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News & Press: Current DEMA News

DEMA's Board Meets for Quarterly Meeting & Discusses Strategic Direction with Industry Stakeholders

Monday, June 22, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rachelle Reimers
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On June 8th and 9th, the DEMA Board of Directors met for a Quarterly Board Meeting with key topics for discussion being strategic planning, Reaching Out Award Nominations, and implementation of new board policies to help the association thrive in the future.

Day one of the Board Meeting began with a group discussion to help set DEMA’s strategic direction over the next 24 to 36 months. Attended by the DEMA Board of Directors, as well as by several invited Industry stakeholders who were also present at the 2014 Strategic Session, the group discussed DEMA’s progress since the meeting and plans for the future.

Those in attendance included:

Industry Stakeholders:

  • Don Rockwell, Aqua Lung
  • Sid Stovall, Ascuba Venture, Inc.
  • Mark Young, Dive Training Magazine
  • Dean Garraffa, Huish Outdoors
  • Richard Mitsoda, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas
  • Mike Lever, Nautilus Explorer
  • Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide
  • Jeff Nadler, PADI Worldwide
  • Jenny Collister, Reef & Rainforest Dive & Adventure Travel
  • Joe Stella, Scubapro
  • Doug McNeese, Scuba Schools International
  • Stephen Ashmore, TUSA

DEMA Board Members:

  • Mike Hollis, Pelagic Products
  • Scott Daley, Body Glove International
  • Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
  • William Cline, Cline Group Advertising, Inc.
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • Werner Kurn, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
  • Kristin Valette  , PADI Americas
  • Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators/PDIC International
  • Stuart Cove, Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas

The group discussed outcomes and opportunities as a result of the previous meeting, including:

Ongoing Industry Research Projects
Led by Research Committee Chair, William Cline

Discussion included progress of the next research phase which includes cross-tabulating data collected to determine more about diver purchasing behavior, and collection of retail dive store benchmarking data to help retailers compare their progress to that of the Industry.


New Consumer Marketing Initiative
Led by Consumer Marketing Committee Chair, Kristin Valette
Discussion covered the direction of DEMA’s new consumer marketing initiative including stakeholder feedback regarding future plans. Stakeholder suggestions included:

  1. The need to ensure engagement by Industry stakeholders in the process and in the program to make sure the effort is headed in a direction that is most useful for the entire industry. Invest the majority of DEMA’s time, energy and resources into collaborating with the industry to make this initiative successful for all.
  2. Conduct several retailer and travel case-studies to fine-tune efforts prior to launching them out to all stakeholders.

Mission Statement and Governance Evaluation
Led by 2014 Strategic Direction Committee Chair, Tom Leaird
Discussion involved reviewing the next steps to determine DEMA’s direction for the next 24 to 36 months, including the association’s Mission Statement. In addition to Committee Members, the following stakeholders volunteered to participate in making recommendations to the DEMA Board:

  • Mike Hollis, Pelagic Products
  • Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators/PDIC International
  • Mike Lever, Nautilus Explorer
  • Doug McNeese, Scuba Schools International (SSI)
  • Jeff Nadler, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Worldwide
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • Mark Young, Dive Training Magazine

The first meeting of the Strategic Direction Committee will be scheduled in July.


The ultimate goal of this session was to continue the effort to collaborate with members of the professional diving community and help establish a strategic direction for DEMA; a direction that can assist in developing a more profitable future for the diving industry.

“I welcomed the opportunity to provide input on the direction of our Industry’s trade association. Working with concerned DEMA Members to make our trade association more responsive and proactive is how our Industry will become stronger and remain viable in the future. While expressing a valid concern is healthy, continuous pessimism is not,” commented Richard Mitsoda, Managing Director of Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas. “I encourage every stakeholder to be involved; to voice and support positive solutions to achieve industry growth. Only by working together, but yet striving at being the best at what each of us does, is how both individually and collectively we will succeed.”


After the strategic group discussion, the Board of Directors reconvened to review the input from the stakeholder group.  In addition, the 2015 Reaching Out Award nominee evaluations were reviewed, and honorees were determined to be Jim Gatacre, founder of the Handicapped Scuba Association, and hyperbaric researcher Dr. Richard Vann. Also of significance, was a discussion about Industry participation in DEMA and the annual DEMA Show. This discussion included ideas for involving more stakeholders in their trade association community to increase success of such items as Industry research and consumer marketing.

The next Board Meeting is scheduled for August 19th, 2015. More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Bylaws is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard of

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