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(Springfield, VA) The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) announces a partnership with paddlesports industry veteran Joe Pulliam, co-founder and former CEO of Dagger. Pulliam is working with the PPA to engage the industry in boating safety programs including the development of voluntary manufacturing standards, and helping launch the industry-wide cooperative marketing program.
On boating safety, Pulliam is working to bring together diverse groups such as the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), United States Coast Guard (USCG), National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) to educate paddlers and industry businesses.
Pulliam’s experience will aid the industry in finalizing voluntary manufacturing standards. The
PPA has been working with the ABYC since 2003 to develop such standards for kayaks and canoes. Pulliam was an integral part of that effort while working for WaterMark and will now work to finalize that effort on behalf of all manufacturers.
â€œObviously, the most important step for safety is for paddlers to wear life vests. But another key issue is that we must take proactive measures on boat manufacturing standards,â€ says Pulliam, â€œThe current manufacturing standards are archaic and not applicable to most boats today. We need standards that provide a level of safety for the consumer, yet are reasonable for the manufacturers to implement. We can best determine those standards ourselves, working as an industry, cooperating with the regulatory agencies.â€
PPA has also nominated Pulliam to serve on the USCG’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), the committee that provides advice to the USCG on boating safety regulations. The industry’s pilot cooperative marketing program, initiated by the PPA in 2005, will also benefit from Pulliam’s business marketing and sales expertise. â€œDespite the consolidation we’ve seen over the past few years, this remains mostly an industry of small businesses: manufacturers, retailers, outfitters, sales reps, guides and instructors. We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past twenty years, but paddlesports risks stalling out if we don’t figure out how to reach out to our customers,â€ notes Pulliam.
PPA Executive Director, Matt Menashes states, â€œWe’re thrilled to have an honored industry veteran working to enhance the business practices and profile of paddlesports. With over 30 years of experience, Joe’s knowledge of sales, manufacturing, and safety will help engage the industry on these important issues.â€
Pulliam adds, â€œI don’t have all the answers â€“ not by a long stretch. But I do think I can help bring the industry together to work towards common goals. If we can get the industry’s best brains all on the same page we can accomplish some great things.â€
Joe Pulliam began making kayaks in 1973, and has focused his career around paddlesports.
From 1982 through 1987 he was the marketing director of Perception. After a brief stint with Blue Hole Canoes, he co-founded Dagger in 1988 and served as its president through 2001. He also served as Executive Vice President of Watermark and was responsible for all of the company’s water-sports brands including Dagger, Perception, Islander, Mainstream, Harmony, Sospenders, and Adventure Technology. Pulliam is now an industry consultant. He remains an active paddler, and though he has paddled throughout the world he now mostly enjoys the rivers and creeks close to his Greenville, South Carolina home.
The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) fosters paddlesports business. PPA is a nonprofitorganization representing the industry’s top canoe, kayak and raft renters and outfitters, retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives. PPA’s mission is to improve the value and profitability of paddlesports business.