Sean Smith to Depart SIMA for Elastic
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (March 19, 2021) – After 20 years with the organization, Sean Smith will be departing SIMA as the Executive Director. Sean was offered an incredible opportunity with the team at Emerald’s Elastic division as the Director of Community Engagement. In his new role Sean will be building on his expertise and knowledge to serve the industry through Elastic’s B2B merchandising platform which will continue to provide a solid platform for SIMA and its members. He will remain working for SIMA part time as a search for a new executive director is conducted and a smooth transition can be made.
“This was not an easy decision for me to make, but it’s the right time and the right opportunity,” said Sean. “It’s an honor to be joining Elastic and their incredible team. SIMA is in a very solid position right now – sales are up in the industry, membership renewals are strong, we’re holding Speaker Series events again, Waterman’s is slated for this August, our sustainability initiatives are improving the way the industry does business and we have an incredible Board of Directors in place. The time is perfect for someone new to come in and provide a fresh perspective. The past 20 years at SIMA have been amazing and I am really, really proud of what we have accomplished during that time.”
Smith joined SIMA in 2001 as the marketing director under former executive director Terry McCann, a trade association expert who was brought in by the Board president at the time, Dick Baker, to help overhaul the organization. Smith was promoted to the executive director position in 2003 after McCann’s retirement. McCann and Smith, along with Baker and Board vice president, Paul Naude, were responsible for the transformation of SIMA that included the first membership dues structure; turning Surf Summit into a premier educational event; elevating Waterman’s to one of the industry’s top events and significant environmental grant program fundraiser; creation of the SIMA Humanitarian Fund along with long-time Board member, Fernando Aguerre; and elevating SIMA’s overall value to the industry as a centralized voice.
“Sean’s dedication to the evolution of SIMA over the past 20 years is unequaled,” said Paul Naudé, President of SIMA and CEO of Vissla. “During the second half of his tenure, he has been the steady hand that guided the association through some of the industry’s difficult times. So much so, that SIMA is now well-positioned to move into its next growth phase which will run parallel with surfing’s exploding popularity.”
“Sean has been an integral part of SIMA and we are extremely grateful for the passion and dedication he has shown over the past 20 years. We wish Sean the best of luck as he starts this new chapter in his career and look forward to a continued partnership as he builds out Elastic’s B2B platform,” said the remainder of the SIMA Executive Committee (Dylan Slater of Rip Curl, Vicki Redding of Vans and Cathey Curtis of Boardriders). “Despite Sean’s transition, we are excited about the future direction of SIMA and remain committed to progressing its vision, mission, and strategic objectives. The Board of Directors has worked hard to set up the organization for continued growth, and we are excited to announce the commencement of the search for our next Executive Director.”
Read press release from Emerald here.
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 29 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $7 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund, also a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, was established to award grants to various surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health and/or welfare of people. Since 2004 the SIMA Humanitarian Fund has raised and donated more than $1.7 million to surf-related non-profit humanitarian organizations. For more information regarding SIMA, please visit www.sima.com.