EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER:
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT THE SAIL AMERICA GENERAL MEMBERS MEETING
By Jonathan Banks
Each year, the General Members Meeting in Annapolis provides a great opportunity for Sail America members and marine industry professionals to hear about the latest plans for Sail America, learn about sailing industry news and trends, and mix and mingle with friends and colleagues.
In addition to the regular news and updates from Sail America, each year we invite a keynote speaker or specialist to speak at the meeting. In the past we have had a world-renowned economist, a business turnaround consultant and sailing commentator and ESPN presenter, Gary Jobson. This year was no exception, and we were fortunate to have Nick Hayes give a riveting and thought-provoking talk about his new book, “Saving Sailing.”
A record 175 people attended the meeting and there was standing room only for the latecomers. The meeting kicked off with Bill Schanen, publisher of Sailing Magazine introducing our guest speaker, Nick Hayes. In his lively presentation, Hayes addressed the core issues underlying the decline of sailing as a pastime and what he believes can be done about it. He did a fantastic job dispelling the myths and barriers to sailing and explaining how sailing strengthens our lives. Following the meeting, I received a tremendous amount of positive feedback about Nick’s presentation. It got people thinking and talking, which is a great starting point to bringing about change.
Click Here to view Nick’s presentation and to download a copy of his presentation.
Next up, Bill Goggins announced that Sally Helme will be taking over as Sail America president when his term expires at the end of this year. Sally has been a long-time contributor to Sail America and I look forward to working with her in her new role.
Bill Bolin, head of the nominating committee, then announced the appointments of Josh Adams to vice president, Association and Raul Bermudez to vice president, Marketing. Goggins also recognized the contributions made by departing board members George Day, Bill Bolin and Brenda Collins.
About a year ago, John Arndt got together with a group of sailing businesses in the San Francisco Bay area to figure out what they could do to Grow Sailing in their local market. The result was the San Francisco “Sailing Renaissance”, which has achieved great success and become the inspiration and blueprint for other regional grow sailing groups including the Annapolis Sailing Industry Assoc., the Puget Sound Sailing Renaissance, and the Southern California Sailing Renaissance. John shared the successes of the “Sailing Renaissance” and encouraged others to establish similar groups in other locations around the country.
Stanton Murray, Sail America’s vice president of Shows, outlined Sail America’s plans to create smart partnerships with boat show producers around the country. Stanton introduced Ed Hartman, U.S. Yacht Shows, who welcomed Sail America members to Annapolis and outlined plans to target overseas attendees for next year’s Annapolis Sailboat Show; Dane Graziano, Show Management, who talked about the successful merger of the St. Pete boat shows into the newly renamed St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show; and Kevin Murphy, NMMA, who provided details on the new location for Strictly Sail Miami.
Following George Day’s announcement regarding plans for the 2010 Sailing Industry Conference and John Burnham’s financial report, Goggins and Helme introduced a new industry initiative that is designed to connect industry members with sailors.
As reported in last month’s Sail America News, Sail America has been hard at work developing an Individual Membership program that will allow individual sailors to become members of Sail America. This new initiative, which is due to be launched in spring 2010, will provide unique opportunities for industry members to market and promote their products and services to sailors. More information to come on this topic!
The strong attendance at the Members Meeting and the positive vibes from the Annapolis Sailboat Show are good signs that the sailing industry is weathering the storm and is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Once the market turns around, which we know it will, we will all be stronger and better positioned to make the most of the new opportunities.
Executive Director, Sail America
Click Here to view a video of the entire meeting and download a copy of the presentations.