Wednesday, July 3, 2019

DEMA Calls for Nominations for the 2019 Wave Makers Award

**Finalists and 2019 Recipient to be Honored at 2019 DEMA Awards Party in Orlando, FL**
DEMA will once again recognize new professionals in the diving industry who are employed by (or own) a DEMA-Member business at the 2019 DEMA Awards Party! The Wave Makers Award was first introduced in 2017 and aims to recognize professionals who have been working in the industry for five years or less and have made a significant contribution to the industry during that time. The Wave Makers Award encourages the Industry to support a culture that fosters innovative thinking and encourages engagement with the association and industry by new professionals. Nominations for the 2019 Wave Makers Award will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. All finalists will be recognized at the 2019 DEMA Awards Party where the final honoree will be announced.
Wave Makers are employees or owners of DEMA-Member businesses who have been involved as a professional in the Diving Industry for 60 months or less and who should be recognized for their contributions to the industry, a dive business and DEMA.  A complete overview of the criteria to qualify can be found here. Member professionals who have been active with DEMA by attending DEMA Show, serving on a committee or task force, or volunteering for the Go Dive Now Pool, or other activities related to DEMA, can qualify.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION in any of the following categories: Contribution to DEMA’s Mission, Providing Business or Community Service, or Contributing to Dive Industry Growth.
The Wave Makers selection process for 2019 will be as follows:
  1. DEMA Members nominate a potential honoree, using the established criteria. 
  2. The Awards Committee reviews these nominees, narrowing the field to the top candidates.
  3. The top candidates are notified and asked to create a one-minute video about what they envision for the future of the association and/or the diving industry.
  4. The videos are then shared on social media, and DEMA asks members to view them prior to DEMA Show, and vote on for the Wave Makers winner for 2019.
  5. Only DEMA Members can vote, as a log-in to the DEMA website and Member-only voting page will be required.
  6. The top candidates and a guest are invited to attend the DEMA Awards Party at DEMA Show 2019. 
  7. Each of the top candidates’ self-made videos will be played during the Party and the winner will be announced during the Awards celebration. 
Nominations are open now until Monday, August 5, 2019!  Finalists and the new professional chosen as the 2019 Wave Maker will be honored at the DEMA Awards Party being held on Friday, November 15, 2019 at the Hard Rock Live Coliseum in Orlando, FL. Complete DEMA Awards Party details and tickets will be made available soon on the DEMA Show website.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

DEMA Show 2019 Registration is Now Open!

** DEMA Members, Register by October 14th to Save with Early Bird Rates **
DEMA Show’s online registration system is now open! Qualified Dive Industry professionals looking to grow their business and connect with Industry professionals can now register to attend DEMA Show 2019. Thousands of attendees from all over the world will come together for the Dive Industry’s only trade-only event, taking place November 13-16 in the West Halls of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.  To register, visit the official DEMA Show website. While there, visitors can review exhibitor listings and booth locations using the interactive floorplan, book a room in the Official DEMA Show Hotel Block, and find information about Show features like DEMA-Sponsored Education and Exhibitor-Sponsored Seminars.
Attendees can choose from four different packages when registering: The All Access Package, Seminar Package, Exhibits Only and the Saturday-Only Immersion Pass.  Each package varies in price and opportunities.  You can view complete details on each by visiting Current DEMA Members can save up to $175 on their DEMA Show All Access Package over the non-member rate when registering on or before the early registration deadline of October 14th

REGISTER TODAYVisit for the latest details on DEMA Show education opportunities, Show-related activities, DEMA Awards Party, and other information as the Show approaches. To have DEMA Show news delivered directly to your email, exhibitors should subscribe to the Show’s Exhibitor CompanionAttendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements, and Industry news. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Volunteers Needed for Research Testing: DEMA Purchasing Managers' Index

DEMA is conducting a study to determine if collecting retail data in a confidential and easy-to-use manner is feasible. The study is referred to as a Purchasing Managers' Index, and specifically requests data from DEMA Retailer (A4-Category) Member store inventory buyers; the person most closely associated with maintaining store inventory.

