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Port Manatee Club (Florida)
Rebuilding for the Future

When first chartered in 2005, the Port Manatee Club quickly established itself throughout the area.  As the club aged and business declined during the economic slowdown, the club’s membership dwindled to 30 members.  Although the leadership was able to maintain the club’s basic operations and charitable activities, the club’s growth was stifled, and membership stagnated.

After their election in 2018, the new board looked at the club’s membership and reached out for answers to several key questions:

  • If you were a member in the past, why don’t you participate anymore?
  • What would make attendance at the monthly meeting more attractive?
  • What value do you think the club provides and how can it be a bigger value?
  • What charitable activities do you think the club should be active in?

Once these basic questions were answered, the club’s officers and board members reached out to former members to reinvigorate their interest. Issues raised by the club’s outreach were addressed and several changes were implemented to make attendance a better experience. Some of these included;

  • Providing a greater networking opportunity for the club’s members
  • Allowing for meeting sponsorship to enhance the members experience at the event
  • Changing meeting locations
  • Expanding the pool of speakers to address a wide range of topics and interests
  • Strengthening communications and outreach by using a variety of methods including telephone, email and other online media.

The club also worked diligently to establish its place within the community.  The club’s charitable fundraising was highlighted on event flyers and media outreach.  By attending local port authority meetings, the club’s leadership highlighted the club’s value to both the maritime and local community.

The main element which made the Port Manatee chapter successful is the opportunity for fresh ideas resulting from the club recent growth.  New members mean new ideas, which gives these members a larger ownership in the club. 

When the club initiated its membership drive, the board set an initial goal of doubling membership within the first year.  Bringing former members back was relatively easy, but the real success is through developing a culture where membership in the club means being a part of the overall port community.

Today the Port Manatee Club has over 130 members and they are building and adapting their program to meet the changing needs of their community.

Salute to Congress and Annual Convention in Piraeus have been postponed.

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Latest News

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    Coronavirus Makes The National Security Case For Rebuilding U.S. Maritime Power Compelling (From Forbes) lexingtoninstitute.org /coronavirus-makes-the-national-security-case-for-rebuilding-u-s-maritime-power-compelling-from-forbes April 17, ...

  • The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) received a briefing on proposed regulations by the government of Canada that could disproportionately affect U.S.-flag ships operating on the Great Lakes.  Under U.S. law, the FMC may investigate unfair or discriminatory ...

  • The European Commission has approved various state aid rules that Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, and Sweden may use to promote registration (flagging) of ships in their countries.  The goal is to make these flag-states competitive in the international ...

  • Posted in: Maritime Security

    The Coast Guard has issued an interesting safety alert to help ensure that owners and bareboat charterers of towing vessels understand their responsibilities regarding the safety management system (SMS) for that vessel.  The bareboat charterer is now ...

  • Posted in: Club Activities

    For the eighth consecutive year, Propeller Club of Madrid carried out the organization of PROMart, a round table on port maritime logistics, which this time had the title: Sector concentration and consolidation: challenges of today and tomorrow. The ...

Message from the President Niels Aalund

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our nation and the world in ways not seen in a century. This global crisis has disrupted every aspect of our social and economic lives. I read in a media report that worldwide, $1.5 Billion people are now sheltering in place or working remotely. My guess is that most of you reading this are in the “same boat” (pun intended). The maritime industry is not exempt from the impact of this virus. While container shipments have decreased, the maritime transportation and supporting logistics system is vital to the provision of food and medical supplies upon which everyone depends. We provide a critical lifeline to humanity and must take our role as a supply chain system as essential to our global and national health and recovery.

Many of our local clubs have had to postpone or cancel meetings and fundraising events. The International Club has had to postpone the Salute to Congress dinner and cancel the International Convention in Piraeus, Greece. This will impact the many maritime charitable projects which our clubs support – including college scholarships, maritime museums, and maritime heritage centers such as Liberty and Victory ships.

But most of all, it is important to keep you and your families healthy, secure, and safe. Please follow the advice of the medical experts to protect your family and your community. We don’t know when this national emergency will end, when our families can return to their normal routine, and our economy begin to grow again. But we remain dedicated to our mission to grow stronger because of these challenging times.

Please take time to remember our seniors that can’t have visitors and may feel isolated. Or perhaps parents with kids at home trying to keep things going with schooling remotely while juggling work responsibilities. Others may have been laid off. It only takes a few minutes to reach out by phone to offer a personal word of encouragement. I am hopeful that when this is over, our clubs can once again come together and celebrate the vitality of the maritime industry and the resolve and strength of our country.

In closing, the great American televangelist Robert H. Schuller once shared “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

Be safe,

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Thanks to the many companies and individuals who support the work of the International Propeller Club of the United States.  Current sponsors are listed at right, and you can click that image to see links to many of these supporters.  

We would welcome your support as well.  Click here to learn how the Sponsorship Program works, or complete the online form and become an International Sponsor today.

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