Meet Our Executive Team

Since its inception in 1996, Big Rock Sports has grown at an extraordinary rate, and Big Rock’s leadership team
is a big part of the reason why. They work to ensure that everyone—vendors, retailers and employees—benefits from our growth.
Because of their guidance, Big Rock is one of the largest distributors of firearms and fishing gear in all of North America.

Jim Haworth, CEO

Jim is responsible for all three of our business units; Big Rock Sports, Calcutta Outdoors, and HQ Taxidermy.
His extensive background leading successful companies is what made him the ideal candidate to succeed Ed Small as our CEO in 2024. He is a proven Chairman and CEO with a 30+ year background in the direction, leadership and implementation of business operations, merchandising and marketing solutions. Jim’s notable achievements include leading several recognizable companies to new heights; as EVP & Chief Operating Officer at Walmart, he led the Supercenter redesign and optimized merchandizing logistics strategy. As Chairman & CEO of Professional Bull Riders, he built the US sports property into a global brand equity.  As President & CEO of Outdoor Cap, he led the apparel manufacturer into a new era of operational efficiency and margin expansion. Other titles include President of Retail Services at Sears Holdings, Executive Chairman at Now Diagnostics, President & CEO of Chai Tai, and EVP & Chief Operating Officer at Sam’s Club.

Brian Phillips, President

  Brian is responsible for leading all aspects of the Big Rock Sports business.
Since joining Big Rock Sports in 2010, Brian has consistently demonstrated his leadership and dedication throughout his tenure, playing pivotal roles in multiple senior management positions. Most recently, as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Merchandising, Brian has consistently delivered outstanding results, driving revenue growth and fostering strong customer and vendor-partner relationships. Prior to joining Big Rock Sports, he spent 14 years working with leading companies such as United Technologies and Jarden Consumer Solutions, where he excelled in the Hardware/Home Improvement and Sporting Goods sectors.
   Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Appalachian State University, which he received in 1996, and he completed the Emerging Leaders program from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 

Ron Kay, CFO

  Ron is responsible for Finance and IT.
Since joining Big Rock Sports in 2023, Ron has taken the helm of Finance and Information Technology. With ten years of retail experience, Ron brings a comprehensive knowledge of logistics and supply chain operations. Previously, Ron served as EVP and CFO at Variety Wholesalers.
  Ron has more than three decades of finance, accounting, and operations experience across different industries with public and private companies, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University. In addition, Ron is also a CPA and a CFA.

Brad McNutt, VP of Sales – Dealer Channel

  Brad is responsible for leading the Sales Department – Dealer Channel.
Brad’s journey at Big Rock Sports has been nothing short of impressive. Joining Big Rock Sports as a National Accounts Manager in 2008, he has consistently excelled and grown within the company. In 2012, Brad’s performance led him to the promotion of FCM Division as Director of Sales. His success continued as he took over the responsibility for the Shooting Division as well. With 25 years of industry experience, Brad’s career began at Shakespeare Fishing Tackle right after college. He then moved on to Bushnell, where he focused on National Accounts until he joined Big Rock Sports.
  Brad attended the University of South Carolina for a Double Major in Human Resources and Marketing.

Ryan Link, VP of Merchandising

  Ryan is responsible for merchandising and product strategy for the Big Rock Sports US distribution market. After joining Big Rock Sports in 2013, Ryan has held leadership roles in National Account Sales and Merchandising, most recently serving as Merchandising Director for the US Distribution market. Prior to joining Big Rock Sports, Ryan spent nine years at Lowe’s Home Improvement holding leadership roles within Merchandising.
Ryan has extensive experience in merchandising, category management, and vendor development along with a deep background in the retail industry.
  Ryan holds a Material Science degree from North Carolina State University and an International Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Carolina.

Shannon Adams, VP of Information Technology

  Shannon is responsible for Information Technology for all three of our business units; 
Big Rock Sports, Calcutta Outdoors, and HQ TaxidermyThat includes planning the information technology future for the organization, as well as implementation and maintenance of current systems. Before joining Big Rock in 1994, Shannon worked for the US Military and taught IT certification courses. He has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of IT – including I&O, software development, e-commerce, business development and growth, project management, and continuous improvement.
  Shannon Adams serves on various boards and committees across North Carolina – including technology advisory boards at App State, UNC Wilmington, and Carteret Community College. Shannon has an AAS in Computer Engineering and a BS in Information Technology from Appalachian State University.