Mover and Shakers - Trade Only Today

Mover and Shakers

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Applied Weather Technology, a provider of fleet optimization software and services, announced the addition of two executives, Vincent (Skip) Vaccarello as president and CEO and Phil Ahlfeldt as vice president of sales.

Vaccarello brings nearly 30 years of executive-level management experience in Silicon Valley with companies such as VisiCorp, Communications Solutions, 3Com, and The Saratoga Group, a company he co-founded and for which he served as president and CEO before its acquisition by ChannelWave Software in 2000.

As an independent Silicon Valley management consultant for the last six years, Vaccarello has helped CEOs and their companies with strategic planning, operations, and mergers and acquisitions.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Boston University School of Management.

Ahlfeldt brings 30 years of executive-level sales experience to AWT, including more than 10 years as vice president of National Semiconductor Corp.’s Information Systems Group. In addition to holding executive positions for such companies as NSC, AT&T/Teradata and Automatic Data Processing, Ahlfeldt has built and led sales teams for several small privately held companies.

Ahlfeldt received a bachelor’s degree in engineering and master’s degree in industrial management from UCLA.

Founded in 1996, AWT is privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with eight worldwide offices.

Marine industry veteran Gary Beckett joined Turnkey Communications and Public Relations as co-owner and vice president.

In addition to journalism credentials, Beckett, a former editor of Soundings Trade Only, has a public relations and corporate communications background. After Trade Only, Beckett served as director of corporate communications and public relations at Outboard Marine Corp. He recently served as account manager of a general aviation media relations program for Barton Gilanelli & Associates of Philadelphia.

Beckett has contributed stories and photographs to such boating magazines as Southern Boating, Showboats International, Yachting and Offshore. He also has reported on the recreational marine industry for The New York Times.

Based in Orlando, Fla., Turnkey Communications was founded in 2005 by president Louisa Beckett.

Mallory Marine Products promoted Rick Carrier to product manager and brought Thad Kuhns on board as product analyst.

Carrier joined the company in 2007 and previously was product analyst. “His previous product management experience has been instrumental in the continued growth of Mallory Marine,” Jim Self, Mallory Marine brand manager, said in a statement.

Kuhns has nearly 28 years of marine industry experience and holds factory training certifications and certificates from many OEMs. “Thad has joined Mallory Marine to assist in product development, technical support, and manufacturing support,” says Self.

“The combined experience of Rick Carrier and Thad Kuhns puts Mallory Marine in a solid position for the continued growth of our product line and market share,” he adds.

Mallory Marine has a manufacturing and distribution facility in Cleveland and a digital fuel injection facility in Wixom, Mich. It’s part of the Prestolite Performance Group, which serves the marine, automotive and motorcycle markets with its Prestolite Wire, Mr. Gasket, ACCEL, Hays, Lakewood and Mallory brands.

Andrew Doole and Dane Graziano were promoted to chief operating officers for Show Management, the producer of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“Clearly, the combined efforts, experience and know-how of Andrew and Dane for over 24 years [each] have been key components to the great success and growth of this company,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president and CEO of Show Management, in a statement. “There is no doubt that their vision and strategic planning will take Show Management to greater heights and at the same time provide needed support for the marine industry.”

Doole and Graziano will oversee and manage all aspects of every show, including concessions, electrical, decorating services, government relations, sales and marketing, exhibitor relations, show expansion and industry relations. In addition to the boat shows, they are also involved in special events produced by Show Management.

MasterCraft president and CEO John Dorton was selected for two appointments with the National Marine Manufacturers Association — the NMMA Executive Committee and chairman of the Boat Manufacturer’s Division.

“John’s recent selection to these leadership roles further substantiates both John’s ability and MasterCraft’s role as an industry leader,” company spokesperson Jason Boertje said in a statement.
Dorton said he is looking forward to “working with the NMMA to help its members achieve financial success, especially as we move through, and the eventual exit out of, this economic downturn.”

Zodiac of North America announced that Gary Durnan was promoted from director of Canadian operations to vice president of the recreational division for North America.

“I’m looking forward to our new consolidated operations that unite U.S. and Canada operations under a single roof,” Durnan says. “It will help us be more responsive to our dealers and customers on both sides of the border.”

Paul Frank announced his retirement as president of safety and survival equipment manufacturer ACR Electronics, effective Jan. 1.

Frank joined Fort Lauderdale-based ACR in 1980 as vice president of administration and was named president in 1994. Under his leadership, ACR has evolved from a small U.S. manufacturer selling primarily to military and aviation markets into a multidisciplinary, high-tech brand selling to eight market channels around the world, according to the company.

