UPDATE: Water Sports Foundation / USCG Visit


Dear WSIA Members,

On November 10, 2015, Larry Meddock, Jan Meddock and Jim Emmons of the Water Sports Foundation (WSF), the educational nonprofit arm of the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), hosted the United States Coast Guard’s CAPT F. Thomas Boross and Outreach Coordinator, Tom Dardis at Bonnier Corp. for an “Editor’s Meeting.”  The purpose of the meeting was to engage the largest contingency of marine industry editors with the U.S. Coast Guard to heighten awareness of safe boating practices.  Bonnier is the world’s largest media provider for marine related content and they reach more than 4 million boaters per month. The ultimate goal is to one day see more boating safety editorial coverage in Bonnier’s media offerings.

The meeting started with the presentation of a MINN Award that Bonnier received for their work on the microsite for WSF’s nonprofit boating safety outreach grant called “Increasing the Awareness of Safe Boating Practices.”  Example: BoatingMag.com/BoatingSafety

Larry Meddock, WSF’s Executive Director delivered a brief presentation on the history of how WSIA and WSF got to the place where a grant request was finally written. Next, Jim Emmons, Grant Administrator updated the group on “How it all Works,” a description of the grant’s inner workings. Outreach coordinator, Tom Dardis explained how his USCG background in afloat planning, which included being in charge of safety for all Coast Guard vessels not docked or moored, led to a civilian position in the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety where he works passionately to expand boating safety outreach in America.

The meeting ended with an impassioned presentation by CAPT F. Thomas Boross, Chief of the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety.  CAPT Boross had each editor read a newspaper clipping to the group about a boating accident that involved a death and at the end of each reading he made a point about how and why this accident occurred asking the editors to share the lessoned learned from each with their audience.  It was a powerful moment that resonated well with the attentive journalistic contingency.

WSF and WSIA would like to thank Glenn Sandridge and Elaine Grime of Bonnier Corp. for being terrific hosts and assembling the largest group of boating editors ever gathered.

Two days after the editor’s meeting, staff members of WSF/WSIA were in Washington D.C. for the 94th National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) meeting — Emmons second as a council member.  At the opening of the meeting CAPT Boross shared how he spent a day with the largest contingency of marine editors ever assembled and he kept referring to the Editor’s Meeting over the two-day conference.  For the effort, WSF and WSIA were extoled over an over.  It was an extremely proud moment for staff members and it should be for all WSIA members, too.

At the WSIA Board of Directors meeting in September Emmons reported on the WSF nonprofit grant including a presentation on WSF’s paddle sports efforts where WSF has engaged canoe and kayak manufacturers to help the safety community distribute paddle sports safety messages to new, first time owners — a plan that has been lauded by many in the paddle sports safety community.  At NBSAC, CAPT Boross referred to this plan several times and during the “Paddle Sports Committee’s” report, Emmons was called on to share an impromptu description of the plan.  After the presentation that day, about a dozen or so individuals approached Emmons to learn more and to offer their help.  The next day, Emmons held a small committee meeting where WSF earned the support of NASBLA’s Education Director, Pam Dillon along with the American Canoe Association’s Chris Stec to help WSF develop its safety materials more completely.  Again, the staff of WSF is very proud of what our little segment of the boating industry has accomplished in such a short time — and all WSIA members should be proud too.

Just last week, WSF held its annual financial review with the USCG’s Pavlo Oborski, Grants Management Branch Chief, and WSF is pleased to report that for the fifth straight year, the USCG has no issues with the financial management of WSF’s USCG nonprofit grant.

Thank you and Happy Holidays to all. We have much to be thankful for.

Jim Emmons


Nonprofit Outreach Grant Administrator

Water Sports Foundation, Inc.

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