Mar 13, 2018
Story and Photos Exclusive to News Week by Craig Ritchie
Interest in Boating Ontario’s 2018 spring regional meetings appears to be very high among marina operators and the boating trade, with record attendance reported at each of the first three regional meetings.
The association’s annual spring presentations kicked off on March 6 in Whitby, followed by meetings in Chatham on March 7 and Hamilton on March 8, with a strong turn-out at each event. The events build on the momentum established at the Boating Ontario conference in December, as the group celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
The clear focus of the 2018 meetings is the roll-out of Boating Ontario’s new strategic plan, with CEO Rick Layzell walking delegates through its creation before detailing each of its five pillars: business development, workforce development, government relations, growing boating participation and building membership value. “One thing that I recognized when I came into this role in July 2017 is that Boating Ontario needs to develop a strategic plan,” said Layzell. “Our industry in Ontario has recieved very little support from the government over the past five years, and they won’t even talk to us if we can’t give them an idea of where we’re going. We drafted this under the leadership and guidance of a member survey that we received a great deal of input on, and we had an independent facilitator help us map the strategic plan and take us to where we are today.”
Each of the nine meetings on the spring regional meeting schedule has its own agenda with content specific to that region, with discussion of the new strategic plan representing about half of the overall content. Additional presentations on relevant business topics such as workplace safety, Clean Marine, job connection programs and an open forum provide additional value to meeting attendees.