As president of Chicago-based master agency Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI), Geoffrey Shepstone is known as a straight shooter. On the gun range, he’s a competitive sharpshooter.
Geoff competes in Bullseye, Combat and Off-Duty pistol matches as well as F-class long-range rifle and Three Gun, a combination of rifle and pistol, target shooting meets. He has won first place in Expert and Sharpshooter categories and one year won two gold medals and one silver medal at the Prairie State games, an Olympic-style amateur competition held in Illinois. Competition is often steep. In one meet, Geoff recalls there was “a retired Marine sniper on my right and a police SWAT Team shooter on my left.”
Shooting is not only a competitive sport for Geoff, but a way to get away from the constant demands of running a business. “To shoot well requires so much focus that it is one of the few times I don’t think about my work,” he said, adding that it’s also enjoyable and interesting. He recommends others try it, noting it’s “a great way to teach a child discipline, procedure and responsibility.”
|Geoff bagged this heavy-horned 7×8 “elk of a lifetime” (scored 358) while hunting with Qwest CSM Mike Starbeck in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest.|
Geoff’s own interest in shooting was kindled when he was a child. “I first started shooting in Boy Scouts. I had a BB gun all through childhood that I shot tens of thousand of times,” he said. Surprisingly, though, he did not start hunting until he was an adult, after leaving his home in the Chicago suburbs to attend Iowa State University. “I was invited on a pheasant hunt by a new Iowa friend and loved it. I was hooked,” he said.
Geoff now hunts regularly. Last year, for example, he spent two 10-day trips on his farm in south central Iowa bow hunting. He’s even gotten his wife, Connie, involved. The two hunt ducks and turkeys together, and Geoff boasts that Connie has harvested seven Toms.
“Hunting is a big part of my life,” he said. It’s also become part of his work. TBI offers telecom services to supporters of organizations such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited and Pheasants Forever through a program called Outdoor Affinity Telecom, which donates 30 percent of its commissions back to the organization of the customer’s choice.
Words to live by: “Never give up, there is always a way.”
First job: Selling Christmas wreaths to raise money for the Boy Scouts.
Currently reading: “Activating Your Ambition” by Mike Hawkins
About telecom: We are only now approaching the best years to be in the channel for telecom.
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