Northeast Breakout Session Speakers
Delegate Wendell Beitzel - Maryland House of Delegates
Delegate Wendell Beitzel, a member of the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses and Co-Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, has been a strong supporter of sportsmen’s issues and Maryland’s sporting heritage in the General Assembly.
First elected in 2006, Delegate Beitzel is currently serving in his second term in the Maryland House of Delegates. In addition to his role as the House Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, he serves as a member of the Appropriations Committee, and the Sub-committees for Transportation and the Environment, and Capital Budget. He is also a member of the Maryland Veterans Caucus as well as the Rural Maryland Caucus.
Delegate Beitzel has over 30 years of administrative experience in both the public and private sectors. Some of previous experiences include: Garrett County Commissioner, Administrator of the Garrett County Department of Public Utilities, Director of Infrastructure for the Wisp Ski and Golf Resort, 10 years in the environmental health field, and owner/operator in lodging and food service business for over 30 years.
Delegate Beitzel is an avid hunter and angler and is a member of the National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society as well as past president of the Garrett Woods Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited.
Delegate Beitzel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairmount State College, a Master’s degree in Management, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration both from Frostburg State University. He and his wife, Ruth, have two children and three grandchildren.
Representative Pat Brennan - Vermont General Assembly
Elected in 2002, State Representative Patrick Brennan represents Vermont’s Chittenden District. Representative Brennan joined the Vermont Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2009 and currently serves as Caucus Co-Chair.
Over the years, Representative Brennan has been instrumental in the passage of several key sportsmen’s priorities, including HB 101 -- the Sportsmen’s Act of 2013. The Sportsmen’s Act, signed into law by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) Vice-Chair Governor Peter Shumlin, was a comprehensive package of pro-sportsmen provisions aimed at allowing the relevant agencies greater flexibility in managing Vermont’s fish and wildlife and administering various hunting and angling licenses. The bill also contained provisions that allowed for the possession of handguns during archery season and while training dogs, granted authority to the Fish and Wildlife Board to regulate the use of crossbows during hunting seasons, and allowed landowners the opportunity to legally post their property so that hunting, fishing and trapping would be allowed with permission.
Most recently, Representative Brennan spearheaded a multi-year effort to legalize firearm suppressor ownership in the Green Mountain State. On June 17, 2015, GSC Vice-Chair Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law HB 5, a fish and wildlife omnibus bill into which Rep. Brennan’s standalone suppressor bill was amended during the final days of the 2015 legislative session. As a result of Rep. Brennan’s diligent efforts, suppressors became legal to own in Vermont for the first time in over a century on July 2, 2015.
Representative Jeff Goley - New Hampshire House of Representatives
State Representative Jeff Goley was first elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2004 and currently serves the state’s 8th Senate District of Hillsborough. Demonstrating his commitment to promoting pro-sportsmen’s legislation at the capitol in Concord, Representative Goley joined the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2006. He currently serves as a Caucus Co-Chair and is an active member of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucus’ Executive Council.
During his time in office, Representative Goley has supported and been an advocate for advancing the interests of sportsmen and women. In 2013, Representative Goley sponsored HB 1290, which allows nonresident students attending a university full-time in New Hampshire to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the residential rate. Additionally, in 2014, he sponsored HB 256-FN -- a bill relating to the enforcement authority of New Hampshire Fish and Game Officers and the improvement of the department as a whole. That same year, he sponsored HB 1379, which protects private citizens from disclosing firearms records to the public under the Right-To-Know Act. Due to his continued commitment to the lawful gun owners of New Hampshire, Representative Goley has continuously received favorable ratings from the National Rifle Association.
Brent Miller - Senior Director for the Northeastern States and States Program Administrator, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Brent Miller has been with CSF for over a decade, first serving as a Brad Rowse Policy Fellow in the fall of 2010 before being hired as the Northeastern States Manager. Now, as the Senior Director, Northeastern States and the States Program Administrator, Brent oversees and interacts with the state legislative sportsmen's caucuses who are members of the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC) and supports the members of the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus in the northeast. Brent also supervises the Mid-Atlantic and New England States Coordinators; assists in the management of the Brad Rowse Policy Fellow program; provides administrative support for the States Program Team; and his federal policy portfolio includes firearm, knife, and deer management legislation.
