Over 250 industry professionals traveled to the Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, California, for the annual WSIA Summit on February 25-26 to collaborate and focus on topics including safety, risk management, advocacy and participation growth. The WSIAâ€™s mission is to promote and protect the future of all towed water sports, and over the course of Summitâ€™s two days, members, board of directors, and committee chairs alike all moved the industry a step forward and set plans into motion.
Now in its fourteenth year, the 2020 Summit has been deemed a huge success and featured some of the best productivity, collaboration, and ideation that this industry has ever seen. The various seminars, workshops, committee meetings and keynote speakers were exceptional as always and left attendees with some valuable, new ways of thinking.
On the mountain, Squaw Valley offered some epic Spring conditions, with temperatures reaching the mid-fifties and many attendees skiing and boarding in nothing but a T-shirt. Time to connect on the mountain with friends, colleagues, and competitors is an invaluable aspect that Summit brings to the table, along with other networking opportunities like cocktail hours and organized dinners.
Day one began with a grab-and-go breakfast, courtesy of Polk Audio, immediately followed by a morning on the mountain, where the resortâ€™s private chairlift just steps from the lobby was a huge hit. Later off the mountain, everyone gathered for the kickoff lunch courtesy of Surf Expo, a top tier Summit sponsor. During lunch, Summit attendees were greeted by WSIA Executive Director Kevin Michael and then had the pleasure of listening to Summit Speaker Jeff Bohananâ€™s â€œA Mindset for Changeâ€ presentation.
One of the main concepts that Bohanan addressed is the difference between the finite game and the infinite game. â€œWhen youâ€™re playing a finite-minded game, itâ€™s like football. The rules donâ€™t change. But in an infinite game, like the game of business, rules are going to change. Business is a journey, and to truly succeed, you must have an infinite mindset.â€ He went on to say, â€œA finite-minded leader will use a companyâ€™s performance to try to demonstrate the value of their career. An infinite-minded leader will try to use their career to enhance the long term value of the company. Thatâ€™s one of the ways you can tell them apart.â€
From Bohanan, Summit attendees will remember, â€œInfinite-minded leaders actually like change because change creates opportunities, and if you’re the kind of person who engages change in real time, that gives you the opportunity to move your company forward.â€ After an incredible lunch and speech, the Tuesday afternoon schedule was filled with impactful and dynamic committees and workshops.
The day wrapped up with a cocktail reception and a group dinner, courtesy of Bonnier and ZF Marine, respectively. After dinner, Summit attendees remained seated for the Keynote Speaker. This year, the WSIA hosted Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, bestselling author of Blue Mind.
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols has dedicated a portion of his life to researching and explaining the science behind the physical, mental and emotional effects that water has on humans. His research shows that â€œbeing near, in, on, or under the water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do.â€
â€œJ.â€ as Dr. Nichols goes by, reminded Summit attendees that water sports industry professionals have the ability to share the love of water more than most people. â€œWe all have a water story. Use that to connect with people. You have the power to bring people to the water. Itâ€™s up to us to reconnect people to that. Youâ€™ve saved lives that you donâ€™t even know that youâ€™ve saved, and youâ€™ve improved lives in ways that you have no idea. Boats are medicine. Own it, say it, preach it, share it.â€
On Wednesday morning, many Summit attendees hit the slopes again for a morning of riding before another full day of meetings, including the Waterway Protection seminar led by WSIAâ€™s Larry Meddock and Chris Bischoff, the â€œHow to Save a Lifeâ€ workshop, and the heavily-attended â€œGrowing Participationâ€ panel discussion sponsored by Roswell Marine.
The 2020 WSIA Summit wrapped up on Wednesday night with a cocktail reception courtesy of Rockford Fosgate, dinner for all attendees, and the 2020 WSIA Leadership and Innovative Product Awards, a ceremony that recognizes industry leaders and top performers for the year. A first for this year was the inclusion of the Wakeboarding Hall of Fame 2019 Class Induction, where attendees saw legend Thomas Horrell take his place among the greats of our industry. And the highlight of the night was when the WSIA presented a Career Achievement Award to Tom Weber, a man who has been in the industry for decades, moved the sports of waterskiing and wakeboarding to new heights, and helped countless people in the industry achieve greatness.
Closing out the night, Dano the Mano presented awards to all Leadership Award winners, who are all praiseworthy and deserve a round of applause for their dedication and service to the industry.
For all 2020 Summit photos, click here >>
(Please tag yourself)
Thank you to all of our sponsors who make WSIA Summit happen:
Words: Emily Dale | Photos: Bill Doster