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September 29, 2016    


The passing of Mr. Palmer is a sad time for all who knew him personally, and also for the millions of people worldwide who knew of him or followed his career. His achievements…PGA Tour wins, Majors, IMG, Golf Channel...they are now all well documented across the internet, especially this week.

Like some of the other SDSI members, I too had many chances to be around Mr. Palmer as he was well known. I cannot say that I ever felt comfortable enough to call him “Arnie,” not because he was unapproachable or formal, in fact he was the opposite. No, the more you knew him the more likely you were to call him Mr. Palmer, all based on respect for this enormously successful man.

My most memorable interface was at the 1998 Masters. It was the first Masters that Mr. Palmer missed the cut. That Thursday evening, Joe Moses, our Nike Golf Sports Marketing Specialist, had a random encounter with “Arnie” inside the Club House Members’ Pavilion. After some small talk, Joe told Mr. Palmer that he was here with our Golf execs and Phil Knight. Phil had not met “Arnie” and vice versa. “Arnie” suggested that we drop by his house in Augusta that Friday morning for breakfast, early in fact, so that he could get his jet airborne for the trip back home.

To be honest, we had a pretty amazing evening the night before our breakfast appointment. Phil had invited some notable guests over to our rented house for a lively dinner. Dawn Friday morning came early, really early. The Nike team, Phil included, rallied as best we could, and set off for the Palmer House. Looking a bit disheveled and embarrassed we knocked on the door. Winnie Palmer, perfectly dressed as always, answered the door and greeted us with those wonderful Southern manners. “Oh you must be the Nike guys, come on in. I am going to make you a wonderful breakfast...Arnie will be out in a minute.”  I often wondered what she thought at the sight of us…

Well, the conversation was private and I don’t want to share it, but let me say that Joe, Rod and I saw two giants, two sport legends find common ground and share the immense dose of humanity and charisma they both had. Its no wonder Mr. Palmer was so loved; he was 100% real and interested in people. His concern and attention was evident in his handshake, his memory for names and faces, and the twinkle in his eye he shared with everyone.

Phil, as always, was prepared to meet Arnie. His homework was done. They had a memorable and personal conversation; the rest of us stood on the sidelines, stunned by greatness. 

Thanks Mr. Palmer, you are the MAN!

- Bob Rief, SDSI Executive Chairman

Join the #MadeinSD Movement!
Leading up to Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7 and with input from the City of San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC (Economic Development Corporation) has launched a San Diego brand mark #MadeinSD to signify to the world that the best ideas, products and innovations are created here! And SDSI is all about it! 

If your company designs, creates, manufactures, discovers or innovates in San Diego, join the #MadeinSD movement. It’s time to show the world what many of us already know – that some of the world's best products, ideas and innovations are made right in our backyard. To be used by any business that creates or innovates in the region, the #MadeinSD brand will serve to unite San Diego makers and tell the world of our region’s strengths. Find out how you can get on board with the #MadeinSD movement

Get involved in Manufacturing day, find out how.

Where will the Bronzed Bill Walton land?
Bill Walton, a San Diego icon, and Executive Chairman of SDSI was recently honored with a 1,200-pound, bronze statue that celebrates the man involved in 52 local charities, his dedication to the positive future of San Diego, as well as his amazing basketball career. The statue was offered to the San Diego International Airport as a permanent gift to greet residents and visitors – but the airport group said no thanks. Why? We asked the same equestion. Read more in the Op Ed piece by Bryce Miller in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Bill introduces Yao Ming to Basketball Hall of Fame
Bill was honored to once again make the trip to Springfield, MA to introduce Yao Ming into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Each Hall of Fame inductee selects current Hall of Famers to introduce the inductee in to the Hall of Fame. Apparently, the SDSI team aren’t the only ones that think highly of Bill - Yao is the seventh person Bill has been honored to introduce since Bill’s own induction in 1993. Yao was one of 10 inductees including Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal. View Yao’s full induction speech here.

SDSI Chew & Chat sponsored by Springboard provides insights into Corporate Valuation and Real Estate Landscape
This month, SDSI Springboard Sponsors Voit Real Estate Services and Vantage Point Advisors provided an enlightening and actionable workshop for SDSI members on corporate valuation and finding the physical space to meet a growing company’s needs. Both instrumental components to a growing company’s success. Participants gained insights into investor “tricks” to be aware of when negotiating financing, and an understanding of why pre-money value is important to protecting founder’s ownership. Attendees also learned key aspects to negotiating a lease in a market that has a historically low vacancy rate of 4.5 – 12%. If you’re interested in learning more on either of these topics, contact to get connected.