Brent graduated with honors from Bard College in upstate New York with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy, where he focused his graduate studies on sportsmen's issues in the northeast. His thesis examined the potential for changes in Sunday hunting policy to provide increased funding for state wildlife management agencies throughout the region. Further research (and subsequent publication) included an evaluation of management techniques for localized White-tailed deer overpopulation concerns. Further, Brent received a Professional Development Certificate from The Wildlife Society, has been twice appointed to the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee, and served as a Committee Member on the Maryland Sportsmen's Marketing Initiative. Brent was awarded the 2015 Suppressor Advocate of the Year by the American Suppressor Association, and has received a legislative citation from Massachusetts for his dedication to sportsmen’s issues.
Joe Mullin - New England States Senior Coordinator, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Joe joined the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) in July of 2018 and serves as the New England States Senior Coordinator. In this role Joe works alongside state legislative sportsmen caucuses in the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, and members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus in the New England states. Joe also serves as CSF’s representative on the National R3 Implementation Work Group, in support of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.
Prior to joining CSF, Joe worked as a legal intern for members of the Pennsylvania Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives, and also assisted a candidate in the primary election for a Texas House of Representatives seat. Joe has previously worked in Washington, D.C. as an extern with the Department of the Interior-Departmental Ethics Office, where he assisted the Attorney-Advisors in vetting events and gifts for potential conflicts of interest. Joe earned a Bachelor’s degree from Chestnut Hill College in International Business and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law.
Joe is a native of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and takes every chance he can get to be in a tree stand or a duck blind. Joe is an avid outdoorsman and also enjoys fishing, camping, and hiking.
Jeff Traynor - Founder, Furbearer Conservation
Jeff Traynor, A.C.E. is a licensed wildlife control agent, wildlife conflict consultant, and Associate Certified Entomologist with over a decade of wildlife-handling and pest conflict mitigation experience. Jeff was awarded the 2017 “Trapper of the Year” award from the NH Trappers Association, and was also awarded the 2017 “Communication Award of Excellence” from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission for his efforts with the Furbearer Conservation™ project, which he founded in 2014. He is also a certified Trapper Education Instructor for the state of New Hampshire. Jeff’s opinions and commentary on the benefits of regulated furbearer management have been featured both in radio and print.
Jeff dedicates his time not only to advocating for regulated trapping practices, but also education on the traits and characteristics of fur-bearing species, as well as non-lethal alternatives to nuisance conflict situations with urbanized wildlife. He passionately regards the importance of wildlife management, when applied to regulated outdoor activities such as hunting & trapping, and as an integral component of modern conservation.
Knox Williams - President and Executive Director, American Suppressor Association
Knox Williams was the primary driving force behind the formation of the American Suppressor Association. Knox entered the suppressor industry in 2009 when he began interning for Advanced Armament Corp. When he graduated from the University of Georgia in 2010, Knox was hired full time at AAC, where he served as Special Projects Coordinator.
At the time, hunting with a suppressor was not legal in Georgia, home state to both Knox and AAC. When he began developing a plan to change the law, he realized two things: 1) at the time, no other NGOs were working on pro-suppressor reform, and 2) he would be far more effective if he was able to create a coalition of support. It was out of these realizations that ASA was born.
In August, 2011, Knox organized an industry meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss the formation of an association. The meeting was a success, and one month later the American Suppressor Association was formed. At the end of 2011, Knox left AAC. For the next two years, he simultaneously consulted with Etymotic Research, a leading manufacturer of electronic hearing protection devices, and volunteered his time to advocate for suppressors and grow ASA. Knox began working full time for ASA in December, 2013, when he assumed the role of Executive Director. In July of 2014, as a result of over 3 years of work, hunting with a suppressor became legal in Georgia.
In over nine years of experience with ASA, Knox has become the country’s leading subject matter expert on suppressors and suppressor related advocacy. He has helped draft state and federal legislation, hosted countless suppressor demonstrations for legislators, and has actively lobbied in dozens of states, as well as in Washington, D.C. Since ASA’s formation, nearly 40 pro-suppressor laws or regulations have been enacted.
In his spare time, Knox enjoys hunting (suppressed), shooting (suppressed), traveling, cooking, and all things Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, and UGA football. He is a proud Patron Lifetime Member of the NRA, and an Eagle Scout, but most of all, he is a passionate believer that all law-abiding citizens should be able to buy and use suppressors to help protect their hearing.