From l. to r.: Josh Ward, Michelle Gandola, and Alex Gaziano

Image Credit: Joel Vandekrol

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Gunpowder Continues Impressive Growth With New Hires


Gunpowder Inc., a leading enthusiast lifestyle marketing communications agency, has introduced Josh Ward, Michelle Gandola, and Alex Gaziano as the newest members of its expanding team. These three strategic additions reflect the Wisconsin-based agency’s commitment to strengthening its public relations and digital marketing capabilities, and continued focus on strategic growth through world-class talent recruitment and retention.

For the last eight years, Gunpowder has been at the forefront of an ever-evolving landscape, growing and adapting to help its clients meet and exceed business goals. With the agency’s continued growth and new client wins in 2023, Ward, Gandola, and Gaziano are integral additions to support an impressive portfolio of clients, including some of the most prominent brands in the outdoor space: SITKA Gear, Pure Fishing, THOR Industries, Ravin Crossbows, Breeo, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and many others.

“As a partner to some of the world’s most trusted and beloved passion brands, we’re committed to investing in our team by attracting and hiring the best of the best,” said Ryan Chuckel, Gunpowder CEO and founder. “Collectively, Josh, Michelle, and Alex bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the group, as well as a love for, and deep understanding of, the outdoors market. Growing our team with dynamic players in the space uniquely positions Gunpowder as what we humbly consider the best enthusiast lifestyle agency in the country.”

Ward joins Gunpowder as a public relations director leading the hunt/shoot division. Since returning to the agency world in September, Ward has seamlessly integrated into, and now leads, the Ravin Crossbows, Ozonics, GOSAFE, and SITKA client teams. In his two decades in the outdoor industry, he has led marketing communications efforts for global brands such as Benelli, Smith & Wesson, Coleman, Pure Fishing, and Ranger Boats. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the field, along with his passion for high-level strategy, media relations and writing, the native Oklahoman and lifelong outdoorsman is the ideal candidate to run this important part of the agency’s business.

Gandola steps into a new position as associate director of public relations and business development. With more than 16 years of experience in the outdoor space and expertise in the marine and fishing industries, Gandola is a strategic thinker and visionary who consistently delivers big ideas that propel brands to new heights. In addition to her work at Gunpowder, she serves as a board member for the Coastal Conservation Association California, demonstrating her commitment to sustainable fishing and advocacy within her community.

Gaziano is the newest addition to the digital team, joining the agency as a digital and social media manager. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has spent the last couple years driving digital growth for a large automotive and RV dealer network. Gaziano brings a breadth of skills to the growing digital group, including social media management, content writing, copywriting, SEO, and content creation. At Gunpowder, he develops content strategies and manages social accounts for multiple clients, including X2Power Batteries and Ravin Crossbows.

The three new hires all joined Gunpowder in their new roles in the third quarter of 2023.