Our Team

Kutlay Kaya
CEO/Chairman of the Board

Kutlay has 26 years of combined professional experience in government and business, and he has served as an international business consultant and broker on five continents. He is a tireless networker, team builder, and entrepreneur who employs his talents to meet the needs of commercial and government customers in his chosen business sectors. Kutlay’s current geographic areas of focus are the United States, Turkey, Europe, and the Middle East.

In 1996 Kutlay earned an engineering bachelor’s degree from 19 Mayis University in Samsun, Turkey, and in 1998 he moved to the U.S., where he continued his studies and was employed as a consultant and director for two nonprofit, humanitarian organizations. In 2003 Kutlay earned a master’s degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In 2005 Kutlay founded Zenith Quest Corporation (ZQC), headquartered in Virginia, to help Turkish producers of consumer goods, and to foster improved trade relations between Turkey and the United States. Today ZQC is a multinational corporation that has imported and distributed more than $200 million in ammunition and firearms to U.S. customers through its subsidiaries ZQI Ammunition and Zenith Firearms. In 2015 Kutlay founded ZNT Global (ZNT), headquartered in Ankara, Turkey, to provide select defense, cybersecurity, and IT products and services to customers in Turkey and the Middle East region.

Mr. Kaya travels internationally regularly to develop and oversee his businesses, and to meet and network with leaders in commerce and government.


staff_hanriHanri Kaya
Chief Financial Officer

Hanri worked as both a registered nurse and a part-time business manager for eight years, before transitioning in 2014 to full-time work in various executive roles for Zenith Quest Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Zenith Firearms. She currently serves as the chief executive officer, a position from which she shapes the company’s vision and strives to set a high standard for the staff by her examples of dedication and integrity in the pursuit of excellence. Hanri has earned a bachelor’s degree (2005), and an MBA with international concentration (2014), from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

During her tenure as chief executive, Hanri has overseen the company’s successful execution of a $54 million ammunition contract with Walmart Inc., and presided over Zenith Firearms’ ascendance in the U.S. roller-delayed blowback firearms market. She is currently spearheading the company’s execution of a multi-year asset acquisition plan that will transform Zenith Firearms from being primarily a U.S. importer and distributor of firearms, to being a full-service U.S. manufacturer.

As CEO, Hanri also undertakes administrative, contractual, financial, and regulatory responsibilities across the spectrum of ZQC’s international operations in the firearms, defense, cybersecurity, unmanned aerial systems, and energy industries.


staff_robRob Moses
General Manager

Rob is a life-long firearm and ammunition enthusiast. He joined the Zenith team in 2016 as a customer service representative. Working for several years in roller-delayed technical support and Custom Shop services has equipped him to provide a high-level of support and knowledge of the platform. In addition to customer service, Rob has worked in other key roles from sales and warehouse management to shipping and receiving, He now oversees the day-to-day operations as Zenith’s General Manager.

 

 


Bahadir Harmanci
Project Manager

Bahadir received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 and MSc in Management in 2017. He has worked internationally for construction companies, and for investment and consulting firms in the renewable energy sector. He also began three start-up initiatives before joining the Zenith family in 2017.

Bahadir has worked in several capacities for the company, but by far his biggest effort to date is overseeing the design and manufacturing of Zenith’s introductory US-made model, the ZF-5. He is now tasked with planning and execution of a full line of Zenith models and accessories.

 


Marci Malinowski
Marketing Director

Marci has been part of the Zenith marketing team since 2015. Originally the Graphic Design and Digital Media Manager, her role has since expanded to include planning, coordination and direction of the company’s marketing efforts. She has served in leading design roles for more than twenty years, creating compelling designs for clients of diverse markets. She previously held the position of Art Director for Key Communications in Stafford, Virginia where she earned Best New Publication awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

She received her BFA in graphic design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her professional work is focused on creating enriching design experiences in print and on the web.

Although she is tall, Marci is a terrible basketball player. Fortunately, her daughters have better athletic ability and on the weekends, she spends her time as a soccer mom. She enjoys walks with her Great Dane, Lucy, time with friends, seeing new places and is a life-long lover of the arts.


Danielle Yancey
Sales Representative

Born and raised in the Shenandoah valley, Danielle has worked in the firearms and hunting industry for nearly two decades. Out of high school, she started as a front desk cashier for a local gun and hunting shop. She continued to work there through her college years, accruing experience in various departments, to eventually become a manager.

Danielle has an associate’s degree in business management from Blue Ridge Community College. She joined Zenith Firearms in 2017 as the company’s compliance officer. Given her ease with people and desire to help them, she now also helps with sales and handles many of Zenith’s warranty-related claims.

She still calls the valley her home and enjoys spending time in it with her family. From local camping trips in the Blue Ridge to stealing away at the beach, her joy is found in moments spent with her husband, son and daughter.


Lauren Sites
Sales Representative

Lauren, a native of California, came to Virginia in the winter of 2014. What was supposed to be a temporary trip to teach snowboarding in the Blue Ridge Mountains turned out to be a more permanent stay.

She received her master’s degree in school counseling and worked as a mental health and school counselor for several years. An avid shooter with a passion for the firearms and ammunition industry, she jumped on the opportunity to join the Zenith family. Lauren is thrilled to be joining the team at such an exciting time and plans to be one of the first owners of Zenith’s introductory model, the ZF-5. As a sales representative, Lauren is able to fulfill her desire to work with people and help them legally arm themselves.

In addition to working at Zenith, Lauren is a personal and group trainer at her gym. Her hobbies include lifting, being outdoors and hiking, and spending downtime with her family and two cats.


staff_jrJR Pannell
Master Gunsmith

JR has lived in Nelson County, Virginia for almost all of his life. He grew up hunting and fishing, and has had the privilege of doing both in many places, including Africa. He has always loved firearms, and has been shooting competitively since he was 21 years old. A former volunteer firefighter and a 35-year veteran of the United Parcel Service, JR transitioned to work as a full-time gunsmith, and served as the head gunsmith at a nearby firearm and outdoor sporting goods store before Zenith recruited him in August 2016. 

JR loves God, his family and friends, and working at Zenith Firearms. He and his wife of 33 years have two children and six grandchildren.

 


staff_deD.E. Williams
Gunsmith

As a young man, D.E. worked as a professional musician, a truck driver and a private investigator, before beginning a career in law enforcement and accepting a job with the Charlottesville Police Department. He retired from the Charlottesville PD with 25 years of service (27 total as an LEO), and joined Zenith Firearms as a gunsmith in 2015.

Firearms are D.E.’s passion, and over the course of his career he has acquired substantial training and experience in their employment and repair. D.E. has been a DCJS certified firearms instructor, a special weapons instructor, a SWAT officer and a counter sniper, and has received training as an armorer or gunsmith from local, state, and federal government entities, as well as from companies such as H&K, Glock, Remington, S&W and the American Gunsmithing Institute.


Zenith FirearmsOur Team