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Movers and Shakers

Industry veteran Vincent Petrella was appointed executive director of the Yacht Brokers Association of America.


Petrella, a certified professional yacht broker, began his career in the marine industry in 1975 as a sailmaker with Van Zandt Sails, designing, building and selling sails and competing in one-      design and offshore racing events. In 1981, he joined Wayne Burdick, owner of Hellier Yacht Sales, as a yacht broker and became president of the organization in 1988.

In May 1997 he became Hellier's owner. He retired in July 2007. During that period, he was a member of the Grow Boating Advisory Council.

Petrella also is a past director, president and chairman of the Connecticut Marine Trades Association and a past director and chairman of the Professional Development Committee of the Yacht Brokers Association of America.

Nicole Vasilaros joined the National Marine Manufacturers Association's Washington, D.C., office as state government affairs manager. She will be responsible for government relations related to the Personal Watercraft Industries Association, an NMMA affiliate group.

She joins the NMMA from the office of U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla., where she managed health care, education, labor, immigration and judiciary issues. Vasilaros also gained legislative experience from work in the office of U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., and The Cochran Firm.

She is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Florida's Levin College of Law.

Tigé Boats named Doug Romberg vice president of engineering and quality.

Romberg has nearly 20 years of experience implementing new product technology and managing quality assurance programs at some of the largest marine companies in the industry, most recently Brunswick and Yamaha.

He received an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dragonfly Boatworks, of Vero Beach, Fla., named Peter Starratt its lamination supervisor.

"A Fort Pierce native, Pete comes to us with an extensive history in the boat business," company owner Mark Castlow says in a statement. "He can do anything - rig, repair, create, glass, shape, tool ... you name it."

Starratt previously worked at Taylor Creek Marina in St. Lucie County. More recently, he spent 21 years at the Vero Beach Marine Center.

EdgeWater Power Boats named Kevin Mahoney its Florida regional account manager.

Mahoney brings more than 35 years of marine experience back to EdgeWater. He has traveled the Florida markets extensively, starting his career with Chris-Craft in 1974. He worked with EdgeWater in the mid-1990s to develop a Southeast dealer network for the new EdgeWater brand.

"We are pleased to welcome Kevin back," says Roger Taylor, national and international sales director, in a statement. "His experience at the retail and manufacturer's level of the marine industry gives him a unique perspective of the business and a proven resource for EdgeWater dealers in Florida."

Lewmar named Emma White its marketing manager.


Based at Lewmar's U.K. headquarters, White will work with Lewmar's sales and marketing director, Matt Johnston, to drive the global promotion of the Lewmar and Navtec brands.

White joins Lewmar from her role as marketing manager with Oceanair, a marine blind manufacturer. She previously was a marketing executive with the dinghy manufacturer RS Racing.

Schaefer Marine named James Collins, owner and president of Collins Outdoor Recreational Equipment, its West Coast representative.

Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Collins will work with the company's West Coast distribution and local dealers ranging from Southern California to Washington state on training and marketing programs. He also will help the local distribution operation maintain reasonable stocking levels so customer deliveries occur in a timely manner.

Collins' career in the boating industry began when he was in college. He worked for a North Sails loft, then worked his way up the ladder at West Marine, becoming category manager for sailboat hardware.

In 2006, he went to The Chuck Frederick Co. He recently started Collins Outdoor Recreational Equipment.

Curtis Stokes & Associates added Bransom Bean as a sales associate to be based in Isle of Man in the British Isles.


Bean is a seasoned seafarer, author and international executive whose work in the yachting community gives him unique opportunities to represent Curtis Stokes & Associates, the company said. As a business coach focusing on marine businesses, he helps individuals and entities identify and achieve their goals.

His maritime experience ranges from recreational powerboating and sailing to serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. In 1996-97, he raced in the BT Global Challenge - a 33,000-mile race - west-about, under sail and south of both Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope as a crewmember in Commercial Union Assurance.

A founder and first executive director of the U.S. Superyacht Association, he is also a member of the International Superyacht Society; the Professional Yachtsmen's Association; Boating Writers International; the Yachting Journalists Association; the Royal Ocean Racing Club; the Propeller Club; the U.S. Navy League; the Merchant Navy Association; and the Submarine League.

U.S.-based marine manufacturer's representative E&P Marine named Christoph Witt a marine sales consultant based in Germany.

Witt has several years of sales and marketing experience in the recreational marine industry. He has worked for companies such as Aqua Signal and Torqeedo.

This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue.


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