DEMA’s Board of Directors Assembles for Quarterly Meeting; Elects Officers, Establishes Committees & Develops Plans for 2016
On February 11th & 12th, the DEMA Board of Directors gathered for the first 2016 Quarterly Board Meeting to move the association forward on matters impacting the Industry. Discussion included a revised DEMA public policy process, consumer research initiatives, the GoDiveNow consumer marketing campaign, 2016 budget review and Committee planning. Following approval of the consent agenda, key topics and actions for the coming year were discussed and the following actions were taken:
Industry-Wide, Collaborative Consumer Marketing and Social Media Campaign
The Board reviewed progress on DEMA’s industry-wide “Go Dive Now” consumer marketing campaign and discussed the next steps needed to push the campaign forward. A key element to the campaign’s success will be the need to collaborate with the Industry so that appropriate elements of the campaign can be used by DEMA Members to reach more non-divers. This “multiplying effect” of the marketing message from all industry stakeholders is the best way to utilize the industry’s limited financial resources in an effort to help improve business for all. The Consumer Marketing Committee recommended, and the Board reaffirmed that Pay Per Click Advertising, along with a social media marketing strategy, using both paid and organic content will be the focus of this campaign. Further development to prepare the industry for launch will take place in the coming months.
Public Policy Process
The Legislative Committee provided a recommendation to the Board regarding the need to be more proactive on relevant legislative and regulatory matters, and DEMA staff proposed utilizing a web-based legislative service to help keep the Committee and the Industry informed in a timely manner of upcoming matters pertinent to the recreational diving industry. The Board discussed the importance of this legislative monitoring and voted to implement use of the service for 2016.
Consumer Research Initiatives
The Board discussed reaching outside of the industry and current divers in 2016 and focusing on surveying non-divers; special consideration was given to those who participate in the Pool Tour. An emphasis was placed on surveying current watersport enthusiasts to determine how to convert them to divers. The Research Committee will continue to develop and implement survey and research plans in 2016.
The Board reviewed the results from DEMA’s Retailer Advertising Survey which will be distributed to the industry in the coming weeks. More than 400 retailers replied to the survey with more than 270 from the US alone, providing a statistically significant sample from which to develop additional recommendations and programs.
Board Self-Evaluation and Governance
The Board reviewed summary results from 2015 Board Self-Evaluations including highlights and constructive feedback. Members of the Board agreed that continuing to collaborate with Industry stakeholders to discuss the Association, its programs, marketing efforts, research, DEMA Show and more will be crucial to help the Industry and the Association succeed. The self-evaluations allowed Board members to discuss their own opportunities for change, both in their Board governance activities and toward improving the Association.
One of the more critical evaluation issues discussed by the Board was the structure of the Association. Throughout 2015, the DEMA Board reviewed recommendations made by an independent consultant and comments made by DEMA members regarding DEMA’s structure. Such recommendations included officer succession planning and elections, voting structure and the recommended concept of hand-selecting DEMA Board candidates. As part of these discussions, a motion to maintain the current election process and voting structure for Directors was made and seconded. After much deliberation regarding the need for DEMA to focus on Industry growth, the polarizing nature of the issue, and the realization that the results of past elections would be unchanged under the consultant’s recommended structure and process, the Board voted to approve the motion maintaining the current Association structure.
DEMA Show Recommendations
The Board discussed ways to encourage and acknowledge Industry participation and recognizing rising new/young professionals in affiliation with DEMA Show and the DEMA Awards Party.
As DEMA Show 2016 will be the 40th Annual Show, the Board discussed ways to acknowledge and thank long-time Show participants this upcoming November in Las Vegas.
An important outcome of the meeting was the election of Board Officers and the formation of Board committees as follows:
DEMA’s 2016 Board of Director Officers include:
- Tim Webb, President
- Dan Orr, Senior Vice President
- William Cline, Vice President
- Tom Leaird, Treasurer & Secretary
DEMA’s Advisory Committees were suggested by DEMA Staff and for 2016 are established as follows:
Many Board Members volunteer to work in various Committees based upon their areas of expertise and interests. Committees are established as year-long tactical entities, and the goals of Committees include developing new ideas, improving current programs and benefits, clarifying or resolving pending issues, and soliciting feedback from Industry stakeholders. Task Forces operate on a shorter time horizon, typically working on a single issue. Within their areas of focus, ideas and suggestions from a Task Force or Committees are well-researched, developed, and when ready for further action, proposed to the entire Board for input, further development, and implementation. Additional Committee information is available online.