1,767 sq. ft., including warehouse, available for sublease in Carlsbad
An SDSI member has 1,767 sq. ft. available for sublease in Carlsbad. The space includes two offices, restroom, open work area and 1,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. All this, plus the opportunity to work next to like-minded SAL business executives for only $3,000 / mo. (not including utilities). Contact for more details.

SDSI members features in NY Times artificial wave technologies story
SDSI members and San Diego surf industry lefends weigh in for The New York Times feature on the future and current state of artificial wave technology. Peter “PT” Townend, American Wave Machines, John Luff of Surf Park Central and Fernando Aguerre President of ISA, paint the landscape for the direction of the industry and why “now, more so than ever in history, the world is talking about, investing in and developing man-made surf destinations”. Read the full feature.

Tower Paddle Boards, ISLE Surf & Sup and VAVi Sport & Social among Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies
Now in their 35th year, the prestigious Inc. 5000 ranks the fastest growing, private companies in America by percentage revenue growth over three years. The three SDSI member companies topping the list, had an astonishing collective three-year growth rate of 894%. Tower Paddle Boards came in at 1,121 with a 346% three-year growth rate. ISLE Surf & SUP ranked 1,352 with a 285% growth rate. And VAVi Sport & Social ranked 1,458 with a 263% growth rate. Let’s also celebrate that according to an SGB report, among Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies were 53 Sport and Active Lifestyle Brands! Check out the Inc. 5000 2016 full list.

AWM to build its largest surf facility to date in Texas
American Wave Machines, Inc. (AWM), is on contract for what will be one of the largest inland surfing and watersports facilities in the country at BSR Cable Park and Resort near Waco, Texas. The park will include a 2-acre surf lake including AWM’s PerfectSwell® Infinite Ocean™ design and surf generating technology. Read more here.

CSUSM focuses on Sports Research Institute with the help of the SAL industry 
On September 21 industry leaders and action sports enthusiasts gathered at Cal State San Marcos to participate in a focus group to discuss the creation of an Action Sports Research Institute at Cal State San Marcos. The meeting began with a demonstration at the surf flume where researchers Sean Newcomer and Jeff Nessler study the biomechanical and physiological aspects of paddling. Their research scope is broadening to include a variety of other board sports as they relate to equipment innovation, athletic performance and health benefits. To learn more, visit CSUSM Surf Research or contact Jocelyn Wyndham at 760-750-7304 or

ElliptiGO sets new sales record in August
Fueled by 51.6% year-over-year growth in the United States, ElliptiGO attributes their August revenue records to the growing interest in the category of elliptical bikes overall and to demand for its newest product, the ElliptiGO Arc, which debuted in December and has quickly become their bestselling product.  Read the full press release here.

GPG supports another wildly successful Kickstarter launch
Following their success with Original Grain, GPG launched another successful Kickstarter campaign, this time for ZZYXX Shoes, a ruggedly stylish boots for the active and artistic lifestyle handcrafted by artisans in Leon Mexico. With the help of GPG, ZZYXX reach its Kickstarter campaign goal within 3 hours and was more than 200% funded within the first day. Back ZZYXX’s campaign here. Learn more about GPG here.

Hookit wins at SFIA Leadership Summit; CNBC summit coverage includes ElliptiGO and Hookit
SDSI Springboard Graduate, Hookit, made San Diego proud this month beating out 50 companies from 20 countries to take home top honors at SFIA’s first ever Start-Up Challenge held at the annual SFIA Industry Leaders’ Summit. Read more about Start-Up Challenge and Hookit’s big win at See the national coverage of the summit, including interviews with ElliptiGO’s Bryan Pate and Hookit’s Scott Tilton on CNBC’s Nightly Business Report ​​​​beginning at 23:50.

IPPOS launches brand ambassador program
Do you love advancing the equestrian sport? Are you an active rider? Are you social media savvy with an outgoing personally? If your answers are YES, you sound like the perfect fit for the IPPOS Brand Ambassadors program. Learn more about this opportunity to share the IPPOS stoke and receive special discounts and commissions on your sales.

SKLZ and VerifiR represent SAL in “Disruptors of San Diego” panel
This month The Haas San Diego alumni chapter, in conjunction with the Rady School of Management, brought together local leaders in disruptive technology and business models to discuss how to foster a culture of innovation. Jurgen Schmerler founder of VerifiR and winner of SDSI 2016 Star Brand Award, along with Brian Enge president of SKLZ, represented the Sports and Active Lifestyle Community. Learn more here.

