I am in a unique situation where I have the unusual combination of vast experience and youth: I have amassed over 11,000 skydives and am still incredibly active in the sport. I have also occupied a diverse array of positions beginning as a drop zone owner’s kid, working manifest in exchange for jumps, up to becoming a World Record Organizer, participant, and pilot, a dropzone owner myself, the wife of a dropzone owner, and a Content Manager for Dropzone Marketing. From all the hat’s I’ve worn, I have garnered a lot of insight, vision, and relevant experience that can help move skydiving forward from every aspect of the sport.
I have a lot of passion and energy to continue giving back to skydiving. Driven by my dedication to this wonderful sport, I would love and appreciate the opportunity to serve on the USPA Board of Directors.
As the co-creator for the competitive discipline 4-Way Vertical Formation Skydiving, I have an intimate understanding of the effort and engineering required to develop and promote a brand-new discipline: how a team would be filmed, judging criteria, judge requirements, and competitor involvement.
Recently, I was a part of the group responsible for recreating rules for the Vertical Sequential World Record. The group’s efforts were met with frustration because none of the decision-making entities were vertical flyers, and thus, they did not understand why we were making the suggested changes. Through dedicated effort and time spent educating, we were successful in passing the rule changes.
I’m surprised over a decade later at the lack of vertical disciplines recognized on the board. There is currently only one board member who freeflies for fun. I would love the opportunity to be a voice for 4-Way Vertical Formation Skydiving, Vertical Sequentials, angle flying, and freeflying in general.
Today’s marketing approach requires digital savvy, strategy, and direction. Not many people realize the time and energy it takes to manage the duties of a proficient marketer: sourcing images, implementing and following a strategy, and creating and scheduling social media posts on multiple platforms. USPA currently employs only one person on staff, the Director of Sports Promotions, to fulfill this duty. The current Director of Sports Promotion is left to navigate and educate through social media with little support or direction from the board.
An important element that has been missing for years in skydiving is diverse, consistent, and relevant communication both within and outside of our community. It is important the Sports Promotion Director not only promotes outside of the sport to get people into skydiving but also helps our current skydivers understand what is happening within our community—especially with regard to upcoming discussions, changes, and happenings within USPA. Even for me, a long-time skydiver, a lot of decision making seems to be a mystery. In addition to increased transparency within the organization, it is imperative we examine how we can engage more jumpers for longer and inspire jumpers to participate competitively at local and national levels.
We are very fortunate to have a current Director of Sports Promotion who is savvy and educated in digital marketing. However, I propose creating a committee of support so we can share, educate, and have a broader spectrum to communicate with our community – not just in Parachutist articles or surveys—but with direct communication through supported email and social media campaigns.