Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Strategy Session Follow-Up & Reaching Out Award Recipients to be Key Topics During Board Meeting

DEMA’s Board of Directors will meet on June 4th and 5th to  follow up on April’s Strategy Session and to continue discussing how DEMA can provide more value for the Industry,  increase opportunities for collaboration, and help the Industry thrive.  Topics for discussion will also include Reaching Out Award nominations, continuing customer research and plans for DEMA Show 2014.

Day one of the Board meeting will begin with the Board approving reports from past and completed activities as part of the “consent agenda.”  For June, the consent agenda will include:

·        April 2014 Board Meeting Minutes
·        Research Committee Meeting Minutes, May, 2014
·        Quarterly 1 Financial Update
·        2014 Membership Update
·        Legislative Update
·        Bring A Buddy & Be A Diver Pool Tour Update

Following approval of the consent agenda, independent CPA Mark Hennelly of PKF will present the results from DEMA’s annual internal financial audit and Association Financial Operations review.  DEMA proactively conducts an Association audit annually to maintain accurate financial data and confirm to DEMA Members and Industry constituents that funds are being used responsibly and in accordance with the direction of the DEMA Board.

The Board of Directors will also review and discuss the Strategy Direction document submitted by Jeff De Cagna, consultant hired by DEMA to determine the next steps in DEMA’s strategic review. The Board will discuss the topics and concerns raised during the Strategy Session and determine how the Association should move forward in addressing these topics to build value for Members and collaboration amongst the Membership and Industry. The DEMA Board will then review all nominations submitted for the 2014 Reaching Out Award to determine this year’s addition to DEMA’s Hall of Fame.

Day two of the Board of Directors Meeting will allow The Research and Show Committee Chairs to meet to continue implementing their work plans for the year. Each Board Member can volunteer to work in various committees based upon their areas of expertise, interest, knowledge and talent. Committees are tactical and the goals of committees include creating new ideas, improving current programs and benefits, clarifying or resolving pending issues and soliciting feedback from Industry stakeholders.  Once data and other information is gathered, the details are provided to the Board at large for their strategic decision-making.  Additional Committee information is available online.

More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Bylaws is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard of

DEMA Receives Response from US Navy to Inquiry Regarding Guidelines for Permitting Archaeological Investigations and Other Activities Directed at Sunken Military Craft

DEMA has received a response from the Naval History & Heritage Command to its request for clarification of terminology in regard to the proposed rule 32 CFR 767 published in the January, 2014 Federal Register. 
The proposed rule was the subject of a DEMA Legislative Alert published on April 16, 2014.

The response was signed by Dr. Jay Thomas, NHHC Assistant Director for Collection Management, to whom the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval History & Heritage Command reports.

DEMA sought clarification of the definition of a sunken military craft, as stated in the proposed rule, whether the term applies to artificial reefs, and whether dives that penetrate into the structure of sunken military craft would constitute “disturbance” under the proposed regulations.

In his response, Dr. Thomas thanked DEMA for the opportunity to offer the clarification of these terms.  He indicated that, “the definition of ‘sunken military craft’ in the proposed rule remains unchanged from that present in the Sunken Military Craft Act (SMCA) of 2004. That definition includes all sunken warships, all sunken naval auxiliaries, as well as other vessels that were owned or operated by a government on military noncommercial service at the time of their sinking, as forming part of the collection of sunken military craft (Section 1408 (3)).”

Importantly to the recreational diving community, Dr. Thomas indicated that, “the Department of the Navy (DoN), through its regulations, does not intend to restrict access to those DoN craft purposely sunk to establish artificial reefs or to other sunken former Navy vessels of which United States' title has been expressly divested. The final rule will explicitly clarify this matter.”  This means that the two former DoN vessels in the DoN artificial reef program – the ex-Oriskany in the Gulf of Mexico and the ex-Radford in waters off of the coast of Delaware – are not impacted by this rule as the title to both vessels was transferred to the respective state authorities and, therefore, will not be considered sunken military craft subject to SMCA and DoN regulations.

The letter goes on to indicate that the United States' title to ex-Vandenberg and ex-Spiegel Grove was transferred to local governments in Florida and the ships were sunk for the purpose of establishing artificial reefs in the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). While they are no longer subject to SMCA and DoN regulations, they are under the jurisdiction of NOAA and remain subject to NOAA FKNMS regulations.

