The Reason for all of the Meetings

     Mike’s involvement with the Professional Paddlesports Industry has paid off.  Here’s hoping the cooperation will continue.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Paddlesports Industry Association and the Trade Association of Paddlesports Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Unify into One New Association


After several months of low profile negotiations and overcoming several key differences, TAPS and PIA lay out a process for unifying the two paddlesports associations
SALT LAKE CITY – Aug. 9, 2008 –The president and executive director of the Paddlesports Industry Association (PIA) and the Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining a process and schedule to unify the two paddlesports associations into one new entity.

The MOU was signed at 11:30 a.m. during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show in the inaugural Paddlesports Lounge. The announcement comes after months of low profile negotiations between members of PIA and TAPS who were appointed to serve on the unification committee.

"With the support and urging of other industry organizations and our membership, TAPS and PIA are committed to the process of creating one integrated trade association," said Landis Arnold, TAPS Unification Committee chair member. "We believe that the new organization we are working to create will result in broader and less fragmented industry support and participation while focusing its efforts on joint programs and campaigns that further promote and grow the paddling market."

Members of the two associations believe creating a new entity will accomplish the following objectives:


  • Greater effectiveness in initiatives like the Let’s Go Paddle Campaign;


  • Create a united front against increasing pressure from federal and state regulators;


  • Learn from each other’s memberships; and


  • Improve the value of industry and consumer focused tradeshows and events.


For the past 30 years, PIA and TAPS have supported memberships of outfitters, liveries, retailers, manufacturers and other professionals involved in paddlesports through benefits like consumer-and trade-focused paddling events, monthly newsletters and business management incentives and discounts, among others.

"As we move forward in finalizing the details of the new association, we are committed to maintaining the programs and core values our members expect from us," said Mike Prom, PIA Unification Committee chair member. "We will continue to support member sectors by hosting the West Sea Kayak Symposium, North East Canoe & Kayak Symposium and Paddlesports Pro Conference, along with managing Let’s Go Paddle, a consumer focused marketing campaign that benefits the industry as a whole."

TAPS and PIA intend to finalize the unification process by January 2009 after a vote by both associations’ memberships.

Members of the two associations are encouraged to share feedback, concerns or other items of note with members involved in the unification process.

TAPS members are invited to contact Michael Pardy (TAPS Executive Director) at or 360.393.1570; or Landis Arnold (Unification Committee Chair) at or 303.444.2336 x 11.

PIA members may contact Matt Menashes (PIA President and CEO) at or 703.451.3864 x 703; or Mike Prom (Unification Committee Chair) at or 218.388.2224.
About PIA and TAPS
The Paddlesports Industry Association (PIA) and Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) are nonprofit trade associations serving the paddlesports industry. Members of the two associations include outfitters, liveries, retailers, manufacturers and other professionals involved in paddlesports. As industry leaders, members are dedicated to providing paddlers with the best in equipment, services and experiences. For more information please visit (PIA) and (TAPS). 


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Chip Smith, SOAR Communications, 801-523-3730(wk), 801-597-7515(cell),