Tower Paddle Boards 5-hour workday featured on CNBC 
CEO and founder Stephan Aarstol rolled out the 5-hour work week about a year and a half ago, along with 5% profit sharing for his ten-person team (who all still have an average salary of $50K by the way). The effect? Tower Paddle Boards was listed on Inc. 5000 fastest growing private campiness in 2015 and 2016 with a 1853% and 346% three-year growth rate respectively. How did he do this? By driving up productivity and improving work life balance for his employees. Watch the full interview at and get a copy of his book The Five-Hour Workday.

2nd Annual Dynamic Disruption Summit to feature Bill Walton – discount code inside
TurningPoint Executive Search will be hosting the 2nd Annual Dynamic Disruption Summit ​​​​​ on October 27, at the Del Mar Marriott. This year's Keynote is our own Bill Walton, and will include presentations by SDSI members Slyde Handboards and Hookit, in addition to Activision Blizzard, Allergan, Alteryx, Crayon and many more! SDSI members receive a 20% discount with this exclusive code.


Exhibit opportunities available at Big Boys Toy Show
Join 4,000+ attendees for a family friendly full day event at the Port Pavilion Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego, full with activates to keep the little and “Big Boys” entertained and learning. Exhibit opportunities start at $1,500 and it will include 20, 30-second commercials to air on 1090 along with many other great benefits. Learn more about the Big Boys Toy Show ​​​​​​and contact for exhibit opportunities. 

TurningPoint ExecTurningPoint Tip
​​​​​​The death of the annual review! As we fast approach the 4th and final quarter of the year, many companies have launched their 2017 budget process, and along with it, the age old, dreaded annual employee review. Not so fast...over the last 12 months, many Fortune 500 companies have begun to shed their traditional annual review, in favor of ongoing, monthly or quarterly "mini check-ins" with their employees. Companies such as Deloitte, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Accenture and yes, even GE - the firm that coined the phrase "up or out" - have found higher productivity and effectiveness through perpetual mini reviews. Is it time to rethink your review process?

Job Openings
Operations Manager, Distribution - Maryland  
Director of Sales, East, Financial Services – Northeast 
Director of Marketing, Biotech/cell therapy – San Diego 
President/CEO, Medical Device - San Diego
Business Development Account Manager, Consulting/Professional Services – Irvine  
Plant Manager, CPG – Phoenix, AZ  

Advntur – Community Manager click for info

ElliptiGO – Operations Technician click for info

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa – Multiple positions available click for info

J!NX – Multiple positions available click for info 

KPMG - Multiple positions available click for info

RSM – Multiple positions available click for info 

Red Door Interactive – Multiple positions available click for info

SKLZ – Multiple positions available click for info

Upper Deck – Multiple positions available click for info

TurningPoint Executive Search, ranked #33 on SDBJ "2016 Fast Growing Private Company", is SDSI's resident expert for hiring, retention and job search. A San Diego native with more than 16 years of recruiting experience, President and Founder, Ken Schmitt is available as a sounding board who can share industry “best practices” with SDSI members.  Have you registered for the 2016 Dynamic Disruption Summit?
SDSI members receive a 20% discount with this exclusive codeRead their blog and contact Ken at


Oct. 25 SDSI Board of Directors Meeting, 4-6pm

Nov. 9 Chew & Chat Membership Breakfast, Techniques for Fudning your Business, 8-9:30am

Nov. 15 SDSI Advisory Board Meeting, 3:30-6pm

Dec. 13 SDSI Holiday Party

Through Nov 14. Manufacturing Day events click for info

Sep. 30 - Oct. 7 INNOVATE San Diego 

Oct. 1-2 Maker Faire click for info

Oct. 7 SD Regional EDC San Diego Manufacturing Day Breakfast click for info

Oct. 7 Manufacturing Day click for info

Oct. 15 Big Boys Toy Show, Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier click for info

Oct. 27 Dynamic Disruption Summit, San Diego, CA click for info

Jan. 5-6 Agenda Long Beach click for info

Jan. 5-8 CES 2017, Las Vegas, NV click for info

Jan. 9 Outdoor Retailer All Mountain Demo click for info

Jan. 10 – 12 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market click for info

Jan. 24-25 Agenda New York click for info

Feb. 20-22 Agenda Las Vegas click for info

Mar. 12 – 15 ROTH Capital conference click for info

This email was sent by SD Sport Innovators at 253 S. Highway 101, Suite C, Solana Beach, CA 92075.

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