Executive Director’s Corner
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Bill Goggins as Sail America’s new president. As a member of Sail America’s Board of Directors and the outgoing VP of the Marketing Committee, Bill has already made an enormous contribution to Sail America. His positive attitude, his passion for sailing, and his world-class background in sales and marketing at Harken Yacht Equipment will be a terrific asset to Sail America, and I look forward to his visionary and inspired leadership.
I would also like to thank outgoing president, Bill Bolin, for the enormous contribution he has made to Sail America during his three-year tenure as president. I have much to be grateful for as Bill was instrumental in hiring me as Executive Director, and he has worked tirelessly on many challenges and important initiatives over the past few years. I’m also extremely grateful that Bill will remain on the Sail America Board for another two years as past president, as I can’t imagine a Sail America without his input and guidance.
As we move forward into the New Year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the achievements of the past year and also say a special thank you to the hard working members of the Sail America team who are not only the best in the business but routinely go above and beyond the call of duty.
On the show front, 2007 was an extremely busy year, with Sail America producing five Strictly Sail shows and a SailFest event at the NMMA-owned Virginia In-Water Boat Expo. National Show Manager Kevin Murphy, spent a considerable amount of time during the summer and fall searching for a new site for the Strictly Sail Pacific show. A great potential site was identified in Sausalito, but some last minute permitting issues, and a revised floorplan at Jack London Square, made Oakland the obvious choice for the April 2008 show. Read more about our plans for April 2008 Strictly Sail Pacific Show later in this issue.
As previously reported in Sail America News and in communications to our members, Sail America made significant improvements to its membership services and benefits in 2007. New member benefits were introduced, including discounted space rates at Sail America-owned shows, new marketing initiatives, access to sailing-related market research, enhanced member communications, discounted membership services, and new educational tools, such as HR and PR University.
The Discover Sailing marketing program continues to introduce new people to sailing. In 2007, there were over 100,000 visitors to the Discover Sailing website and over 7,000 requests for the Discover Sailing DVD.
Sailing continues to be featured in the Discover Boating campaign and Sail America has been working closely with NMMA’s marketing department to ensure that sailing is well represented throughout the entire Grow Boating initiative. I would like to say a special thanks to Sally Helme for her volunteer work on the Grow Boating marketing committee, and I would also like to thank Bill Bolin for his involvement in getting sailboat manufacturers to agree to an increased engine assessment, which has helped sailing to make a more equitable contribution to the Grow Boating initiative.
Finally, the John Southam Award, which is designed to generate publicity for sailing through articles and photography in the general (non-marine) media, generated more than 200 entries in 2007, resulting in over 150 million media impressions.
In 2008, Sail America will continue to enhance the membership services and benefits, look for ways to better promote sailing, create stronger and more successful boat shows, and strengthen the financial stability of the organization. I am looking forward to holding the inaugural annual sailing industry conference and sailing industry regatta in the late spring. This exciting event will feature a combination of educational seminars, workshops, key-note speakers, and social networking functions. The theme for the 2008 conference will be “Growth Through Innovation.”
I would like to thank you all for your continued support during 2007 and I hope 2008 will bring us all great opportunities and great success.