Executive Director, Water Sports Foundation, Orlando, FL
Jim Emmons is executive director of the non-profit Water Sports Foundation (WSF) and is a long-term recreational boating safety activist and enthusiast. He is serving in his second term on the United States Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council and currently serves as chairman. He also serves on NASBLA’s Paddlesports Committee and the national Sober Skipper Advisory Council.
Prior to his current post, Mr. Emmons served 12 years as president of the Water Sports Industry Association where he developed and launched a series of successful initiatives including the WSIA’s LeaderShip Awards and the WSIA’s Summit in the Snow. He is co-founder of WakeBoarding magazine and served many years as publisher for WaterSki and WakeBoarding, both top consumer titles in their respective niches.
Since 2011, Mr. Emmons has orchestrated a series of effective recreational boating safety consumer outreach campaigns through the Water Sports Foundation including disbursing more than $8.2 million while delivering more than one billion laser-targeted boater and paddler safety impressions. The projects include custom production of more than 200 video PSA’s. Extensive pre-and-post campaign audience research data demonstrate a positive culture shift including improved attitudes and behaviors regarding safer boating has occurred.
Mr. Emmons has also spearheaded efforts targeting boating newcomers including Hispanic boaters and the vulnerable paddle sports segment.
Under his leadership, the Water Sports Foundation has earned multiple major recognitions including the prestigious NASBLA’s Innovation in Outreach award; numerous first place honors in the Communication Awards at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS); and top national awards in cooperation with allied producers and partners from Boating Writers International and the National Boating Industry Safety Awards.