Record Turnout for General Members Meeting in Oakland, CA
Sail America's General Members Meeting was held on April 20 at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA during this year's Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show. A record number of members of the sailing industry gathered to learn more about the exciting new plans for Sail America and to hear the results of The Sailing Company's 2006 survey of North American sailboat production, sailboat imports, and bareboat charter activity.
Bill Bolin, Sail America president, opened the meeting and recognized all the hard work of the Sail America Board and staff. Bolin was followed by Sally Helme, The Sailing Company's group publisher, who presented a summary of the results from The Sailing Market, State of the Industry research study. Helme emphasized a number of opportunities for sailing, including:
- Promote sailing as a way for people to stay connected with each other
- Market sailing more specifically to women's interests and needs
- Position sailing as the ultimate de-stressor and the ultimate win
- Leverage the positive aspects of sailing (e.g. inspirational, builds character, broadens horizons) to parents and children
- Promote the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of sailing
- Recognize and leverage that sailing is "Green"
In his presentation; "Mapping a New Course for Sail America," Sail America's Executive Director, Jonathan Banks, discussed Sail America's new vision and mission (see Executive Director's Corner), outlined plans for the coming year, and gave an update on Grow Boating.
Banks confirmed that Sail America will continue to run Strictly Sail St. Pete, Chicago, Miami and Pacific in the 2006/07 show year, but that the Strictly Sail Philadelphia show will be dropped going forward. He also outlined plans to develop the SailFest concept, in which sailing-related products and services will be prominently featured in Boat Shows around the country, including NMMA's Baltimore and Norfolk, VA Boat Shows. Banks emphasized Sail America's commitment to identifying a new venue for Strictly Sail Pacific in the event that Jack London Square is not available next year due to construction work. A site selection task force has been formed and a number of potential sites have already been identified.
Bolin closed the meeting with an update on Sail America's Grow Sailing Initiative.