“It’s been a phenomenal ride,” says Frank. “This truly is a great company with an exciting future. I’m leaving the company in the hands of a highly experienced staff of senior level managers, many of whom have been together as a team for more than a dozen years. The company also is well-represented by experienced middle management and department heads and a motivated core of employees making up the backbone of an organization second to none.”

Earlier this year, at ACR’s international sales meeting, Frank announced record sales for fiscal year 2007 and introduced a new “The Science of Survival” theme for its line of marine, outdoor, aviation and military products.

Cobham plc, ACR’s parent company, is interviewing candidates to succeed Frank in a newly created general manager position.

William Lainson Hermes was elected president of Dutton-Lainson Co. by the firm’s board of directors.
Hermes joined the marine accessories manufacturer in 1996 and has held numerous positions in both sales and production management. He was elected vice president and plant manager in 2003 and will continue as the manager of the manufacturing division.

Hermes represents the fourth generation of the Lainson family in the corporation. Charles Hermes, who has served as president of the company since 1974, was elected by the board of directors to serve as CEO.

Burger Boat Co. of Manitowoc, Wis., appointed Mike Mitchell vice president of manufacturing.
Joining Burger in August 2002, Mitchell has been promoted to various positions throughout the company.

He has 23 years of manufacturing experience, including plant managing and 15 years ownership of his own business.

Michael T. Moore was named chairman of the International SeaKeepers Society, succeeding retiring chairman Donald R. Tomlin.

“Michael’s long involvement with the board means he knows the history of the society,” Tomlin said in a statement. “He is the ideal choice to keep the International SeaKeepers Society strong and focused.”

Moore, of the Miami-based law firm Moore and Company, has 30 years of experience in maritime and aviation law. ISS says Moore’s understanding of and connection within the yachting community will enable the society to continue its mission of collecting cost-efficient, high-quality, high-volume meteorological and oceanographic data.

Regulator Marine appointed Al Partin as its new manager of customer service to replace Cheryl Williams, who is retiring after 18 years with the company.

Williams has served in many capacities at the Edenton, N.C.-based company, including heading up customer service responsibilities for the last four years. She is credited with helping Regulator become the first boatbuilder to have 100 percent of its dealers certified.

“Cheryl was one of the early pioneers in influencing Regulator’s culture,” company president Joan Maxwell said in a statement.

Partin will now lead Regulator’s customer service, after six years of managing its assembly department. Before coming to Regulator, he held various management positions in the marine and textile industries.

Maxwell said Partin brings more than 20 years of technical and practical boating knowledge to his new role.

“His assembly experience and knowledge of our boats’ systems will be of instant value to our dealers’ service departments and to owners of Regulators,” she says.

Whitney Peterson joined the Westbrook, Conn.-based Gowrie Group of Companies as vice president of marketing.

“Whitney will help us better define and position our brand as Connecticut’s largest and fastest growing independent insurance agency,” said Ed Gumbrecht, the firm’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

Peterson will direct the marketing activities for all of the Gowrie Group. Her initial efforts will focus on brand positioning, increasing customer awareness of the company and its offerings, and improving the company’s online presence.

Peterson has 13 years of experience in marketing, customer research and strategic planning. An avid sailor, she was a four-time college All-American, a four-year member of the U.S. Sailing Team, and ranked in the top 10 in the world in the 470 Olympic Class. Currently, she races Sonars out of the Sachem’s Head Yacht Club in Guilford, Conn.

Harken Yacht Equipment announced several appointments to its leadership team.

Harken Italy’s general manager Giampaolo Spera was named CEO for Harken’s Global Operations. Spera, an 18-year veteran of the company, will also continue as Harken Italy’s general manager.

Andrea Merello was named as Harken Italy’s vice general manager. Merello has been with Harken for 13 years, and prior to becoming Harken Italy’s vice general manager, he served as Harken Italy’s technical director.

Harken’s commercial manager Bill Goggins was named CEO of Harken USA. Goggins has been with Harken for 10 years, and prior to becoming Harken USA’s CEO, Goggins was the company’s commercial manager. He is currently president of Sail America, the United States sailing industry association.
Bob Sweet will continue as Harken’s Global CFO and will now report to Spera.

Peter and Olaf Harken will continue to own the business and remain active in the company in their roles as co-chairmen of the board of directors.

Harken, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of sailboat hardware and accessories. Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wis., Harken manufactures in the U.S. and Italy.

Gleb Tchaikovski was appointed vice president of sales for Koden America Inc., of St. Petersburg, Fla.

He will oversee sales of the Koden and SI-TEX lines of electronics on the West Coast and western Canada.