We are asking for volunteers to participate in a pilot-version of the program to determine if collecting this data is possible, and useful. Participation in this effort will help DEMA determine if appropriate data can be made available to DEMA members to help them understand their businesses, including business cycles and the health of the industry.

The application deadline is Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

DEMA Board of Directors to Meet for Conference Call on May 2nd

DEMA’s 2019 Board of Directors will convene during a conference call on May 2nd for the second Board Meeting of the year. Topics of discussion will focus on ways to help grow the Industry and maximize DEMA’s benefits for Members.
The Board meeting will begin by voting to approve the “consent agenda,” a Robert’s Rules of Order device used to obtain “general consent” intended to expedite approval of routine items. The Board is provided consent agenda items in advance of the Board Meeting, allowing them to study the documents in detail prior to the meeting, and permitting approval without additional discussion.  Consent agendas help the Board spend its limited meeting time discussing forward-thinking items; policy and strategic issues that demand its attention.
For May’s meeting, the consent agenda includes:
  • DEMA 2019 Q1 Dashboard
  • 2019 Q1 Financial Summary and Manufacturer’s Fund Report
  • DEMA Show 2019 Update
  • 2019 Q1 Membership Update
  • 2019 Q1 Research Committee Minutes
  • 2019 Q1 Public Policy Committee Report
  • 2019 Q1 Emerging Leaders Task Force Minutes
  • 2019 Q1 Go Dive Now Report
Following approval of the consent agenda, the Board will conduct a review of the current fiscal and membership year. The conference call will conclude with the Board covering any new business or consent agenda items that may require further discussion.
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 The next Board of Directors Meeting will be held on August 15th and 16th.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

DEMA Advocates for Diving Industry Issues in Washington, D.C.

** President & CEO Ingram Meets with Legislative Offices to Discuss Diving Industry Issues **
During the week of March 25th, DEMA President & CEO Tom Ingram met with several lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to discuss important environmental and non-profit tax issues that impact DEMA Members. The meetings were part of DEMA’s ongoing public policy efforts on behalf of the Diving Industry.
Tom Ingram met with the office of Florida Representative Daniel Webster to discuss HR 788 Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2019. Webster is the sponsor of this bill, which would establish a certification process to ensure that foreign nations engaging in shark trade, into or through the United States, conserve and manage populations of sharks in a manner that is comparable to regulatory programs in the United States. This would effectively prohibit the practice of removing shark fins and discarding the carcass at sea.
DEMA supports bills that help protect sharks, including federal bill HR 788.  In addition to discussing this bill, DEMA also discussed with Representative Webster’s office the need for mooring buoys and other protections that are helpful to natural and artificial reefs.
Ingram also met with the offices of California Federal Representatives Judy Chu and Scott Peters, and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris to discuss a tax issue important to all non-profit organizations in the U.S., including non-profit DEMA Members.  Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), a new tax is being levied on non-profits that provide various fringe benefits to their employees.  This new 21-percent unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on tax-exempt employers requires tax-exempt organizations to self-value these benefits to determine their new tax liability, navigate a burdensome administrative process to properly file these taxes (a first for most non-profits), and divert mission-oriented funds that would otherwise support communities across the country.  On average, the tax burden for these non-profit organizations is about $12,000.
DEMA met with Representatives and Senators asking them to repeal this portion of the current tax structure.  As of this writing, there is a House and a companion Senate bill to repeal these tax obligations called the “LIFT for Charities Act."  

Lessen Impediments from Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act (H.R. 1545 / S. 632)
House – H.R. 1545
Lead Champion:
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC)
(as of 3/27/19)
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
Rep. James Johnson (R-LA)
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)
Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS)
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI)
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)

Senate – S. 632
Lead Champion:
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
(as of 3/27/19)
Sen. Joshua Hawley (R-MO)

As this tax issue could impact all non-profit DEMA members, particularly those that supply fringe benefits that include parking and transportation benefits to their employees, DEMA suggests discussing this tax provision with tax preparers as soon as possible.
DEMA continues to monitor legislation that impacts the Diving Industry through the DEMA Public Policy Committee.  Members with interest in working with the Public Policy Committee should apply to participate by completing the Public Policy Committee application

