Position Statement I think it is important before becoming involved in any organization to understand the group’s basic charter and objectives. While DEMA has numerous Mission Statements and Goals, I feel these are most probably best summed up in DEMA’s Bylaws, Article III “Purpose and Objectives”, Section A. “To promote the advancement of the diving industry, to promote and encourage the growth of diving activities, and to enhance the growth and public enjoyment of the sport of diving”.
By working towards and achieving this one goal, many of the other Objectives will both be contributed to and supported.
It is then critical to ask yourself the question – “do I have the time, energy, drive and experience to reach these Objectives through both personal commitment and providing my support and cooperation to other board members and DEMA stakeholders?” In addition, this commitment must be made void of any personal or political agendas and at all times the interests of members and the industry must be paramount.
I also feel it is important to “believe” in the Board, (the direction and management of DEMA). During the last 5 to 7 years I think all would agree that the Board – through the dedicated efforts of the DEMA staff and past and present Board Members – has evolved into a dynamic and effective member Organization that is poised to affect positive programs and initiatives that will benefit all members and the industry as a whole. I am extremely excited at the possibility of becoming involved in many of these programs and look forward to the opportunity of supporting their development and success.
Thanks to the present structure of my company, I am now in a position to devote the time and energy to aggressively represent the interests of all DEMA stakeholders and actively pursue DEMA’s Objectives, and would like to ask all members for your support in my election to the Board.
Objectives: The easy part is making the Statement – the tough part is making it happen.
Basically it is the age old question, ‘How do we Grow the Industry?’, and looking at the main areas of Diver Acquisition, Diver Retention and Travel, I would like to involve myself in marketing initiatives and campaigns that effectively address growth in these areas.
I regularly ask Dealers and Dive Resorts – “What can we do for you?” and one of the common answers is “Send me Customers” – although often tongue in cheek, I believe there are many basic marketing initiatives that can utilize not only readily accessible outside data but existing data within the industry to develop campaigns that will not only drive new divers seeking the adventure and mystique of diving into dive centers, but also motivate existing divers to rediscover the passion through local diving or destination diving.
We also have many existing programs - Ships to Reefs, the Scuba Tour, Deep Ambitions that have gained so much momentum and success, and now the “Be A Diver” campaign has been launched. I see the “Be A Diver” campaign as the nucleus for DEMA’s marketing direction and focus in the near future and the potential to develop marketing offshoots and related programs is extremely exciting and encouraging - something I would really like to get involved in.
DEMA is about you – it is about the industry that you live and work in and provides a livelihood for all of us. We need a strong industry and one way to grow is through increased participation from all those involved in our industry, and it surprises me that we have such a low percentage of Dive Retailers as members. As an industry organization DEMA needs to be providing such high levels of service, support and benefits that there should be no dealers who have any excuse not to become members. Just the marketing benefits and available resources offered by the “Be A Diver” campaign are surely justification enough to become a member. By developing additional programs that “drive” potential divers into (member’s) stores we can add another justification for retail outlets to become a DEMA member and support our industry.
Ocean Conservation and Environmental awareness is an area of extreme importance, not only to our industry, but also for our planet and future generations that will enjoy the oceans. The only way we are going to affect change is to raise awareness of the situation in all sectors of the community and get people involved. It is interesting to note that the demographics of the new “Be A Diver” campaign fit in well with those sensitive and concerned with environmental issues. By utilizing the vast amount of data already available to the organization and working in close cooperation with other industry bodies already involved in Conservation, programs that get both divers and non-divers involved and raise awareness of environmental issues in our oceans must be a focus of the organization – this is an indefinite program and to continue the inertia already established by various Non-Profit Organizations and agencies, the full cooperation from all the industries stakeholders will be essential.
Conclusion: I would like to make it clear that I am not looking at involving myself in DEMA with an “all guns blazing” attitude and I do not think that positive change will happen overnight. Affective change takes time and it also takes cooperation from all those involved. My position as a new board member would be to pick up the torch that has been ignited by a previous or present board member or committee, and work in close cooperation with all entities to achieve the desired objectives. My commitment is to the industry as a whole and its future, and if elected to the board my commitment is to also light a few new torches during my tenure so they to can gradually build strength and burn for a brighter future in the world of diving.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent the interests of our industry on the DEMA Board and look forward to you supporting my commitment.
President of Tabata USA Inc – distributors of TUSA and Sea&Sea
Over 30 years International business experience having managed companies at a CEO level in the US, England, Brussels, Holland and Australia, also presently Director and Board Member of an international scuba gear manufacturer in Japan.