The letter from Dr. Thomas also clarified the issue of whether or not a penetrating dive on what might or might not be a sunken military craft would constitute a violation of the Act: 

“DoN does not consider responsible diving and snorkeling on sunken military craft, including penetration of said craft, an activity that is prohibited by SMCA.  A permit relieving persons from the stated prohibitions is only necessary when there is intent to disturb, remove, or injure a sunken military craft or terrestrial military craft. Only intentional or negligent actions that disturb the craft will be considered violations of SMCA. Through its regulations, DoN has gone further to accommodate various stakeholders by introducing a "Special Use Permit" in the proposed regulations in order to facilitate the permitting of minimally intrusive activities. DoN has received other public comments regarding the clarity of the definition of disturbance which it is presently considering.

Finally, Dr. Thomas indicated that “the diving and snorkeling communities by and large have served as effective ambassadors for the protection and preservation of underwater resources, including cultural resources and sunken military craft. DoN views responsible members of diving and snorkeling communities as partners in a common preservation effort and does not intend to impose unreasonable restrictions on diving or dive operators.”

The letter from Dr. Thomas can be seen in its entirety here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DEMA is an “Old Boys Club;” DEMA Board Takes No Risk; DEMA is Just a Show & More: Flipping DEMA's Orthodoxies

**Leaders Ask ‘How Can the Diving Industry and DEMA Thrive in the Years Ahead?’**

 Click images to enlarge
On April 24th and 25th, Diving Industry leaders representing DEMA’s five stakeholder groups, the DEMA Board of Directors, and the DEMA Staff met in San Diego, California for a Strategic Learning Session. The two-day session, led by Jeff De Cagna, Chief Strategist of Principled Innovation LLC, was designed to use the knowledge of the Industry leaders present to address significant concerns and ensure that both the Association and Industry thrive in the future.  Those in attendance included:

Industry Stakeholders:
  • Don Rockwell, Aqua Lung
  • Sid Stovall, Ascuba Venture, Inc.
  • Mike Hollis, American Underwater Products
  • Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • Mark Young, Dive Training Magazine
  • Dean Garraffa, Huish Outdoors
  • Denise Cable, Independent Consultant
  • Richard Mitsoda, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas
  • Mike Lever, Nautilus Explorer
  • Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide
  • Julie Andersen, Consultant, Scubapro
  • Doug McNeese, Scuba Schools International
  • Karin Sahm, Sunset House
DEMA Board Members:
  • Scott Daley, Body Glove International
  • Bonnie Borkin, Bonnier Corporation – Sport Diver and Scuba Diving
  • William Cline, Cline Group Advertising, Inc.
  • Werner Kurn, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
  • Jeff Nadler, PADI Americas
  • Jenny Collister, Reef & Rainforest Dive & Adventure Travel
  • Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators/PDIC International
  • Stuart Cove, Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas
  • Darcy Kieran, Total Diving-Montreal Scuba
  • Stephen Ashmore, TUSA
The group was challenged to address a variety of Industry and Association issues and brainstorm the plausible future direction of the Association, as well as how DEMA can have a positive impact on the Diving Industry. Using the concept of flipping Industry “orthodoxies,” which may be hindering the Association and Industry and preventing effective collaboration, the group identified key problems and brainstormed ways to address these challenges.   “Orthodoxies” are beliefs or ways of thinking that are generally accepted as truth, regardless of how accurate they may actually be.

Participants discussed many different beliefs and “truths,” and four main orthodoxies emerged as highly influential on the progress of the Association:
  • DEMA is just the Show and creates no other value for the Industry
  • DEMA is an “old boys club”
  • DEMA is highly influenced by larger Members/stakeholders to the detriment of other Industry participants and
  • The DEMA Board takes no risks on behalf of the Industry and cares only about itself
These orthodoxies were discussed in detail along with the group’s recommendations for how DEMA and the Industry can move forward together to build trust and collaborate for Industry growth and success.  “More important than identifying these orthodoxies is the understanding that DEMA needs to make structural and other changes that help build value for DEMA Members and Industry participants,” said Tom Ingram, DEMA Executive Director.  “By identifying these orthodoxies, it becomes possible to overcome them when they are not true and positively impact problems that do exist.”

DEMA employed a graphic recorder to capture the key ideas from the learning sessions in a visual format.  Lucinda Levine of INKquiry provided the group with real-time illustrations of the Strategy Session conversations.  These graphics were aimed to help with participants’ comprehension and retention and make the information that was shared easily accessible to the Industry.

In reality, the real work of the DEMA Board and the Industry begins now.  With the goal of helping to improve the Industry through collaboration and trust-building, DEMA looks forward to the opportunity to be of benefit to all stakeholders and creating pathways to help Members and the Industry be successful and grow.  Incorporating strategic recommendations from De Cagna, as well as from members of the Industry, will be an ongoing job for the DEMA Board and staff.  The DEMA Board of Directors will meet in June to further discuss the topics raised during the Strategy Session as well as the recommendations provided by the strategy consultant, De Cagna.

If you have any questions about the strategy session please contact us at