it difficult for the average person to understand and comply with, we are working hard to reduce and simply these laws,” said Kurt Ronacher. “AKTI has been very successful in accomplishing our goals this far and will continue to protect and promote knife ownership rights.”
Kurt Ronacher has been President of Boker USA, Lakewood, Colorado, since 2016. Prior to that he served as Boker’s General Manager. His past work experience included National Sales Manager for Pentax and Ignite USA.
Ronacher received his B.S. Degree in Economics from the University of Oregon and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.
The American Knife & Tool Institute is governed by a nine member Board of Regents that include a broad cross section of the knife industry. Member companies include Benchmade Knife Company, American Outdoor Brands, Boker, Buck Knives, CRKT, Gerber, Ontario Knife Company, and SOG Knives & Tools. Regular input to the Board from Advisory members also adds to the knowledge, credibility and professionalism of the organization to represent a broad spectrum of issues for the knife community. All member companies pay all their own expenses to attend meetings and support the organization with staff help and other contributions.