John's Journal...

Cristie Gates - Benelliís Lady with a Gun

From the Farm to South Africa

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Cristie Gates of Accokeek, Maryland, media and exhibit manager at Benelli U.S.A., recently took her first turkey with the new Benelli Vinci, a semi-autoloading shotgun. This week, Gates will tell us about her hunt, the new Vinci and the many opportunities for women in the hunting industry.

Question: Cristie, what exactly is your role at Benelli?Click to enlarge
Gates: I’m the marketing manager or “Jane of all hats.” I buy print, TV and radio advertising for Benelli, I help produce commercials, I do voice-overs for many Benelli advertising and promotional materials, I write copy for all of our press releases, I help write catalogue copy, and I perform many tasks related to marketing at Benelli.

Question: How did you prepare for this job?
Gates: I went to Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where I received a degree in marketing communications. Following college, I worked for an independent agency for the National Rifle Association (NRA) on political campaigns.

Question: How did you become associated with Benelli?
Gates: The Benelli Company is 5 minutes from my house. Many of my friends from the NRA took positions with Benelli over the years. When I had my two children, I wanted a job closer to home. An opportunity presented itself at Benelli, and I was eager to work for a company with the reputation of quality that Benelli has. Click to enlarge

Question: Cristie, what’s your hunting background?
Gates: As a youngster, I hunted with my dad for small game Click to enlargeand upland birds on our farm, but I never became a serious hunter until coming to work for Benelli. When I worked with the NRA, I learned to shoot targets. When I came to Benelli, I had the opportunity to learn more about different types of hunting, and I had the opportunity to travel all over the world hunting many-different species. I went to an outdoor-writer meeting during my first week working at Benelli eight years ago. I met Jack Robertson, who coached me through my first real sporting-clays shoot. I got very excited about the shooting sports. Since working for Benelli, I’ve hunted Canada geese in Canada, sea ducks in Maine, geese and ducks in Maryland. turkeys in Oklahoma and Texas, deer in Texas, South African large game and birds – a gemsbok (a type of gazelle), a kudu, a red hartebeest and a springbok (types of antelope). I’ve experienced a wide range of animals, habitat types and hunting situations. I’ve enjoyed all of them.

To learn more about the Benelli Vinci, visit

Tomorrow: A Lady in the Hunting Industry

Check back each day this week for more about "Cristie Gates - Benelliís Lady with a Gun"

Day 1: Turkey Hunting - A Huge Adrenaline Rush
Day 2: From the Farm to South Africa
Day 3: A Lady in the Hunting Industry
Day 4: Benelli Knocks the Kick Out of Recoil
Day 5: Benelli and Gates 10-Years from Now


Entry 505, Day 2