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Jim Emmons

Water Sports Foundation, Inc.
Most Valuable Member

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Known for his activism, Emmons has been a devoted marketing and public relations leader communicating with passion since his early years. 

His three-decade boating career includes being the Water Sports Industry Association’s four-term, twelve-year president where he developed the foundation for WSIA’s success-story, creating popular, successful events such as the WSIA’s LeaderShip Awards, WSIA’s Summit in the Snow and cofounding WakeBoarding magazine, eventually serving as publisher for WaterSki and WakeBoarding.

Through a partnership with the United States Coast Guard, Emmons and the non-profit Water Sports Foundation for which he serves as Grant Director, have orchestrated recreational boating safety’s most complex, far reaching consumer outreach campaign stretching nearly ten years, disbursing $7.2 million and delivering more than one billion, zero waste, boater and paddler targeted safety impressions.  The projects have also produced nearly 200 video PSA’s. Extensive pre and post campaign audience research data shows that a positive culture shift, including improved attitudes and behaviors regarding safer boating is occurring.

Most recently, Emmons initiated “doubled-down” efforts targeting vulnerable newcomers in boating niches such as Hispanic boaters and the troublesome paddle sports segment with custom and very creative messaging delivered in provocatively unique ways.  As a result, he was invited to join NASBLA’s Paddlesports Committee and has been an active member since 2015. In 2016, these efforts earned the Water Sports Foundation NASBLA’s Innovation in Outreach award.  The Water Sports Foundation, under Emmons’ direction, earned first place in the Communication Awards at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS).  Emmons also currently serves in his second term on the United States Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) most recently being appointed to Chairman.