The idea behind Gearfire originated from the owner of an FFL Dealer’s desperation to operate a retail gun store more efficiently and successfully, and from the vision to show more products and attract more customers online. The owner envisioned an online presence that could expand the store’s audience nationwide. The result was a website that grew quickly in popularity, but limited in product selection. How could he fill the store’s “virtual shelves” without spending a lot of money? Solution: develop technology to seamlessly live-stream product directly from partnered Distributor warehouses carrying hundreds of millions of dollars of product. This idea alone is not groundbreaking—there are several competitors that already populate their online stores with inventory from one or two major Distributors. But how does a small local business compete with industry giants like CheaperThanDirt.com and Budsguns.com? Or make it affordable and easy-to-use for other FFL Dealers nationwide? With a goal and vision in mind, the FFL Dealer partnered with a developer and programmer and set the plans in motion. The integration and streaming of Distributor inventory processes with the leveraging of the FFL Dealer URLs was creative and effective. Finally, in March 2012, this vision and technology united and led to the creation of Gearfire. Gearfire now offers FFL Dealers all across the country a professional and affordable—yet robust—eCommerce platform. This allows them to offer their local clientele a way to browse hundreds of millions of dollars in inventory and buy it direct. Now, almost five years later, Gearfire counts over 1,300 FFL Dealers in the network and expects to grow this network to over 2,000 within the next three years.
Gearfire is a leading provider of eCommerce products and services for the firearm industry in the United States. Our solutions create an internet-based marketplace that captivates a new generation of customers accustomed to shop online. Gearfire offers powerful and comprehensive digital tools for Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers alike, providing consumers with the largest selection of firearms and firearms accessories available.
Roger Butterwick was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2014. In less than two years he helped grow the company from 689 network dealers to over 1,200. He also guided the company’s rebrand and restructuring from NFDNetwork to Gearfire, and supervised the complete overhaul of the website and business software platform. Mr. Butterwick offers 40+ years of leadership experience in finance and business development. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps before receiving his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Denver. He was appointed Vice President of the Colorado Society of CPAs and as Treasurer of the Jefferson County Colorado Republican Central Committee. When he isn’t busy building successful companies, Mr. Butterwick can be found skiing triple black diamonds or sailing competitively at locations worldwide.
Michael Wilmet was appointed President in January, 2017. His primary focus is strengthening Gearfire’s manufacturer, distributor and dealer relationships, business development and broadening the Gearfire brand. Mr. Wilmet achieved degrees in Business Finance and Marketing after serving tours on the Korean DMZ and Germany with the U.S. Army. He started his career with Montgomery Ward as the Director of Credit Marketing, and held the position for 15 years. Afterward, Michael managed a $23 million marketing budget with ITT Financial Services as the Executive VP of Marketing. In 1987, he founded and was CEO of FMP Direct, Inc, a full-service direct marketing agency that served numerous Fortune 100 & 500 companies. In 1993, he founded and was CEO of International Sportsman’s Marketing Network, the first single-source marketing agency dedicated exclusively to the hunting, fishing and outdoor sporting industries. Mr. Wilmet spent nine years on the Board of Directors for Safari Club International, and held the positions of Vice President and Corporate Treasurer. Mr. Wilmet was acknowledged by Target Marketing Magazine as one of the “Top 200 Best, Brightest and Most Powerful Marketers in the Country” in numerous years. Along with his wife Rachel, Mr. Wilmet has interests in wine and antique collecting, Arabian horses and international travel. Michael is also an avid hunter and has had the opportunity to hunt on six continents, spanning more than thirty countries.
Chad Seaverns is one of the original employees and now serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Gearfire. He is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and general management of the company. Under his management, Gearfire consistently achieves year-over-year growth, expanding its customer base by 50 percent or more each year. Mr. Seavern’s influence extends throughout all areas of the organization including strategic planning, corporate management, product development, technology deployment and customer operations. Mr. Seaverns earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Prior to joining Gearfire, he worked in real estate. Then, in 2002 he was bit by the entrepreneurial bug and founded what would eventually become the country’s largest independent video disc repair operation. He currently lives in Arizona with his wife and two rambunctious children.