EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
SAIL AMERICA SETS STRATEGIC DIRECTION FOR 2011/2012
The Sail America Board of Directors gathered for a one-day offsite Strategic Planning Meeting in mid May to review the nuts and bolts of our operation and to build consensus on key objectives for 2011-2012. The meeting was well attended, with 15 of the 17 board members present.
I would like to thank TUI Marine (parent company of Sunsail and The Moorings) for hosting the event at their Clearwater, FL office, and Murray Yacht Sales and Sailing Florida for organizing a wonderful sail on St. Petersburg Bay.
The meeting kicked off with the Executive Director’s report, which covered the following accomplishments from the past year:
- Financial health of SA – Sail America is projecting another profitable year.
- A strong Strictly Sail Pacific (SSP) Show – space sales were up 20%, attendance was up 10%, seminar attendance was up 5% and gross profit was up 30%.
- Membership growth – membership revenue grew by 10% and 60 new members joined.
- Solid show partnerships – Sail America continued to build strong relationships with NMMA, Show Management, U.S. Yacht Shows, and several other boat show producers.
- Strong Discover Sailing activity – launched the Discover Sailing Learning Center at Strictly Sail Pacific.
- Record participation at Sail America seminars.
- New initiatives – Industry Segment Focus Groups
After a in-depth discussions about boat shows, the Sailing Industry Conference, marketing initiatives, Discover Boating, Sail America’s financials, the industry focus groups and the role of the board of directors, the following actions were agreed upon:
- The Sail America board reiterated its commitment to keep Strictly Sail Pacific in the Bay Area through 2013 (to coincide with the America’s Cup) and to continue supporting shows we currently endorse (e.g. Strictly Sail Chicago, Strictly Sail Miami and the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show). The board also agreed to look into supporting existing shows in Southern California and Texas.
- A Sailing Industry Conference will be held in the spring/summer of 2012. Top priorities include selecting dates, venue and a theme for the conference.
- The major priorities for marketing in 2012 are to develop the new website/portal, update the Discover Sailing video, and develop a comprehensive source of sailing market data.
- The board voted unanimously to endorse the Grow Boating campaign to its membership and Carl Blackwell (NMMA) encouraged SA board members to make content (i.e. video, imagery, etc.) available to the NMMA for Discover Boating media creation.
- Kevin Coughlin and Jay Stockmann have assumed responsibility for the Industry Segment Focus Group initiative. A new meeting schedule will be developed and minutes from previous meetings will be posted on the Sail America website.
- The Finance Committee will review Sail America’s investment strategy and “rainy day” fund requirements.
- Sail America board members will be more visible to the membership. A list of board members will be added to the Sail America website and board members will reach out to members to help spread the word about all the great things that Sail America is doing.
The following priorities were identified for 2011/2012, with the corresponding board member spearheading the effort:
- Develop a new consumer website/web portal (Marketing – Van Perry)
- Clarify and communicate SA’s Mission (Association – Josh Adams)
- Develop a comprehensive source of market data (Marketing – Van Perry)
- Improve our management of boat shows (Shows – Stanton Murray)
- Further strengthen our relationship with the NMMA (All)
- Explore opportunities to work with the America’s Cup to grow sailing (Sally Helme and Van Perry)
I would like to personally thank all board members for their time, focus, hard work and dedicated effort, and look forward to further collaboration as we work together and with our members to harness the collective power and strength of our industry to accomplish our mission.
Here’s to an exciting year ahead!