is taking on
a new challenge
After more than a decade at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and more than two years as manager of McGraw’s clay target program, Cody Matson is moving on.
He’s accepted an offer to manage one of the nation’s best-known clay target facilities, the Cherokee Rose Shooting Resort near Atlanta. While McGraw certainly is sad to lose Cody, it’s a tremendous opportunity for him to grow even more and make his mark in the world of sporting clays. His last day at McGraw is January 27.
“Over the course of almost 12 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best people you could ask for,” Cody said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been mentored by some individuals who saw my potential and helped me become successful. The membership and I have interacted in a way that has forever changed my life.
“I’ve developed relationships and friendships that resemble that of family. I sincerely appreciate the wonderful memories made and the generosity I’ve been shown. As diﬃcult as it is to walk away from all that is McGraw, I’m excited at the adventure that’s ahead.”
Cody joined McGraw in 2008 as a team member at the old Game Farm. Over time, he became one of the Foundation’s most popular hunting guides and demonstrated an affinity for clay target shooting and instructing. When the Foundation completed the renovation of what is now the Slawek Family Clay Target Center, he was a natural choice to lead.
He became a Level II instructor under the auspices of the National Sporting Clays Association and learned more about course operations at some of the top facilities in the country, including Northbrook Sports Club in Hainesville, Illinois and M&M Sporting Clays in Pennsville, New Jersey.
Along the way, he helped several McGraw members become better shooters and became an avid and successful sporting clays competitor himself. He is likely to be named to the Illinois All-State sporting clays team later this year.
“Cody did a great job running the Slawek Family Clay Target Center,” said Roy Raupp, McGraw’s director of outdoor recreation experiences. “He also developed a team in Braede Jacobson and Cody Jesse who are well positioned to carry on what he began.”
Now Cody will bring his talents to Cherokee Rose, a storied clays facility that was nationally famous when it opened in the late 1980s. New owners want to restore it to those glory days, and decided that Cody could make that happen.
“McGraw believes in investing in its people and helping them grow, and Cody is a stellar example of that,” said Charlie Potter, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “Though we would rather not lose him, we certainly wish him well – and we know that he will continue to be an ambassador for McGraw, its programs and its conservation work.
“We are proud of him, and we will be cheering him on as he takes on this new challenge.”
A farewell for Cody will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 26. Details will be announced soon.