Sail America Board Meeting Addresses Sailing’s Future
The annual Sail America Board of Directors meeting and all-day planning session was held May 11, 2007 at the New York Yacht Club in Newport, Rhode Island. The objective of the meeting was to identify opportunities to grow the sailing market, and to develop a clear, tactical plan for the association.
According to Sail America President Bill Bolin, the Board began by stepping back and questioning the need and the role of Sail America. “We all agreed there was an important need for Sail America as the voice of the sailing industry, but we also agreed that the association needed to be more inclusive and encompass more companies that make any part of their livelihood from sailing,” he said.
One of the major outcomes of the strategic planning session was a newly-drafted mission statement that was developed to communicate this expanded role.
Promote the Health and Growth of SAILING by Providing Members With:
- Vision, leadership, and a unified voice
- Targeted sales opportunities
- Integrated marketing programs
- Industry information and knowledge
- The tools to achieve high standards and best industry practices
In addition, membership services were discussed and subsequently expanded to better meet the needs of our broader membership. A new membership benefits package is underway and will be sent to all members and prospects in early July.
One of the major accomplishments of the session was the unanimous passage of the new Grow Boating assessment for auxiliary-powered sailboats, addressed elsewhere in this newsletter.
The marketing committee was tasked to develop new ways to promote the sailing lifestyle to help ensure the growth of the overall sailing market. Another area of discussion was a focused improvement of the experience for boat show attendees and exhibitors, along with two new SAILFEST shows for the upcoming season.
According to Bolin, one of the primary topics discussed centered on the association’s budget. The board recommended that Sail America streamline its costs as much as possible, plus establish closer affiliations with other marine associations.
“This was a working session and contributions by all the board members were truly outstanding,” said Bolin. “The knowledge and experience of our Board is outstanding, and there is a very high level of commitment among the group to furthering the mission of Sail America and its membership.”