Conference Schedule



UPDATED - SCROLL DOWN Featured speaker listing, title and descriptions are listed below. 



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Opening Reception, Horseshoe Bay Resort 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

8:30 am - 8:45 am Conference Welcome - Mark Pillsbury, Sail America President
8:45 am - 9:45 am Opening Keynote Presentation - Future Brands: Marketing in a Purpose Driven Economy - Marcelo Puscar & Christine Carlson, Volvo Penta of the Americas
9:45 am - 10:45 am General Session Presentation - Drive Your Company's Performance to Levels Never Thought Possible with Talent Optimization - Mike Zani, Predictive Index
10:45 am - 11:00 am Break
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Panel Presentation: Trickle Up the Cup: How Small Companies are Contributing to Big America's Cup Campaigns 
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch (included in registration fee)
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Breakout Sessions:

  • Videos & Marketing: Innovations and Best Practices, Even on a Budget
  • Company Culture - How to Make Your Organization a Great Place to Work
  • Partnership Panel Discussion: TBA
2:00 pm -3:00 pm Keynote Presentation - Hustle and the Art of Personal Innovation - Jonas Koffler, New York Times Bestselling Author
3:00 pm - 3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm - 4:05 pm

Breakout Sessions 

  • People, Pay, Policy and Problems - Q&A with the HR Department
  • State of the Industry - A Recap
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm Closing Keynote Presentation - Now You See Me. Now You Don't. Tom Martin, Converse Digital
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Evening Reception & Raffle

Friday, March 8, 2019

8:30 am  Welcome Back- Mark Pillsbury, Sail America President
8:35 am - 9:30 am Opening  Presentation - Big HR for Your Small Business. Best Practices and Trends in HR for Owners and Operators - Brandon Raasch, West Marine Products Inc.
9:30 am - 9:45 am Break
9:45 am - 10:45 am General Session Presentation - The Recreational Shopping Experience - Jeff Coffman, AVALA
10:45 am - 11:00 am Conference Wrap Up and Adjourn - Mark Pillsbury, Sail America President


 Featured Speakers

Title & Description

Marcelo Puscar, Marketing Director


Christine Carlson, Marketing Communications Manager
Volvo Penta of the Americas

Future Brands: Marketing in a Purpose-Driven Economy

Consumers, employees, and investors want to align with companies that share their values and create positive social impact. As a result, brands need to convey their purpose in a genuine and emotionally engaging way. In this talk, Volvo Penta will outline seven steps to standing out in our hyper-connected, and distracted world, and to building a meaningful brand. How is Volvo preparing for the future and how can we all inspire more people to join the marine lifestyle?


Mike Zani, CEO
Predictive Index

Talent Optimization: Don't just put butts in seats, craft your talent

Mike Zani will help you push yourself to build a talent strategy in your organization with as much rigor as your financial planning. This is the blue print to creating world class teams. 


Jonas Koffler
New York Times Bestselling Author, Cofounder, Writer & Producer

Hustle & The Art of Personal Innovation

Navigating sucess and fulfillment on our own terms is no small feat. Challenges and setbacks are constants. Meanwhile, life feels more chaotic, competitive and fast-moving than ever. So, how do we maintain our confidence, energy and focus and rediscover the hidden fuel that gives us more money, meaning, and momentum?

The secret lies in getting out of our comfort zones and shaking things up by making manageable tweaks and placing small bets on pursuits that propel us forward. This presentation helps audiences look through a new growth lens based on key insights from the bestselling book Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning and Momentum. It is designed to help leaders and teams transform the way they work, live, and give themselves permission to thrive.

Jeff Coffman,
Sr. Vice President of Enterprise Solutions
Avala, Inc. a Rollick Company

The Recreational Shopping Experience

Come Learn about the recreation shopping experience, specifically why consumers buy and how to ensure they buy from you. This session will review the results of research conducted with more than 3,000 consumers who are engaged in the recreational product buying process. Gain consumer perspectives on bran consideration and switching, dealer and OEM follow-up, satisfaction drivers, and why people leave the brand or the market.


Tom Martin
Converse Digital

Now You See Me. Now You Don't.

Today's self-educating buyers are researching and making buying decisions the way humans have always preferred  — without advertising puffery or pushy sales people.  But what would seem a negative is actually the biggest opportunity in the history of sales & marketing for well prepared organizations. 

In this keynote, Martin shares a proven strategic and tactical framework that your organization can deploy immediately to help you capture these invisible sales opportunities and convert them into very visible customers. 


Brandon Faasch
Director of Human Resources
West Marine Products Inc.

Big HR for Your Small Business. Best Practices and Trends in HR for Owners and Operators.

The "people side" of your business can help you sink or swim. And in the rapid pace of today's world, hiring great people, knowing labor laws, increasing staff skills, decreasing conflict and developing leaders are all part of great human resources, as well as ordering those birthday cakes!

The marine industry has even more unique demands: technical knowledge, demanding customers, a tight market for talent knowing sailing, and drastic seasonality. Based on his work with West Marine, Tracker Marine, Tiara Yachts and Cruisers Yachts, Brandon Raasch will share insights and top HR trends and challenges with strategies to tackle them. 


CONTACT US 50 Water Street Warren, RI 02885
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