GOAL Relationships Lead to the Forming of the Ridgeline Training Center.
In October of 2008 Paul Deveno and his wife Amanda returned to Massachusetts after traveling the country with Paul’s work since 1993. During that time, the Citizens of the Commonwealth experienced draconian changes in gun law and regulation. Paul and Amanda saw this firsthand as they worked through the process of obtaining their LTC’s. The experience gave Paul a larger ambition to do what he could to educate others in the shooting sports he had grown up with and loved so much. It was with this purpose in mind that both Paul and Amanda sought out GOAL and in particular Jon Green. Through their interactions the two became certified instructors and assisted GOAL in numerous events to educate both the public and government officials. Despite all his work with GOAL, Paul wanted something more. A larger vision that involved developing his own range to further aid in educating and training gun owners.
In 2014 Alex Hartmann was a Marine Chief Scout/Sniper leaving active duty after completing his third tour. Like many veterans, Alex returned to his home in Massachusetts and had to identify what was next in life. While attending college and working construction, Alex became involved in teaching local Law Enforcement. The experience was eye opening for Alex, and while he was highly proficient in teaching a variety of firearm platforms, he recognized that instruction in the precision rifle world was limited at the time. Seeing an opportunity to make his community safer and stay connected to the craft he had dedicated so much to; he created a business to train Civilians and Law Enforcement. Soon after he connected with GOAL and Jon Green to develop a relationship as an adjunct instructor.
Jon Green put together a private course using a friend’s property outside of Bethel, Maine. Green wanted to get to know Alex and vet his teaching, communication, and demonstration styles. Not only did Alex bring our long-range game up exponentially, but lifelong friendships were also formed.
In 2015 Alex was beginning to think and plan bigger than the business he had started. At the urging of the Director of Veteran and Military Services at Northeastern University, Alex applied and was accepted into the Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network (VETRN) and in May of 2016 Ridgeline was born.
While Alex had developed the business plan and proforma for his business idea, he now began the arduous task of securing financial backing as well as property for the facility he envisioned. The GOAL connection and Jon Green brought Paul and Alex together as Jon invited Paul to attend one of Alex’s courses. The two discussed in great length their mutual desires in the shooting sports industry and thoughts on the concept that Alex had conceived. Ultimately, the two would form a business partnership to launch Ridgeline from concept to reality.
The partners set in motion, all the necessary steps to acquire property and develop it to become the Ridgeline Marksmanship Park. It’s a lengthy story with a poor ending, but quite simply after doing everything in their power, and doing it the right way, the deal came to an abrupt close and the Marksmanship Park concept was dead.
The company pivoted and looked at everything from other locations, to creating a retail store, to continuing as a Mobile Training Team without their own range. Ultimately, they both wanted to bring something different to the New England Region and continued to work through the challenges that come with starting a new business, especially a gun range.
Statistics will tell you that most new businesses fail in the first three years. This was a stat that Alex and Paul often referred to that galvanized what they were working on. They collectively decided that it’s not that most new businesses fail, it’s that the owners give up. They fail to adjust, pivot, work harder, and grind it out. Having a Marine as your CEO doesn’t allow for this type of failure. Alex’s drive, determination, and ability to adjust kept pushing the Ridgeline concept forward. These are the things that lead to “luck” and that luck was just about to strike.
In 2017 Alex was introduced to Chris Cyr, then General Manager and now Owner and CEO of the Team O’Neil Rally School. Over the course of 2018 the Ridgeline team worked with Team O’Neil on several projects, ultimately leading to a strategic partnership between the two companies. As 2018 drew to a close, the shooting range across the street from Team O’Neil came up for sale and the property was quickly acquired. Finally, after all the trials and tribulations, on January 1st 2019 The Ridgeline Training Center opened for business.
Today, Ridgeline is a full-service firearms training destination. Staffed by friendly, knowledgeable, and dedicated instructors, Ridgeline offers a wide variety of classes, ranging from Low-Vis Pistol to Mountain Rifleman, which make full use of all the facility has to offer. Literally hundreds of steel targets, five moving target systems, a fleet of vehicles, a Sniper tower, CONEX facades, it’s not a stretch to call it Six Flags for shooters. (Be on the lookout for a more in depth look in a future article.)
It’s a long story, but it can all be traced to its humble beginnings of three individuals – Alex, Paul, and Jon – working together under the GOAL umbrella to create something better for firearms owners in Massachusetts. That beginning is not lost on Alex and Paul and they have reached out to us here at GOAL to provide a unique offer for our members. The link below will take you to a landing page where you will receive a special code that you can use to take any single course at the Ridgeline Training Center in 2022 at a discounted price. To further support GOAL, Alex and Paul will donate to GOAL anytime a discount code is redeemed by a GOAL member. Here’s a great way to get out and sharpen your skills, save a little cash (to spend on more ammo!), and support GOAL’s work as well.