Movers and Shakers

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Norman-Spencer Agency Inc. announced that Phil Keeter joined its marine insurance services division as vice president of dealer services.

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“It has been my privilege for the last 25 years to work with dealers and recognize their needs. Their necessity for additional profit centers and cost controls for their businesses in the insurance arena have always been very apparent,” Keeter said in a statement. “By joining the national leader in consumer and commercial marine insurance, I will be able to help dealers achieve new and unrealized profits.”

Keeter began his career in 1959 by opening a dealership in Tulsa, Okla. In 1972, with 12 other dealers, Keeter helped form the Marine Retailers Association of America. After 23 years as president of the MRAA, he retired in 2011.

“Phil has been a friend and a valued business partner for a quarter century,” says Paul Norman, CEO of Dayton, Ohio-based Norman Spencer. “It is a natural progression for Phil to join our team and to continue his relentless efforts to provide every dealer with the ability to pursue new ways of earning revenue, especially in these trying times for the industry.”

Brooks Marine Group, a Newport, R.I.-based marine industry recruiting firm, recently added Rig Reese and Meg Toppa to its recruiting staff.

Combined, Reese and Toppa bring more than 40 years of marine industry experience to the firm.

Reese will coordinate management and trade recruitment for Brooks’ boatyard and boatbuilding clients. Reese’s background includes instrumental marketing and management roles at Hinckley and Oyster Yachts.

Toppa will lead recruiting efforts for talent in the South Florida and megayacht markets. She has held key marketing positions in a diverse range of boating-related companies, including an America’s Cup syndicate, North Sails, Ferretti Group USA and ShowBoats magazine.

Citing a rapidly growing worldwide market for its gyro stabilization products, Seakeeper named Steve Shaw its newest field service manager.

Originally from the U.K., Shaw has 16 years of experience in the U.S. marine industry. He most recently was the head of service for a large East Coast shipyard.

Sak Marine appointed Nick Miller as a managing partner and vice president.

Miller will have an ownership position with Sak Marine, as well as oversee sales and marketing for all of the company’s brands. Sak is the parent company of Caravelle Powerboats, Interceptor Performance Boats, Key Largo Sportfishing Boats, Clearwater Sportfishing Boats, Cape-Craft Sportfishing Boats and Sea Hawk Offshore Fishing Boats.

Miller also will contribute to new product offerings and future acquisitions. He will be responsible for helping the current dealer networks grow their businesses at retail by providing support tools and implementing nationwide marketing initiatives.

He also will manage the current factory representatives and assist them in acquiring new dealers in the United States and internationally.

The Global Marine Insurance Agency recently named Rick Venner to its team.

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Venner has more than 25 years of marine industry experience in management, sales and operations.

“Rick’s background as a former boat dealer, marina owner and yacht manufacturer’s representative, along with his deep roots in the sailing and yachting communities, make him a perfect fit for Global Marine,” company president Matt Anderson said in a statement.

Ilmor Marine named Edwin Baumgartner director of operations at its Mooresville, N.C., headquarters. He replaces Ronald Brown, who left the company in early February.

Baumgartner joins Ilmor after 20 years of operations and supply chain management at Honda, including three years of production management at Honda Performance Development.

Ilmor Marine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ilmor Engineering.

Fawcett Boat Supplies, of Annapolis, Md., named Rob Hilty its wholesale sales representative for Maryland’s Eastern Shore and New Jersey.

He brings extensive boatyard experience, having most recently worked in parts and service at Sailing Associates in Georgetown, Md. Prior to that, Hilty was employed by Great Oak Landing Marina as store manager and in the service and parts departments.

Fawcett is a locally owned independent marine supplier.

Mark Michelini joins Centurion Boats as its new regional sales representative for the Midwest, covering Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan.

His experience includes time as a water-sports athlete, salesman and customer service professional, as well as experience in marketing, promotion and sports event activation.

He was a founding partner of The Midwest Militia and All-Actionsports.com, providing events, contests and opportunities to learn for people throughout the region.

Weems & Plath promoted Cynthia Trevino to special markets manager.

She joined the company two years ago in the accounting department, and in her new position she will be responsible for all corporate and special market sales on a national level.

Trevino has more than 20 years of business and marketing experience in the Annapolis, Md., area. Prior to joining Weems & Plath, she operated her own electronics business.

Weems & Plath has been a manufacturer of nautical instruments since 1928.

Two longtime Thetford Corp. employees, Kevin Phillips and Doug Tharp, were recently promoted, the company announced.

Phillips was elevated to executive vice president, North America. He previously served as vice president of sales and marketing for North America since joining Thetford in 2005. Prior to joining Thetford, Phillips worked with Guardian Automotive as business unit director.

He also previously worked as director of business development and director of North American sales at GKN Sinter Metals, and as customer director and global platform leader at Delphi Automotive.

Tharp was promoted to senior director of finance for North America. He joined Norcold Inc. as a division accountant in 1990 and was promoted to accounting manager in 1993. He was promoted to corporate controller at Thetford, Norcold’s parent company, in 2003.

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue.

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