Naude, McKnight and Tomson at SIMA Business Boot Camp

Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight and Paul Naude, Billabong USA CEO and SIMA vice president, were joined by several other industry insiders Thursday, Feb. 28, to speak on the direction of the action sports market and advise retailers and wholesalers what to anticipate in the next few years.

Their speeches were part of an introduction to the first-ever SIMA Business Boot Camp, a day-long event held at Laguna Beach’s 7-Degrees for members of the action sports industry and media. Transworld Business was on hand to learn a thing or two at the gathering, which was broken down into handful of “how to” seminars, including words of wisdom from Michael Tomson – a key player in founding the surf industry – and a presentation by John Wilson, Reef president, giving retailers pointers on how to create strategic distribution plans. The seminar will be one of several that SIMA plans to hold this year, according to a press release issued Friday, Feb. 29, by the non-profit organization. Check out the April print edition of Transworld Business for full coverage.

(Photos by Jimmy Romero)

Jimmy Romero

Paul Naude gives his industry address, as audience members settle in after a complimentary breakfast.

SIMA Business Bootcamp

A packed media room at Seven Degrees listens and learns as Bob McKnight advises retailers and wholesalers to be extra meticulous when doing business in 2008 due to the recession.

SIMA Business Bootcamp

The recently re-appointed Quiksilver president also praised retailers for the amount of success the industry has experienced over the last several years.
SIMA Business Bootcamp

Surf industry legend Michael Tomson – who is credited with founding Gotcha, one of the first highly successful surf brands – followed the opening guest speakers with almost a completely opposite message, encouraging industry leaders to shake things up, try something different and be more original.

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John Vance from Sanuk and Kevin Flanagan, SIMA board of directors member and Reef VP of marketing.

SIMA Business Bootcamp

John Wilson gets extra credit for doing some serious research to create his well-rounded presentation – he even included tips and direct quotes from some of the most well-known and successful leaders in the industry, such as Roxy, Billabong and Volcom.

SIMA Business Bootcamp

ASR’s Paul Dillman and Leanne Milliken at hte outdoor cocktail reception following the seminar.