Movers and Shakers

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Alena Heede was named president of Cary, Ill.-based Aqua Signal Corp.


Heede also will assume responsibility for opening a Houston-based branch office and launching new business segments.

Heede, who has been the company's executive vice president for nine years, says Aqua Signal is expanding its recreational product line to include Glamox Group products, which serve the commercial marine and the oil and gas industry in U.S. markets.

Jack Ezzell, vice president, chief accounting officer and controller of MarineMax, announced his resignation from the company in December to pursue an opportunity with a large private company, MarineMax says in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ezzell's principal duties will be assumed by Michael McLamb, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Kurt Frahn, vice president of finance and treasurer, among others.

Sea Fox Boat Co. and related companies Mariah Boats and Azure Boats recently hired two new team members.

Jim Huddleston was named the new lamination supervisor for all three boat brands. He has 30 years of experience as lamination supervisor and plant manager for such companies as Godfrey Marine, Luhrs Marine, Ebbtide Power Boats and Champion Boats.

Chris Simms was named head production engineer for all three brands. Simms comes from Yamaha Marine, where he worked for Century Boats for 19 years as an engineer manager, draftsman and bill of material specialist.

Fountain Powerboats named Nick Miller its new vice president of sales and marketing.

Miller comes to Fountain with 25 years of marine industry sales and marketing experience at the manufacturing and retail levels, including a 17-year stint with Pro-Line Boats and Donzi Marine, where he was heavily involved in dealer development, serving in a variety of production and sales roles, up to and including vice president of marketing.

The board of directors of Renaissance Marine Group promoted Jerry Wooley to president and chief operating officer of the company and its subsidiaries, Duckworth Boat Works and Weldcraft Marine Industries.

Wooley has been Renaissance's executive vice president and chief operating officer since September 2007. Prior to that, he was Renaissance's vice president of production and director of engineering and production.

Before joining Duckworth in 1997, he spent 12 years with The Boeing Co. in a variety of roles. He previously worked for the Navy as a civilian engineer on torpedo and target programs.

Renaissance is the holding company for Duckworth Boat Works and Weldcraft Marine Industries. Renaissance builds and sells Duckworth, Weldcraft and Northwest Jet brand welded aluminum sportboats and fishing boats.

Bob Saxon was named president of International Yacht Collection.

"There is no one better suited to expand IYC's worldwide brand, a strategic model that incorporates all aspects of the yachting lifestyle," IYC chairman Felix Sabates says in a statement. "Bob Saxon's unrivaled reputation, his understanding of the totality of the modern yachting business and his ability to understand owners and their needs are critical to our global expansion."

International Yacht Collection, including The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals, a division of Trinity Yachts LLC, is a privately held corporation based in Fort Lauderdale.

Seakeeper hired Thomas (T.J.) Tracy as its new director of commercial and military sales.

Tracy had been vice president of sales and marketing for Zodiac of North America. Seakeeper Gyro Stabilization Systems is based in California, Md.

Curtis Stokes & Associates, a high-end yacht brokerage based in Fort Lauderdale, added Wendy Umla to its sales team.


Umla is a licensed and bonded saleswoman with captain and management expertise in yachts in the 85- to 171-foot range. Her professional career began in land-based industries. She worked in sales and executive positions for a large vitamin and supplement manufacturer.

Most recently, Umla was captain aboard Castaway, a privately owned 85-foot Lazzara yacht. She was responsible for all aspects of the vessel, including boat handling, engineering, documentation, budgets, itinerary and trip planning. Previous to Castaway, Umla managed the refit of a 156-foot yacht, including overseeing a five-year Lloyd's survey for the owners.

Umla has certifications that include a Coast Guard 3,000-ton ITC Master.

Fathom Yachts named Scott Dawson to head its sales and marketing department.

Dawson brings to the company nearly 20 years of sales and marketing experience. Before joining Fathom Yachts, he was the recreational and commercial sales manager at Aluminum Chambered Boats. Prior to that, Dawson worked as a territory sales manager for Johnson Outdoors' Scubapro brand for nearly 10 years.

Fathom Yachts is based in Bow, Wash.

ARI, a provider of technology-enabled services that help dealers, distributors and manufacturers, promoted Darin Janecek to chief financial officer.

He brings more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting to the position. Janecek joined Milwaukee-based ARI as director of finance in May 2009 and was promoted to vice president of finance shortly thereafter.

Before he joined ARI, Janecek served as director of strategic finance at Johnson Controls Inc. in Milwaukee. He led the group responsible for the financial aspects of acquisitions, divestitures and other strategic business initiatives.

Lewmar appointed Harcourt Schutz sales and marketing manager of the Americas.

Schutz is a 10-year veteran of the Guilford, Conn.-based marine products firm and most recently was its sailboat products marketing manager.

In his new position, Schutz will be responsible for Lewmar field sales personnel in North and South America and the Caribbean, and all marketing activities, including aftermarket programs, trade and consumer boat shows, regattas and races.

This article originally appeared in the February 2011 issue.


MRAA welcomes new partner member

Marina and marine management software provider DockMaster has become the newest partner member of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

Caterpillar to close two facilities

Caterpillar Inc. will close two facilities in Texas and Panama and is considering shutting its engine manufacturing plant in Illinois as part of a strategy to boost profitability and better handle business cycles, according to Reuters.

Brunswick executive honored by Savoy magazine

Danielle Brown, vice president and chief information officer for Brunswick Corp., was recently honored among the "Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America" as chosen by Savoy Magazine, a leading African-American lifestyle publication.