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DEMA Opens Official Hotel Block for DEMA Show 2019 in Orlando, FL

**Block Offers Exclusive Savings and Benefits for DEMA Show 2019 Attendees and Exhibitors**
The DEMA Show Hotel Block is officially open! To help Dive Industry professionals keep their planning efforts on track for this year’s annual trade-only event for the Diving Industry, DEMA has contracted with several hotels convenient to the Orange County Convention Center.  Start your planning for the Show, taking place November 13-16 in Orlando, FL, by booking your room reservation in the DEMA Show Hotel Block, featuring exclusive exhibitor and attendee rates and benefits.
DEMA Show will again feature the Rosen Centre Hotel as this year’s Host Hotel.  The Rosen Centre is conveniently located next to the West Hall of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center – home to DEMA Show 2019.  Those booking in DEMA’s block at the Rosen Centre will receive special rates at the Rosen Centre of  $199 per night* (single/double rooms plus 13.5% tax).  Other specially-priced DEMA hotel block rooms will also be available at the DoubleTree Hotel for $159/night (single/double room plus 12.5% tax)  and the Days Inn for $103/night (single/double room plus 12.5% tax).
Shuttle bus service will be available to those booking through within the official hotel block through All three DEMA block hotels (Rosen Centre, DoubleTree Hotel and Days Inn) are also nearby and within walking distance to the West halls.
A SPECIAL CAUTION!  DEMA would like to caution attendees and exhibitors to be wary when booking accommodations through unauthorized third-party vendors claiming to work with DEMA Show.  These unauthorized vendors are often room “pirates” and though they typically offer what appears to be a lower rate than the official DEMA block rate, room reservations may be offered at significantly lower quality and may not be available for the duration of your planned stay.  Also, cancellation policies with these “pirates” are often harsh and unforgiving, resulting in loss of fees or other penalties. Booking within the official DEMA Hotel Block also allows DEMA to negotiate exclusive rates for DEMA Show attendees and exhibitors in the locations most convenient to the convention center.  Help DEMA keep everyone’s hotel costs down for DEMA Show by booking within DEMA’s official hotel block.

The Need for Marine Life Protection Highlighted at DEMA Dive In Day

** Florida Legislators and DEMA Members Connect on Shark Finning and Sunscreen Bills **
On March 20th, DEMA President & CEO Tom Ingram and DEMA Legislative Advocate Bob Harris met with Florida Legislators to discuss several bills proposed that, if enacted, would help protect marine life in that state.  The meetings were part of DEMA’s annual Dive In Day at the Capitol. This annual event showcases recreational diving’s importance to Florida’s economy by encouraging DEMA Members to exhibit inside the Tallahassee Florida Capitol building entrance hall and to speak with Florida lawmakers. There is no cost for DEMA Members to exhibit or participate.
Seven DEMA Member companies exhibited in the capitol building this year, displaying a diversity of products and services.  DEMA is thankful to the following companies for their exhibit participation, and participation in the Dive In Day program:
Bob Harris and Tom Ingram met with several lawmakers and their staff members, asking them to support key bills in Florida; SB 708, prohibiting the sale of sunscreens containing coral-damaging oxybenzone and octinoxate, and House Bill (HB) 99 and its Senate companion Bill (SB) 352, prohibiting the sale of shark find and ray parts in the state.  DEMA issued Public Policy Alerts, including links to research on the sunscreen issue, earlier in the month.
During Dive In Day, Harris and Ingram met with:
  • Representative Toby Overdorf, Stuart, FL
  •  Senator Jeff Brandes, St. Petersburg, FL
  •  Senator Travis Hutson, Palm Coast, FL
  •  Representative Spencer Roach, Fort Myers, FL
  •  Senator Linda Stewart, Orlando, FL
The research and economic impact of the diving community were of great interest to all these lawmakers, and we thank them for their time and interest as DEMA offered support for protecting the Florida marine environment. 
Unfortunately for the Florida diving community, these bills look unlikely to pass in the current Florida legislative session but are likely to be raised again later in 2019.  It remains critical for the diving industry to keep watch on these issues so we can help get them across the finish line as soon as possible.