Tchaikovski has more than 10 years of experience in the marine electronics industry. Prior to joining Koden, he held various sales and sales management positions with such companies as Wesmar, Radio Holland USA, and Marport Stout Inc. He earned an MBA at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Seattle-based YachtWorld.com and Boats.com appointed two new field sales managers: Tony Bessinger in the Northeast and Scott Rhodes in the Mid-Atlantic.

Bessinger previously was the electronics editor for Cruising World, Sailing World and Power Cruising magazines, as well as director of Sailing World’s Boat of the Year Competition and associate editor of Sailing World magazine. He is based in Jamestown, R.I.

Rhodes previously served as the Mid-Atlantic regional director and finance specialist for Secured Marine Trust, a marine finance, escrow, software and extended warranty service group. Prior to that, he was sales manager for Islander Boat Center on Long Island, N.Y. Rhodes is based in Annapolis, Md.

YachtWorld.com and Boats.com are divisions of Dominion Enterprises, parent company of Soundings Trade Only.

Yvan Cote was appointed president of the Teleflex Marine Group. He succeeds Vince Northfield, who was named executive vice president of global operations for Teleflex Medical.

For the last two years, Cote has held the position of vice president of product management. He has been a member of the Teleflex Marine senior management team, directing all new product development as well as directing the efforts of the marine Electronics Development Center in Sarasota, Fla.
Northfield previously was the commercial group president for Teleflex Inc. and was acting president for the Marine Group.

Steve Nelson was named product management director for Teleflex Marine. Nelson has been with Teleflex for more than 30 years and has held several roles in the organization.

Teleflex Marine, a business unit of Teleflex Incorporated, is a global provider of steering systems, controls, gauges, engine drive parts and related components.

Northern Marine of Anacortes, Wash., restructured its sales group following the departure of Dave Mahalko, vice president of sales and marketing. The company will bring two former project managers with extensive knowledge into the new sales team as well as a factory sales representative based in Fort Lauderdale.

Blair Estenson was named sales and warranty manager. Most recently, he managed the builds of the full range of Northern’s long-range cruisers. Steve McLenachen, previously the sales manager for the company’s motoryacht group, also joins the new sales team. Blake Ober will serve as Northern Marine’s sales manager in Fort Lauderdale.

“Bringing a depth of product knowledge together with extensive brokerage experience will help potential customers quickly understand the quality and details of our product offering,” said Ken Kurtenbach, president of Northern Marine, in a statement.

The Hatteras Collection of New Bern, N.C., named Paul Cherney vice president of sales and marketing.
Cherney will head up sales and marketing for both the Hatteras and Cabo brands. He will play a key role in brand management, business development and top-line sales growth.

Cherney has been in the Brunswick Corp. marine division for seven years, where he led the establishment and growth of the Meridian Yachts brand as vice president and general manager. Prior to joining Brunswick, he spent three years with SkipperLiner as vice president and general manager with its commercial business unit, and four years with Carver Boat Company as national sales manager.

“Paul is uniquely equipped to lead the effort in maximizing our potential in a competitive market,” said Keri Theophilus, president of the Hatteras Collection, in a statement.

Red Oak Marketing Group, of Lake Forest, Ill., appointed Krishna Krovi chief operating officer.

“With our rapid growth, we needed to strengthen and expand our executive group,” said John Trkla, Red Oak president and CEO, in a statement. “Krishna brings a range of experience to our organization, from applying financial skills to operations to past successes in project management.”

Krovi has more than 15 years of experience with marketing and technology firms, including Monster.com, Overdrive Interactive, POPstick, i-Vantage, Kenexa and Sun Microsystems. Prior to joining Red Oak, he was vice president of sales and business development with e-tractions. He has an MBA in finance from St. Joseph’s University.

Yamaha Marine Group promoted Brad Leatherman to department manager for the OEM Technical/Tournament Support Division.

Leatherman’s responsibilities include overall technical business direction as well as the development of Yamaha’s OEM technical and tournament support staff. He will also be responsible for the development of the Yamaha Outboard Application Engineering/Rigging and Performance Training, testing duties, policies, procedures and requirements pertaining to OEM boatbuilder accounts.

He will also provide support for all Yamaha-sponsored tournaments.

Leatherman has been with Yamaha for more than 10 years, eight-plus years with the OEM technical and tournament support division. Prior to his time at Yamaha, he spent more than nine years in the Florida market in a service/rigging capacity at two retail dealerships and in rigging/assembly roles with two boatbuilders.

Recently, Leatherman earned a Coast Guard license as operator of uninspected passenger vessels with towing endorsement. He also received his standards accreditation from the American Boat & Yacht Council. 

This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.

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