Otis Technology was founded in 1985 by Doreen Garrett after a fall in the mud resulted in a ruined hunt and a barrel full of muck. Since then, she and her siblings – Larry Williams, Denise Miller and Nick Williams, alongside their parents, Jerry & Lori Williams, worked tirelessly to build the company we know today as Otis Technology. The Williams Family’s hard work and dedication to their dream and craft is a prime example of the manifestation of the American Dream.
Both Doreen and Larry have served as Chief Executive Officer for many years. Otis recently welcomed a new CEO on board, Bill Kleftis. We’re excited to see the direction Bill leads Otis Technology, Shooter’s Choice and DRD Tactical and as a newcomer to the organization and industry, we sat down with him to get to know him a little better.
What attracted you to Otis Technology? Otis Technology occupies the firearm space that I have enjoyed participating in for most of my personal life. Being able to blend my personal passion with my professional career is truly rewarding.
What would you consider Otis’ greatest achievement? Otis has built a solid and well respected reputation in the military, LEO and firearm industry, through innovation, service and quality second to none.
What’s it like being a CEO for a tightly knit, family owned company? All the family members have participated in building the company where it is today. The culture that they have created and sustained closely aligns with my values.
How would you describe yourself in one word? Passionate
What do you like to do with your time off? Besides time with my family, I enjoy participating in competitive pistol matches and 3-Gun events.
What’s one thing you want gun owner’s to remember? Firearm ownership is a fundamental right that we enjoy and embrace in the United States. Give up on the 2nd Amendment and you lose all the others. There are plenty of examples over the last 100 years. As Winston Churchill said “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
Who is/was your role model? There are many that have served as models over the years that have shaped me into the leader and person I am today. Some have provided valuable lessons to emulate. Others provided backdrops to avoid.
You’re heavily involved in shooting sports; what is it you that you enjoy most about it? I focus on improving my skills through observation and simply trying different techniques. I love the competitive nature and the opportunity to share experiences with friends or new friends. The shooting sports industry is very welcoming to new shooters. We all started at the same place. I think it’s important to “pay it forward” by helping new shooters!
What is one goal for yourself that you’re bringing into your new position? Otis has built a solid foundation for the future. Increasing our commercial footprint is vital to our business. The invasion of offshore products has created competition in the marketplace. We need to continuously educate consumers on the quality and availability of our product. We have been and will always be a US manufacturer of Otis products. Furthermore, the growth of our DRD firearm business is paramount to the future of Otis Technology. The unique features and benefits of the DRD product line, allows us to differentiate ourselves from many of the other commodity ARs in the marketplace.
Now for some fun questions completely unrelated to your CEO role:
-Dog or cat? Two cats … Joy and Rusty
-iPhone or Android? iPhone
-Coffee or tea? Black Coffee
-Morning or evening person? Morning AND Evening
-9mm or 45? Used to be 45 but now 9mm