Future History

Muzzle loading rifle enthusiast
looks to help communities develop

History buff Miller
helps others find bright futures

Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(June 2010) – John Miller is a man with a hobby that recaptures the past and a business that helps organizations create successful futures. While his company serves to offer management training and executive coaching for non-profit organizations and other businesses, in his free time he can often be found hunting with his muzzle loading rifle and inspiring an appreciation of antique and reproduction firearms.

John Miller

Photo provided

John Miller helped
restructure the
NMLRA’s budget
and instituted an
endowment program
that continues to
help the organization.

Miller, 62, laughingly describes himself as “a hardcore history buff, I think that came from my mother.” He now he is busy passing on that same enthusiasm for the past – his daughter holds a PhD in history and his grandson has recently decided that a flintlock rifle is just what he needs for his hunting adventures.
Miller currently serves as president of the Quantum Leadership Group, located in Madison, Ind. Much of his work involves helping companies and organizations manage transitions. Miller has a proven history of successfully overseeing organizations undergoing significant changes.
While serving as the Executive Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine, he was responsible for many aspects of moving the association’s headquarters from Madison, Wisc., to Indianapolis. Miller moved to Madison after accepting a position with the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, where he served as Executive Vice President for over four years. The town proved a perfect fit for Miller and his family
“Once we got here, we decided we never wanted to leave,” he said.
While working with the NMLRA, located in nearby Friendship, Miller restructured the organization’s budget and instituted an endowment development program that to date has raised more than $110,000. Terri Trowbridge, Director of Publications for the NMLRA, describes Miller’s work saying, “He was very knowledgeable about the association and what it needed.”
As a muzzle loading enthusiast, Miller looks forward to the National Championships held each year in Friendship.“Competition with firearms has always been a part of American history,” Miller explains.
One of his favorite events when he was competing was a set up of “novelty targets,” such as deer cutouts, throughout the woods. Participants spent an hour or more making their way through the course consisting of 22-23 of knock-down targets and swinging targets.
Part of the challenge in this event is the fact that the target distances are not marked, so the shooters must judge that aspect for themselves. This year’s National Championships took place Sept. 12-20. It included period crafts and clothing, and enjoying “period music from the early 1800s” Trowbridge said.
Miller said the NMLRA’s Rand Museum on the property there “is a great place to see historical materials.”
Yet for all his love of history, Miller is also looking ahead. He presently volunteers with the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce as chairman of the Sustainable Communities Task Force. Miller describes the goal of the task force as working to “get communities to identify strengths and assets and use those in a way that doesn’t compromise the future.”
He encourages people to examine what is currently working well in their areas and develop those ideas further. Miller highlights the Historic Trades Techno-logy program at the Madison campus of Ivy Tech Community Col-lege as an example of the type of innovation that the task force seeks to encourage. Madison is a town filled with historical buildings and is an ideal setting for people to study restoration work, he says. “Find the things that are a perfect fit and run with them,” he advises.
Miller further explains that the idea of sustainable communities fits neatly with the green movement to utilize environmental resources in a thoughtful manner.
Miller speaks of his decision to open Quantum Leadership Group saying, “I always wanted to do my own thing.” He often finds his company called in when businesses are facing problems and enjoys helping others develop ways to meet those challenges.

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