Happy New Year and a special thank you to all our members!
It’s been a great year… Looking back I’m amazed at how much we’ve grown and how many stalwarts of this industry have joined the SDI, TDI, ERDI team.
And as I sit here thinking about what I’d like to say to all of you, I have just finished writing a similar message for our Associate Member eNewsletter, and it struck me that the message is very much the same… we owe you people so much for your support and your belief in our vision of the direction the dive business should take in the 21st century.
When we took over this company from Bret, we had a hope and a dream and the prospect of a huge amount of work ahead of us. Personally, I had no idea how hard it would be or how much fun it was going to be!
Fun… and fulfilling. Right now, I am so proud to of every one of the many thousands of people who are involved with and who run this group of companies because they share a true passion for this business. And it SHOWS!
We know that the next 12 months are going to be tough for some of you. And we promise to work hard to help you make it through to the other side of 2009. The best general advice I’ve heard was to be honest about doing what it is you like doing. I love diving (there really is a pile of dive gear in the corner of my office because I want to get a quick dive in later this week), and I think you like diving too.
We’d do well to start off 2009 thinking of the best ways to get that message across to people interested in our sport. This does not only mean getting more people to take the plunge and get diving… although that’s very important… it also means that we keep certified divers interested, in the water having fun and showing newer divers how it’s done.
Our success this past year has been due in part to the sales force that we have out in the market. Their job is to listen to your challenges and help you to meet them creatively.
We also are constantly improving the services and products we put into your hands. This past 12 months have seen significant changes. We have improved existing programs, such as our Online Training for open water and specialties, broadened the scope of others, like our rebreather courses, and launched new materials for existing favorites such as SDI’s Advanced Adventure Specialty, and TDI Intro to Tech.
In the next 12 months, we will build on that foundation. Our product development team has several new manuals ready for release and our marketing team is going to be telling you about them starting in a few weeks… get ready, there are spectacular. The best we have ever released.
This year we are also completing a promise we made 12 months ago when we told you that we were going to push the SDI, TDI and ERDI brands to the consumers. We’ve made great strides forward on that score and will continue to promote our agencies and our way of doing business through a whole new series of initiatives. Step one is that we want to meet and talk to more divers in person. SDI, TDI and ERDI headquarters business professionals, staff instructors and regional managers will be out in force at consumer dive shows, store events, seminars, workshops and dive sites all this year. Their mandate is to drive divers into our retail facilities and to bring the adventure of diving home to more people!
Thanks once again, and everyone here at headquarters joins me in wishing you, your family and friends all the best for the coming year. Dive safe and dive often!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Brian did not get to make the dive he was looking forward too. Instead, Stephanie and Brian welcomed little Jack Thomas Carney into this world on Saturday evening. Mom and baby are fine… and last time we saw the proud father, he had a cigar in his hand and said something about having to finish some decorating!)