Conference Schedule



Sail America Industry Conference presented by:


Title Sponsor

 Marriott Milwaukee Downtown, Milwaukee, WI

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sail America Regatta, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Opening Reception, Marriott Milwaukee Downtown

Thursday, June 1, 2017

8:30 am - 8:45 am Sail America Welcome, Jim Abel, President
8:45 am - 9:45 am

Opening Keynote

Heather Malenshek, Vice President of Global Marketing and Brand, Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Learn about the power of the Harley-Davidson brand and the company's long-term strategy to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders - a topic of interest to the members of the sailing industry seeking to engage new customers while working to evolve their brands to help reach that audience. 

9:45 am - 10:45 am

State of the Industry and Strategies for Engaging Emerging Markets

Thom Dammrich, NMMA

This session features compelling new statistics on the economic power and clout of targeted multicultural markets while presenting new and updated statistics and trends on the marine industry.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Getting Inside the Heads of our Customers - The Demographics & Psychographics of Sailors

Heather Idema and Michele Siegel,Bonnier Custom Insights

Bringing the voice of the consumer - the sailor - to you! Through data-driven insights fueled by custom research, learn how sailors are engaging with the sport both on he water and out of the water - what fuels their passion, their future sailing goals, what they love about manufacturers (or where they feel they are missing the mark), how they educate themselves, where they shop for sailing gear, and their concerns about sailing's future.  In addition, hear about demographic and psychographic insights that could benefit your business and help you identify market opportunities for providing the best possible experience for sailors. 

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
Breakouts - (3) Concurrent                          1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
  • Building Your Best Sales Team, Chris Doscher, Beneteau and Raul Bermudez, MarineMax
  • Women in Sailing - The Next Emerging Market, Nick Hayes
  • What's Coming up for Small Businesses...Tarrifs, Taxes and Imports, Paul Kanitra,
      2:00 pm - 2:55 pm
  • Women in Sailing Panel Discussion: What are they looking for? How do we reach them? How do we "talk" to them?  Margaret Podlich; Deneen Taylor, Mantus Anchors; Karen Hunt, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center; Nick Hayes, Moderator
Breakouts - (3) Concurrent                           3:15 pm - 4:05 pm
  • Boat Clubs: Responding to What Customers Are Asking for, John Giglio, Freedom Boat Club; Chris Doscher, Beneteau; Todd Hess, SailTime and Moderator, Stanton Murray, Murray Yacht Sales
  • Nuts and Bolts of Social Media Marketing, Amanda Jones, Bonnier Corp.
  • Indirect Marketing/Content Marketing: Why and How We Do It, How We Measure Success, Peter Trogdon, Weems & Plath and Jennifer Richardson, The Moorings
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Letting Go of the Way It Has Always Been Done

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

Learn which businesses are leading their industry in the new digital world - and it isn't the companies that insist on "doing it the way it has always been done."  Hear powerful examples of companies that are reinventing their space and breaking all the "traditional" rules of business, and of the dramatic results.


Friday, June 2, 2017

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Keeping up with the Changing Pace of Digital Marketing, Bill Wagner, ARI Leadership

In this informative and interactive session, Bill Wagner, will share his cutting edge vision of the latest trends in digital marketing for your business.

We’ll cover upcoming shifts in strategy from Google and Facebook, the changing landscape for Local SEO for brick and mortar retailers, and techniques for managing your business’ online reputation.

Attendees will leave armed with the tools they need to build a winning digital marketing strategy and an understanding of the key KPIs they should track to ensure maximum ROI.

9:30 am - 10:30am

Integrated Marketing Plans Are More Critical Than Ever - What, Why and How You Can Build One  

Bill Wagner, ARI Leadership, Eric Braitmayer, IMTRA, Moderator Sally Helme, Cruising World/Sailing World

As a follow-up to Bill's talk about the realities of digital marketing today, the panel members will discuss what an integrated marketing plan includes, why they are important and how to create one for your business.  They will share useful tips and concrete examples in an interactive session with plenty of time for Q&A. 

10:45 am - 11:45 am

3 Industry Challenges

Join Sail America and your industry colleagues in a series of roundtable discussions to explore key industry challenges.  Participants will be divided into three different co-current sessions. Each group will, with the help of a facilitator, discuss and answer one of three industry challenges.  Group reports will be shared with the full plenary.                                                             

11:45 am - 12:15 pm Industry Challenges Report Out 
12:15 PM  Conference Adjourns 


Thank you to our Sponsors!


CONTACT US 50 Water Street Warren, RI 02885
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