Sail America details association’s future goals

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Sail America has developed a plan to more clearly focus its efforts on supporting and promoting the business of sailing, the group's executive director Jonathan Banks said in a report to members.

At a recent strategic planning meeting, the board said it would:

  • Develop a comprehensive sailing website that will become a major portal for consumers to connect with the sailing industry.
  • Develop and adopt a clear mission statement and do a better job communicating Sail America's role and membership benefits.
  • Become the best source of market data and industry information.
  • Develop a clear boat show plan.
  • Develop a database of individual sailors to share with Sail America members.
  • Create a sustainable business model for the association.
  • Continue to provide ongoing education to our members.

To assist the board in determining its goals, Sail America relied on membership surveys that focused on the challenges facing its member companies and the industry at large, as well as measuring member satisfaction with Sail America's services and benefits.

Some of the challenges facing members' companies included financial difficulties, followed by lack of sales, concerns with inventory levels and work-force issues. Challenges facing the industry included how to connect with buyers, changing demographics, economic conditions and financing issues.

The survey also focused on Sail America's member benefits and membership satisfaction. Nearly 80 percent of its members are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with Sail America, while 21 percent are not satisfied.

"Undoubtedly, there is much work ahead of us, but the good news is we're united and committed to making this happen," Banks said. "I personally appreciate the time, focus, hard work and dedicated effort of the Sail America board and look forward to further collaboration as we work together to harness the collective power and strength of our industry to accomplish our mission."

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