As a part of the Surf Summit 16 Closing Ceremonies on May 17 in Los Cabos, former SIMA President and Guiding Light Dick Baker will be remembered as John Wilson, president of Stance, is presented with the 2013 Dick Baker Memorial Award.

The Dick Baker Memorial Award Committee selects the award recipient each year. Chaired by the late Baker’s wife Una Baker, the Dick Baker Memorial Award Committee is comprised of Baker’s surf peers, family and friends, including: Baker’s sons Ryan and Jack Baker; Shaun Tomson, World Champion Surfer; Bob Graff, CEO of Graffy, Inc.; Bob Mignogna, Director General of the International Surfing Association; CJ Olivares, Consultant for GrindMedia, and Sean Smith, SIMA Executive Director. The committee reviewed nominations and selected John Wilson as a recipient who exemplifies many of Dick’s outstanding qualities including: a loving and dedicated parent, courage, compassion, a natural willingness to mentor others with integrity, respect for peers and competitors, and a dedication to advancing the sport of surfing with a passion.

“It is with great honor to present the third Dick Baker Memorial Award to John Wilson,” said Una Baker. “John embodies the criteria established for this award in every way. He is a spectacular father, dedicated husband, and incredible mentor in the industry. Everyday, John embraces his day with a bright spark in his eye, incredible energy and a smile.  His love for his family, his faith, his job and seeing others succeed are the exact characteristics that resemble how Dick saw life.  He is a man of leadership and compassion that leaves you feeling pretty good about yourself, as well as challenged.  Without a doubt, John is so deserving of this award.”

Currently the co-founder, President and COO of Stance, John’s successful career in the surf industry started early. He worked at Clairemont Surf Shop for seven years, being hired right out of high school and working there until he graduated from San Diego State University in 1993 with a BA in Marketing. John was hired right out of college to be the Southern California Sales Rep for Oakley, a position he held from 1993-1996. He then became Oakley’s National Sales Manager in 1996 and held that position for three years. In 1999, John joined Reef as Vice President of Sales.  He then became President of Reef in 2006 and held that position until 2009.  After leaving Reef John went on to co-found Stance, and currently holds the position of President and COO.

John is motivated to help others succeed and always looking for ways to give back to the surf industry. He joined the SIMA Board of Directors in 2012 and is currently the chairman of the SIMA Emerging Brands Committee. “I’m very appreciative to those that have helped me personally and professionally over the years and that motivates me to want to help others,” said John.

While John’s success and leadership in the surf industry deserves much respect, John is also known as a dedicated family man. John has been married to Laura Wilson for 18 years.  They have five children: Keenan (15), Maddie (12), Wyatt (11), Emmie (8) and Elijah (6). Born and raised in San Diego, John still loves to get in the water for a surf.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 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 23 years, SIMA’s Environmental Fund has raised more than $6 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 in 2006 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.  For more information on SIMA, please visit Follow us at