FROM THE HELM:
SA PRESIDENT SALLY HELME SHARES FIRST MAJOR LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE
By Sally Helme
President, Sail America
Dear Sail America Members,
I’m pleased to announce a major new initiative recently launched by our board of directors, which is a campaign to reach out to Sail America’s membership and the sailing industry at large. Our goal is to find out what is happening in every major segment of the industry, and to ask what Sail America can do to work with our members to better support their business goals. We have to all be on the same page to work together to grow sailing.
Our plan is to conduct roundtable discussions by industry segment so we can focus on the unique challenges and concerns of each group. The business issues for a new boat builder are quite different than those of a sailing school, which are different than those for an equipment company, retailer, charter company, broker, new boat dealer and so on. Each focus group session will be supported by two Sail America board members. We are targeting May 1 to complete these critical discussions.
We will then collect what we have learned and share the highlights with the entire membership during the Sail America Industry Conference slated for June in Annapolis. The conference schedule will provide an opportunity for follow-up break-out sessions for each industry group should they want to get together again. We believe that one of the most valuable services Sail America can provide its members is a neutral and independent forum for the various industry segments to get together and share ideas, experiences and best practices.
This new initiative is critical for all of us. “Business as usual” won’t cut it, and we are all challenged to re-invent our business models in order to survive and prosper. We can learn from each other, and Sail America needs to understand what is most important to all of you now. Careful analysis of what we learn from you will allow Sail America to refocus our mission to serve the sailing industry in the most relevant manner possible.
I encourage you to take the opportunity to participate when the invitation is extended to you. This effort is ultimately designed to benefit and strengthen our membership, and that includes you and your business!
Thank you in advance for your support and for what I hope will be your active engagement in this important initiative.