PPA and TAPS reach out to members on unification discussions

A group working to possibly create a new paddlesports trade association is inviting members of the paddlesports industry to meet with the group and offer input at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Sat Lake City.
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A group working to possibly create a new paddlesports trade association is inviting members of the paddlesports industry to meet with the group and offer input at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Sat Lake City.

For months, the Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA), the Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) and other industry leaders have been discussing the possibility of forming a new paddlesports trade association. Their meetings led to the formation of a Paddlesports Industry Unification Work Group, which is now trying to determine the goals of any potential new trade group. (For in-depth information on what’s happened over the past few months, read the feature “Meeting of the Minds” on p.40 in the GearTrends® Summer Outdoor 2006 magazine.)

PPA Executive Director Matt Menashes told SNEWS® that trade show attendees can meet with the Work Group at the Salt Palace on Aug. 10, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 355A, and on Aug.12, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in room 355C.

Menashes said the Industry Unification Work Group met in Chicago in June and created a Draft Action Plan and Strategic Framework to Create the Paddlesport Industry Association. “That framework says what the new organization probably should focus on,” he said. “We’re taking the time up front to figure out what we want to accomplish, and there will be a process in the coming months to figure out what we need to create to make that happen.”

Menashes told SNEWS® that PPA has shared the Draft Action Plan with its membership, and is starting to get feedback. Also, TAPS recently issued a press release inviting feedback from its members and others in the paddlesports industry. Tim Rosenhan, owner of Innova and a TAPS board member, said that people are also welcome to visit the TAPS booth (near the paddle tank) at Summer Market and freely share their opinions.

He said that right now, TAPS board members are just starting to digest what was presented in the plan. “We have general questions about the business model for the unified organization,” said Rosenhan. “The Action Plan is very strong with a lot of positive goals, but the TAPS board feels we need to come up with the costs of some of the programs.”

TAPS released a statement that said: “While we support much of what is in the Draft Action Plan, the TAPS Board of Directors needs to get some questions answered before moving ahead with unification. Early this fall the TAPS board will be making a decision on unification. Before we do, we need to know the costs to our members for the programs proposed in the Draft Action Plan. We need to know whether member liability exposure will be changed in any way. And we need to know what our members think of the notion of unifying the two associations.”

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