by Bob Wonders
CEO, Chairman and Board members depart Grow Boating, the marine industry's marketing and promotional organisation.
The Grow Boating Australia Board.
In what has been described as 'the biggest split the industry has ever seen', CEO James Wilson has left Grow Boating and Chairman, Paul Phelan has resigned from the board. Other directors of Grow Boating who have resigned are David Hazlett (treasurer), Wesley Moxey, John Temple and Greg Haines.
They have been replaced as directors by David Heyes (BRP Australia), George Bolton (BIA SA) and Gordon Howlett (BIA Victoria) are to be added to the board.
Earlier, Australian Marine Industries Federation (AMIF) president, Mr Barry Jenkins, and president of the Boating Industry Association of NSW, Mr Doug Olding, both directors of Grow Boating, expressed dissatisfaction with its progress.
They advised that shareholders of Grow Boating (Australia’s State BIAs) had agreed to appoint three new directors to the board 'to assist with further promotion and marketing objectives'.
Mr Phelan was said to have 'reservations' regarding the additional board appointments and is believed to have resigned over the matter. He is currently overseas and was not available for comment.
Wilson could not be contacted for comment.
James O'Hare will continue with the organisation as Operations Manager.
Mr Jenkins and Mr Olding said the industry’s commitment to Grow Boating remained firmly on track.
'Although sales at Australian boat shows have been strong, focused promotional activities are crucial to the recreational boating industry at this time,' Mr Olding declared.
Mr Jenkins said it was of 'vital importance' that all industry associations are seen to be presenting a united front.
'Our primary aim through Grow Boating is to deliver positive outcomes for all of our members and supporters,' he added.
The board will meet to discuss in detail its future plans and decide on a new CEO as soon as practicable.
Following a number of calls from industry players, suggesting there is more to this story than initially reported, there will be follow up story before the end of the week with clarification on the resignations and the future of the organisation.