BOSTON — After running the New England Boat Show for more than three decades, show manager Joe O’Neal announced his retirement.
“I’ve been doing this since 1984 and have been in the business since 1980,” O’Neal told Trade Only Today on Sunday, the last day of the nine-day show.
Bob McAlpine, who worked closely with O’Neal in producing the show for 30 years, will be taking over the event. When the National Marine Manufacturers Association purchased the show five years ago, McAlpine began doing sales for the Norwalk and New York shows.
“I’ll be relinquishing those duties and doing the New England show full time,” McAlpine said.
Boston Yacht Sales owner and exhibitor Michael Myers will be sorry to see O’Neal go, but he said he was glad to see the reins handed to someone who has worked so closely with O’Neal.
“Joe has done a great job with this show,” Myers told Trade Only. “If you walk this floor and talk to anybody, there’s nobody who will have anything but good things to say about Joe.”
“Joe O’Neal has served your needs and created a robust marketplace for selling your products at the New England Boat Show for 32 years,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a letter announcing the move to exhibitors.
“After more than three decades steering the show, Joe has decided to make this his last show season and will be retiring after the 2016 New England Boat Show at the end of March,” Dammrich said. “Joe’s professionalism, work ethic and ability to build relationships with his exhibitor partners are personal qualities that have created a successful show and supportive marine industry across New England. I know many of you count Joe as a friend. There is almost nothing Joe wouldn’t do to help you be successful.”
“Bob has worked closely with Joe and the entire team and brings a wealth of show experience and long-standing exhibitor relationships in New England to this role,” Dammrich wrote. “I know Joe feels very good about Bob assuming the reins of the New England Boat Show and that he’s confident Bob will continue to produce a robust marketplace for selling your products.”