IWI are certainly up to some very interesting product launches, for instance the Tavor 7 “Major” in 7,62×51 mm and the Masada pistol.
At this point it’s time for Michael Kassnar to step down and retire. My understanding is that thanks to Mr. Kassnar the Tavor got to the US, and it seems to be a popular rifle.
For more details please check the press release:
Harrisburg, Pa. (October 2017) – Michael Kassnar, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for IWI US, Inc., a subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd., has announced his retirement from IWI, effective immediately.
“I’ve reached a point in my career where I feel comfortable enough to step back and let others take the reins,” Kassnar commented. “I’ve been very fortunate to have had such a long and interesting career in an industry that I am truly passionate about.”
Prior to bringing the highly successful IWI brand to the US, Kassnar’s history within the shooting sports industry began when he started to work for his father in 1976 at Kassnar Imports, Inc. in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. By the time 1989 rolled around, he had started his own business, K.B.I. Inc., importing IMI’s Jericho pistols, Russian and Hungarian small arms, Armscor 1911 pistols, and a few years later added the popular Charles Daly line of over & under, side-by-side, semi-auto and pump-action shotguns. In early 2010, the marketplace shifted and K.B.I. formally closed its doors.
Always the entrepreneur, Kassnar started a new company, Trans World Arms, LLC and continued with the Charles Daly Defense line adding his first American made MSR’s and carbines to the product line.
In 2013, the public demand for Israeli made firearms, especially the much sought after TAVOR® bullpup, caught Kassnar’s eye and utilizing his many international contacts, he was able to bring the TAVOR to the US.
And so, with the closing of TWA’s doors, IWI US, Inc., the subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd. opened in the same facility that once held Kassnar Imports and K.B.I. As IWI US’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Kassnar was responsible for bringing the iconic bullpup to market in an aggressively AR-style marketplace. With his industry-wide reputation as a fair and honest business partner, he was able to open doors in the distribution channel and media outlets that resulted in the TAVOR outselling its initial production run by 300% in its first year, as well as earning it American Rifleman’s Golden Bullseye Rifle of the Year for 2014. IWI US also won “Importer of the Year” from the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) for two consecutive years 2014 – 2015.
“I am leaving IWI US in good hands with Casey Flack, our CEO, at the helm,” Kassnar added. “I look forward to catching up with friends and family and some long overdue personal projects.”
Kassnar expressed his gratitude to all of his colleagues at IWI US, IWI Israel, and within the industry and did mention the possibility of attending the upcoming 2018 SHOT Show to reconnect with old friends at a more leisurely pace.