For 23 years David Bottrall was legal counsel and Vice-President of Human Resources for Lescoa, Inc., a tier-one parts supplier that manufactured taillights, instrument panels, center consoles and other automotive components for the Big 3 in Detroit. Founded in 1946 by his grandfather, Leslie Tassell, Lescoa had six plants in the Grand Rapids area employing over 2,000 people. In 1999 the business was sold and David has remained involved with the family foundation and other family real estate interests.
Why would an attorney who grew up in the manufacturing business want to be involved with the Michigan Association of Firearms Retailers? While David doesn’t hunt (he is a avid fisherman) he respects those that do. His Grandfather went on 13 African safaris, led by such greats as Andrew Holmberg, Eric Rundgren and Harry Selby. His adventures appeared in the pages of Outdoor Life many times during the 1950’s and 60’s. In a home filled with trophies, David listened to his Grandfather’s hunting tales and gained a real appreciation for the sport.
David is a shooter and a gun collector with a special fondness for the weapons of the old West. In fact, shooting is how he developed his initial friendship with Silver Bullet’s Doug VanderWoude and subsequently became involved with the MIAFR.
“Silver Bullet is one of the nicest and well run ranges I’ve ever been in. I developed an immediate respect and friendship with Doug and became fascinated with the firearm retail business,” says David. “Doug said that he and some other retailers were thinking about starting a state association and even though I knew very little about the retail industry I told him I’d like to help however I could.” He subsequently helped the group become formally incorporated and was recruited as secretary.
“We all feel that the firearm retailers in Michigan need an official voice of their own when it comes to local and statewide representation. That formal voice represents a lot of jobs and a large contribution to the state’s economy and tax base,” says David. “Unfortunately, Lescoa is no longer in business and those 2,000 jobs are gone. Believe me, any job we can hang onto now in Michigan is precious,” says David.