Milner, Canada, December 13th 2006 --- The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) and the Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) spent the past year discussing unification of the Paddlesports industry into a new trade association. The TAPS Board of Directors met December 6 and 7 in a board retreat with the roposed unification as thefirst priority of discussions. The TAPS board voted unanimously to drop hose plans, but encouraged thetwo organizations to collaborate in Paddlesports promotion and egulatory issues.In March, PPA and TAPS created the Paddlesports Industry Unification Workgroup (PIUW) to develop a common vision for a unified Paddlesports industry. The primary objective established by the PIUW is to expand Paddlesports participation. The TAPS board decision reflects its thinking that expanded participation is best accomplished through strategic partnerships and expansion of TAPS' existing programs.
"There are realistic economic limits facing any program for meeting the goal of expanded participation," notes TAPS President Tim Rosenhan. "It makes sense for TAPS to participate with the PPA and other organizations where our business plan warrants. This does not require a formal consolidation or merger. We share a commitment to a healthy and vibrant Paddlesports industry and we look forward to opportunities for cooperation with the PPA."
PPA President Mike Prom commends TAPS for making a decision reflecting continued collaboration. "We understand TAPS is committed to a closer working relationship with PPA on a number of issues," says Prom. "I think the relationships we've developed between the boards and the workgroup members bode well for collaboration. Although our board believes there is value in unifying the existing organizations into a new consolidated trade association, many of the same objectives can be met through collaboration."
The organizations note that other associations such as American Whitewater, the Outdoor Industry Association, and the American Canoe Association have a role to play in promoting Paddlesports participation and other industry initiatives. "Strategic relationships with a variety of organizations will help both associations meet the needs of their members," said Michael Pardy, TAPS Executive Director. PPA Executive Director Matt Menashes was pleased to recognize TAPS' willingness to engage on important industry initiatives. "I look forward to working with TAPS and others to realize the goals of the PIUW through collaboration and partnership," says Menashes.
The TAPS and PPA boards both want to recognize the efforts made by the so-called "non-aligned" members of the PIUW. Kelley Woolsey from Confluence Watersports, Scott Forristall from Johnson Outdoors, Danny Batten from Great Outdoors Provision Company, and Ed Schiller from Wild River Outfitters spent a great amount of time and energy working to develop a unification agenda. A special thanks to Ray Fusco, the former president of the TAPS board, for his early and energetic work on this project. The boards of both organizations also want to particularly recognize the efforts of Joe Pulliam, founder of Dagger Canoe Company and a long-time industry executive, in helping steer the unification process forward.
Matt Menashes - PPA Executive Director - +1 703-451-3864 x 26.
Michael Pardy - TAPS Executive Director - +1 800-755-522