Jonathan Banks, Executive Director, Sail America
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
Getting to Know Sail America’s Board of Directors
Since the early days of Sail America, the Board of Directors (BOD) has played a critical role in not only setting the strategic direction for Sail America, but also taking a hands-on role with our many programs and initiatives. From boat shows to the Industry Conference to Discover Sailing, the BOD has volunteered countless hours to ensure the success of these projects.
I would like to use this column to talk about the roles and responsibilities of the Sail America BOD and to introduce you to our current board members.
A bit of background. The Sail America BOD consists of 17 members of which 16 are voting members (the Executive Director does not vote). The board represents a cross section of the sailing industry including boat builders, accessory and equipment manufacturers, boat dealers and brokers, sailing publications, sailing schools, charter companies, retailers, etc. Each board member serves a maximum of two, three-year terms. The BOD meets in person three times a year (Annapolis Sailboat Show, Strictly Sail Chicago and the Strategic Planning Meeting) and participates in an additional four to five conference calls. Most board members are active in one or more committees, such as the Sailing Industry Conference Committee, the Marketing Committee, or various Boat Show Committees.
The Executive Committee, which consists of seven board members (President, Past President, Secretary/Treasurer, V.P. Association, V.P. Shows, V.P. Marketing, and the Executive Director) meets on a monthly basis and oversees key operations of Sail America (i.e. finance, boat shows, marketing, membership, etc.).
Unlike many non-profit boards, the Sail America BOD plays an active role in the Association’s operations – from organizing speakers and venues for the Sailing Industry Conference to helping recruit new members, to contributing articles to Waypoints and SA News. Quite frankly, Sail America simply could not exist without the board’s active involvement in our various programs. It is important to note that the Sail America BOD members are all pure volunteers, serving without compensation of any kind. They even pay their own way to travel to Sail America meetings.
In an effort to better understand and clarify the role of the Sail America BOD, we identified key board responsibilities at our recent Strategic Planning Meeting.
- Strategic Direction: Determine the strategic direction for Sail America through setting goals and creating a strategic plan.
- Legal Compliance: Ensure our bylaws reflect current organization and procedures, and that Sail America is acting in the best interest of its members and the sailing industry/community.
- Risk Management: Use experience, vision, intuition and leadership to identify and minimize potential risks.
- Financial Oversight: Ensure that Sail America is financially healthy.
- Revenue Generation: Support Sail America’s programs and events and help identify new sources of revenue.
- Board Recruitment/Evaluation: Identify and recruit new board members, and evaluate board functions and processes.
- Committee Structure/Recruitment: Identify what committees are needed and recruit chair person and committee members.
- Community Relations: Promote Sail America and its mission to the sailing/boating community at large, recruit new members, and represent Sail America at important events.
- Staff Oversight: Provide clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the Executive Director and Sail America staff.
Now that I've explained the role of the board, I would like to introduce you to our board members:
President – Sally Helme, Bonnier Corporation
Sally Helme is a Group Publisher of the Bonnier Corporation, and is responsible for three Newport RI-based magazines: Cruising World, Sailing World and Yachting. Sally was formerly Sail America’s V.P. Marketing prior to becoming President in 2009.
Click here to contact Sally Helme.
Past President – Bill Goggins, Harken Yacht Equipment
Bill Goggins is CEO at Harken USA. Bill joined the Sail America board in 2005 and served as the V.P. Marketing in 2006 prior to serving as President from 2007 to 2008. Bill’s term as Past President expires at the end of 2011.
Click here to contact Bill Goggins.
Secretary/Treasurer – Eric Braitmayer, Imtra
Eric Braitmayer is the Vice President of Marketing for Imtra Corporation, where he oversees all marketing activities for the company. Eric joined the Sail America board in 2006 and has served as the Secretary/Treasurer since the beginning of this year. He also serves on the Sailing Industry Conference committee. Click here
to contact Eric Braitmayer.
V.P. Shows – Stanton Murray, Murray Yacht Sales
Stanton Murray is the president of Murray Yacht Sales, a New Orleans, LA and St. Petersburg, FL based new boat dealership and full service brokerage company.
Click here to contact Stanton Murray.
V.P. Association – Josh Adams, SAIL Magazine
Josh Adams is the Publisher of SAIL Magazine, and is responsible for SAIL’s media properties—including SAIL, the SAIL Buyers Guide, and sailmagazine.com. Josh joined the Sail America board in 2007 and has served as V.P. Association since 2010.
Click here to contact Josh Adams.
V.P. Marketing – Van Perry, TUI Marine
Van Perry is Director of Global Marketing at TUI Marine, with responsibility for The Moorings, Sunsail, and Footloose Charters, as well as the Le Boat canal boat vacations. Van joined the Sail America board in 2010 and has served as V.P. Marketing since the beginning of 2011.
Click here to contact Van Perry.
Carl Blackwell, NMMA
Carl Blackwell is the Chief Marketing Officer and VP - Marketing & Communications at the National Marine Manufacturers Association, where he oversees all marketing and communication efforts. Carl joined the Sail America board in 2009 and serves on the Marketing Committee.
Bob Bitchin, Latitudes & Attitudes
Bob is best known as the founder and publisher of Latitudes & Attitudes magazine, but he also finds time to go world cruising, present seminars and write novels. Bob joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently serves on the National Boat Show Committee.
Wayne Burdick, Beneteau
Wayne Burdick is the President of Beneteau USA. Wayne joined the Sail America board in 2006 and served as the V.P. Shows from 2008 to 2009. He is currently a NMMA board member and previously served as president of the Connecticut & New England Marine Trades Associations and board member of the South Carolina Marine Association.
Jack Gierhart, US SAILING
Jack Gierhart was recently appointed as Executive Director of US SAILING, and joined the Sail America board in 2010. Prior to his current position with US SAILING, Jack was the CEO of MessageSherpa, an online communications company; and the executive vice president of Nautor’s Swan USA.
Bill Mosher, Forespar
Bill is the sales and marketing director for Forespar Marine Products. Prior to joining Forespar, Bill worked for Boat America Corporation and Harken Yacht Equipment. Bill joined the Sail America board in 2008 and currently serves on the National Boat Show Committee.
Bob Buckborough, West Marine
Bob Buckborough is the Regional Vice President (Northeast) with West Marine, where he is involved in all aspects of sales and operations for 110 stores from Maine to Inland Georgia. Bob joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently serves on the Sailing Industry Conference Committee.
Kevin Coughlin, New England Ropes
Kevin Coughlin is the Marine Market Manager for New England Ropes, where he is responsible for global sales, marketing and communications. Kevin joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently co-chairs the Industry Segment Focus Group initiative.
Greg Emerson, Hunter Marine
Greg Emerson has been with Hunter Marine since 1978 and is currently Director of Sales. Greg joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently serves on the National Boat Show Committee.
Jeff Johnstone, J Boats
Jeff Johnstone is President of J Boats, Inc. of Newport, RI. Prior to joining J Boats, Jeff was president of J World Sailing School, a company he co-founded in 1981. Jeff joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently serves on the America’s Cup task force.
Jay Stockmann, Vetus/Maxwell
Jay Stockmann is the CEO of Vetus | Maxwell America, and is responsible for operations, sales, and distribution of Vetus and Maxwell products in North and South America. Jay joined the Sail America board in 2010 and currently co-chairs the Industry Segment Focus Group initiative.
I hope you will all join me in recognizing the enormous contribution the Board of Directors makes to Sail America and the sailing industry at large.
Please email me at email@example.com if you would like to learn more about the Sail America Board of Directors or any of the various committees.