Sail America’s Bill Goggins Discusses Sail America’s Proactive Future and New Initiatives
Bill Goggins discussed Sail America’s future at the recent GE Capital Solutions and Sail America “Growth Through Innovation” Sailing Industry Conference in Newport, RI. For Sail America News, he expanded upon these remarks, which will also be featured in a membership DVD to be distributed to Sail America members.
“Sail America was formed to ensure we have an outlet for a unified, autonomous voice for those of us producing products and services for the sailing market.
We in the sailing industry have enjoyed great times of prosperity and endured some periods that are more challenging. One important aspect to the cyclical nature of our marketplace, though, is that we have applied what we know best, learning from our experience as sailors! We have been, and continue to be committed to having ‘on deck,’ a strong watch rotation throughout the history of Sail America.
Today, I can tell you that we are lucky to have Jonathan Banks at the helm leading our efforts as executive director and honorary watch captain. He and his staff are doing a great job on our behalf. I also can say with certainty that we have some of the BEST and brightest generously sharing their time on our board of directors and various sub committees.
We are all working and volunteering for the greater good. Standing shoulder to shoulder. To all of you volunteers, I say thanks.
And this is where you and your company come in.
We all need to take an active role in getting our heads out of the boat. We all need to support more than just our own individual efforts. We ask that you renew our commitment to Sail America by renewing your MEMBERSHIP and simply GETTING INVOLVED.
I also want to articulate for you a few key initiatives that we have undertaken to secure Sail America’s future. This should bring you up to speed:
Here are four of our Top Initiatives:
1. Reenergize Our Base
We see a re-focused, re-energized base of members, with a goal to getting ALL of our members to believe and to buy in to what we’re doing.
We see a lot of people that believe in the future of Sail America. This is illustrated with the countless examples of volunteerism on all of the committees and at the board level to simply ‘make it happen.’
It was also recently shown with the fantastic turnout of over 150 of your colleagues attending our industry conference. We sold all of the available spaces, and had the best of the best sponsoring and supporting this great event.
There were optimists made out of skeptics. We heard from the Volvo Ocean Race to the Olympics to the America’s Cup. More importantly, we focused most of the conference on being better business people and accelerating our own businesses.
2. Achieve Financial Stability
We have an initiative to achieve financial stability for Sail America. It is my pleasure to introduce to you a newly created relationship with the NMMA that will help us achieve this goal.
Sail America and the NMMA have announced a new affiliation that takes advantage of the strengths of each organization, while mitigating for some existing weaknesses that we had not addressed in the past – weaknesses that were hurting us financially.
Importantly, this new affiliation is based on a foundation with Sail America maintaining our STRENGTH and AUTONOMY, while moving boat show operations to the great show teams at the NMMA.
Simply put, this new affiliation ensures that Sail America maintains a dedicated staff, and a board of directors and committees that set the agenda for sailing, but we will no longer be in the boat show operations business. We are, therefore, reducing our overhead and simplifying what we do, while outsourcing management of the shows.
Going forward, our focus will be to consolidate our needs as an industry. We will have a renewed focus on YOU and on OUTREACH….Thus growing the market of NEW sailors and customers. Meanwhile, the NMMA is poised to provide us with the best service from their dedicated and robust show and marketing teams.
Our independent voice for Sailing will be stronger than ever, AND our relationship with the NMMA will be stronger than ever. Things on the horizon look great.
3. Reinvent the St. Pete Show
We needed to take a proactive role in changing for the better our show presence in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sail America has just signed an agreement with Show Management to merge Strictly Sail St. Pete with the St. Petersburg Boat Show to create a new “Super Show” called the St. Petersburg Boat Show and Strictly Sail. We at Sail America and the members of SESA, are pleased with this new joining of forces with Show Management to make the best show possible in St. Pete. As I mentioned before, we are trying to do fewer things, and do them better.
4. Continue Our Commitment to Outreach
We have a fantastic group of volunteers that are leading our marketing efforts to help build a base of newcomers and consumers for you.
Sally Helme is leading our marketing initiatives with a re-developed Discover Sailing campaign with focus on a new DVD and upgraded Discover Sailing Website as well as even closer integration with the all important multi-million dollar Discover Boating national campaign.
We have undertaken a lot, but we have already accomplished a lot as well within these four initiatives.
We’re all aware of the tricky economic environment that we’re in today. There is only one way though to weather a storm such as this…..and that is TOGETHER. We are part of a common cause inside of Sail America, and we need your participation to make it happen.
Thank you for being a part of that commitment.”