Three key non-profit organisations – Antigua Sailing Week (ASW), the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA), as well as the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) – have put their forces together to open a year-round office in the beautiful Caribbean yacht charter destination – Antigua to serve the yachting communities of Antigua and the wider Caribbean.
The office is now open upstairs at Antigua Yacht Club Marina to provide each of the organisations with a fully manned shop front five days a week and to provide services to the three organisations and their members as well as providing members of the public with information about yachting in Antigua and the Caribbean yacht charter location generally.
All three organisations will utilize the expertise of the team at Mainstay Caribbean Ltd., a new business owned by Kathy Lammers and Alison Sly-Adams, both of whom have been involved in all three non-profit organisations for some time. Kathy Lammers says, “People involved in organisations of this type – not just in Antigua but in the wider Caribbean – know that one of the biggest challenges is attempting to put strategies into place when due to the nature of the organisations, there are no funds to employ people to do just that. Instead, such organisations rely on volunteer board members to help achieve their goals, who are often too busy with other commitments to ensure the desired results.”
Being on the boards of the various non-profit companies, the duo realized that there could be an opportunity for each of the three organisations to grow if there were people in place to provide consistency in delivering secretariat and management services at the right level, rather than relying on board members to find spare time. Mainstay Caribbean Ltd. was created to do just that, utilising shared resources across the companies.
The Caribbean Sailing Association owns and manages the CSA Rating Rule which is the handicap rule used in the majority of keel boat racing in the Caribbean yacht charter destination. The CSA also promotes the development of youth and dinghy sailing and promotes the Caribbean region as the premier yacht racing destination in the world. Of the new partnership Peter Holmberg, President of the Caribbean Sailing Association says, “We have been discussing this for some time and it is the next logical step. Having a dedicated Secretariat will help all our volunteer committees and our measurers better achieve their goals and, ultimately, give better service to all our members.”
As marketing has risen to the top in terms of a priority for the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, Franklyn Braithwaite, President of the ABMA echoes Holmberg’s comments, “We know Antigua is one of the world’s leading yachting destinations, but that does not mean we can stop talking about it and telling the world what we are doing and why Antigua should remain at the top of their itineraries. Working with the other organisations will allow us to take advantage of consistent year round marketing, particularly more cost effective online marketing which we have been unable to deliver to date.” Braithwaite says he and his board look forward to the ABMA finally starting to realize its potential in terms of delivering value to its members.
Both presidents, however, make no bones about the continued need for board members, association members and volunteers to continue to support and do what they do for the yachting industry as it is that level of collaboration which makes every event and organisation both different and successful.
For Antigua Sailing Week the collaboration comes just in time for ASW 2014. Commercial Director of ASW, Alison Sly-Adams says, “As soon as ASW ends we are already in the planning cycle for the following year, collating feedback from this year’s event, implementing plans for ASW 2015 and hitting the road marketing and talking to sponsors immediately. Having the office in place will ensure we can finally start to leverage some of the opportunities that come our way”.
A big thank you to AUA College of Medicine, Digicel, Nonsuch Bay Resort, and the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and Resort all of whom significantly assisted in providing fixtures, fittings and infrastructure for the office in order to enable it to open and be fully functional.