Bios

J. Wayne Merck - Photo "The key component to successfully leading any business entity is acquiring and retaining the best people. Dramatic improvement in hiring, internal promotions, acquisition integration, and ultimately, individual and team development functions create a compelling strategic competitive advantage."

Wayne Merck

Wayne Merck is a Strategy and Operations Executive with experience in managing multiple brands, categories and distribution channels for long-term growth, and served as President of K2 Inc. (NYSE – KTO) since November 2003 and ultimately Chief Executive Officer and Director in 2007. Merck led the successful sale and integration of K2 Inc. with Jarden Corporation, a Fortune 500 Company in 2008. During his tenure, he established K2 Inc.'s extensive global manufacturing, sourcing, marketing, sales and distribution structure throughout north America, Europe and Asia and successfully led the acquisition and integration of over 25 sporting goods businesses in the US and Europe, increasing revenue from $600 million to over $1.5 billion during this time.

Merck served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of K2 Inc. from October 2002, Executive Vice President of Operations from 2000, and Vice President of the Company since 1996. Since 1992 Merck served as President of numerous business units owned by K2 Inc. including Shakespeare Composites & Electronics (South Carolina), Anthony Pools (Los Angeles), K2 Sports (Seattle), and Rawlings (St. Louis), after initially joining the company in 1991 as Director of Manufacturing for Shakespeare Company.

Prior to joining K2 Inc., he held various managerial positions with Milliken & Co., including Plant Manager.

Merck received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and a Master's from the Clemson-Furman joint MBA program.

Board Memberships

  • Director – Standard Pacific Corporation, NYSE-listed company and one of the largest US homebuilders, with annual sales of $2.0 Billion.
  • Member of Executive Committee – Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association Trade organization representing over 1,000 sporting goods manufacturers.
  • Director – Sportsmans Foundation for Military Families, Inc. Non-profit foundation whose mission is to take combat wounded veterans who have previously participated in the hunting sports on a professionally guided hunt.
Steve Byrum - Photo "The primary driver for human beings is not IQ, psychological balance, or personality. Human decisions rise from the context of judgment. Without good judgment, even the greatest human potential is vulnerable. And, judgment can be measured. Any time we can measure, we get better at what we do."

C. Stephen Byrum, PhD

Steve Byrum is a native of Athens, Tennessee. He studied in the public schools of Athens and McMinn County before matriculating at the University of Richmond, Maryville College, and Tennessee Wesleyan College. He graduated from TWC in 1969 with a Bachelor's Degree (cum laude) in Philosophy and Religion. He then received a Masters of Divinity Degree from Southern Seminary (with honors), and completed his graduate work with a Masters of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in philosophy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (with highest honors). He has done post-graduate work at Vanderbilt University, Princeton University (on two occasions), and Spellman College. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities. Byrum is the author of almost forty books and more than 100 periodical articles.

Byrum taught on the college and university level for 25 years at both the University of Tennessee and Chattanooga State College. He served as Associate Dean of Humanities in Chattanooga. He has taught on an adjunct basis for the University of Alabama, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and Carson Newman College. In addition to his teaching, he has his own personal and family counseling practice in Chattanooga for 22 years. His consulting work in business and industry began in 1978 with the establishment of The Byrum Consulting Group, LLC, and his client list includes over 200 businesses, organizations, and institutions.

The focus of Byrum's professional career has been the work of Robert S. Hartman, with whom he studied during his graduate work at the University of Tennessee. The priority of Byrum's attention has been given to creating applications of Hartman’s work and The Hartman Value Profile for business, industry, and education. He has also developed a national reputation as a speaker and seminar leader relating to topics of workforce selection, leadership development, and crisis/change/stress management. Among his many civic and professional associations, Byrum is currently serving as the President of The Robert S. Hartman Institute in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Barry Hull - Photo "The years I spent flying fighters (jets) taught me the importance of good decision-making. The right decision can save lives, and the wrong decision can cost lives. When you are in command of a multimillion dollar aircraft in a high-stress environment, you'd better to be able to make the right decisions under pressure."

Barry Hull

Barry Hull is a retired US Navy Commander, F/A-18 Hornet pilot, combat decorated during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Hull flew on the first night strike of Desert Storm and throughout the remainder of the war. He has received the Naval Meritorious Service Medal for exemplary performance while serving as Commanding Officer, Air Medals and Navy Commendations with Valor, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, along with various unit commendations, is an Aviation Officer Candidate School Distinguished Naval Graduate, and has landings aboard a variety of aircraft carriers, including the USS Saratoga. Hull retired from military service in September 2008, his final naval tour as a Naval Reservist assigned to the Supreme Allied Command.

He has been a military analyst for the Fox News Channel, and has appeared numerous times on the major and cable television networks. He has been featured on 60 Minutes II, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel; as well as a variety of newspapers, radio stations, and other media outlets, locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a regular speaker for various schools, groups, and events. Hull is the founder and owner of a chain of automotive service centers, established in 1994. He has been a pilot for American Airlines since 1992, and also flies his twin engine Piper Navajo aircraft. In addition to recreational flying, he has flown church groups, wounded veterans, and organ transplant patients.

Hull received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in civil engineering from Clemson University.

Board Memberships

  • Director – Sportsmans Foundation for Military Families, Inc.
    Non-profit foundation whose mission is to take combat wounded veterans who have previously participated in the hunting sports on professionally guided hunts.