Sail America Honors Longest-Serving Board Member and Past President John Peterson
Departing Sail America President Bill Bolin wanted to single out John Peterson, his predecessor, for special thanks “for his guidance and wisdom over the years.” Bolin noted an important fact: Since John Peterson first joined the board in January of 1997, he has served an 11-year term—longer than any other board member in the organization’s history. Peterson was tapped to become chairman of the Boat Show Committee at his first Sail America board meeting in January of 1997 and was elected president in January of 2000.
“John’s influence on Sail America is immeasurable and his leadership has contributed enormously in shaping the vision, mission and structure of our organization,” said Executive Director Jonathan Banks. “We are indebted to him for 11 years of exceptional leadership that has included spearheading many exciting initiatives that continue today.”
During his tenure, he was involved in decisions that created Sail America’s organizational structure and commitment to ongoing consumer marketing. He was on the task force to study the relationship with NMMA and he signed the first NMMA/Sail America merger agreement originally negotiated by his predecessor, Randy Repass. He also worked to merge the board of directors for the National Sailing Industry Association (NSIA), the sailing division of NMMA, with the Sail America Board.
He played an instrumental role in organizing Sail America into three main functional areas in 2001, with vice presidents for Boat Shows, for Association and for Marketing, and, he approved funding Sail America’s first Discover Sailing initiative, which later went on to garner global and national marketing awards.
He approved forming and funding the emergency donation for the “Winds of Freedom” fund and helped Sail America achieve more long-term security by carving out a “rainy-day" fund.
When Sail America needed Peterson, he was always willing to lend a hand. Said Banks: “John has always been there for Sail America. On behalf of all of our members, I offer him my heartfelt thanks for his energy, expertise, valuable experience and knowledge that he has brought to Sail America.”
Peterson, currently director of sales and marketing for Hunter Marine, encourages members of the sailing industry to get involved and take an active role in Sail America. “While many of Sail America board members are your direct competitors, you can witness firsthand the passion and drive for the industry,” he said. “This in turn invigorates you and makes you push harder in your business and really gives one a ‘feel for the pulse’ of the industry. If we all give back some time and hopefully talent, so to speak, we can and will have a stronger marketplace by collectively producing events and programs for the good of the marketplace.”
In addition, Doug Ament, president of H&S Yacht Sales, has decided to step down and not seek a second term. We thank him for his service.