Movers and Shakers

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Mark Pedersen was named president and CFO of KCS International, the parent company of Oconto, Wis.-based Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts.

Pedersen replaces Jim Viestenz, who stepped down to pursue other interests.

Pedersen has been with KCS for the last 16 years and has more than 20 years experience in the marine industry.

"I am up for the challenges, as I have worked hand-in-hand with the entire KCS management team throughout the years," Pedersen said in a statement. "I was fortunate to be here in the early 1990s when we were rebuilding the company. I learned some valuable lessons that we will use in order to continue our success as we move the company forward."

Having previously held the title of CFO, Pedersen is ready to take on the role and responsibilities associated with his new position, the company says.

"Mark has worked with me for 16 years and I have the utmost confidence in him to continue the positive trend we have built at KCS over the years," said K.C. Stock, CEO and owner of KCS International, in a statement. "Mark has been a key player in many acquisitions and management positions with my numerous ventures. We intend to be one of the major contributors in the marine industry for years to come."

The appointment was one of two announced by KCS International. Paul Cherney was named vice president of sales and marketing/general manager.

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Cherney joins KCS after serving as the senior vice president of sales and marketing with Hatteras and Cabo Yachts.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of our day-to-day business as well as the challenges that face our entire industry," Cherney said in a statement. "We have a strong product portfolio and a very talented team in place. With our established brand identity in Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, strong distribution channel and a commitment from our owner, Mr. Stock, we are poised to make some large strides in the upcoming months."

Cherney brings with him more than 15 years of marine industry experience, including an instrumental role in the development and launch of Meridian Yachts in 2002.

* * *

Jeffrey Grey joined the Newport, R.I., brokerage office of Sparkman & Stephens.

Grey has spent the majority of his 30-year career in the custom yacht building and service sectors. He grew up sailing on Martha's Vineyard and apprenticed with the Gannon & Benjamin boatyard.

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He went on to establish his own boatyard and boatbuilding business in Duxbury, Mass., and comes to Sparkman & Stephens with a vast knowledge of the construction and repair of both power and sail yachts.

In addition to his brokerage role, Grey will focus on the "after sales" relationship with S&S clients. He will also begin compiling an S&S yacht register, performing research and collecting data on the status and history of the S&S design portfolio.

* * *

Larry L. Jett, a 27-year marine industry veteran, joined the team at Sea Hunt Boats as director of dealer development.

Based in Columbia, S.C., Sea Hunt manufactures saltwater fishing boats.

* * *

Ron Taibl was appointed executive vice president of Compsys Inc.

Taibl previously worked within Brunswick's strategic sourcing group/supplier development team, where he focused on eliminating waste and reducing variation across the supply chain. Prior to Brunswick, Taibl worked his way up from value stream manager to operations manager for Hexcel Composites.

He also previously worked for Allied Signal.

"As we are now seeing the market recovering, we are extremely fortunate to have one of the industries' top lean six sigma process improvement masters taking a leadership role in our organization," president Scott Lewit said in a statement. "Ron's strong background in manufacturing, quality and continuous improvement complements our capabilities and will allow us to deliver more value to our customers."

Taibl received a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, an MBA from Arizona State University and was certified by the Six Sigma Academy in Scottsdale, Ariz., as a process improvement master.

Melbourne, Fla.-based Compsys manufactures Prisma Composite Structural Preforms, which are used in the boat manufacturing industry for lightweight and cost-effective structural stringers, bulkheads and deck framing systems.

* * *

Integral Systems appointed H. Marshal Ward, a retired major general from the U.S. Air Force, as its chief operating officer.

Headquartered in Columbia, Md., Integral Systems provides integrated technology solutions for SATCOM-interfaced networks.

"Under his operational leadership, we believe we will improve our capacity to capture new programs, realize efficiencies in our operations, and continue to deliver outstanding program execution to our customers," said Paul G. Casner, Integral Systems' interim CEO, in a statement.

Ward has more than 40 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry. Previously, he served as vice president and general manager for the space systems and electronics business area of BAE Systems. Before that, he served 35 years with the U.S. Air Force, retiring as director of special programs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

Ward received a bachelor's degree in meteorology from Florida State University and a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University. He has received numerous awards and commendations, including the Defense Superior Service Medal.

* * *

National Liquidators named Roland Minias national recovery manager. He will manage relationships with key bank clients and oversee the company's efforts to locate and recover boats for some of the nation's largest banks.

Minias has a banking background in asset recovery, marine management, executive administration and lending, working with Wachovia, Bank of America and Citibank. Prior to joining National Liquidators, he served as retail bank director and senior vice president of Wachovia. He managed 44 bank branches overseeing sales, service and operations and led a professional sales force of 500 people with total core deposits of more than $900 million. He was honored as top bank director for Wachovia-Florida in 2008.

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Minias is a member of numerous community organizations, including the March of Dimes, the United Way and currently serves on the board of Foundational Charities.

* * *

Ranger Tugs appointed industry veteran Mark Mansfield as sales manager.

In his new position, Mansfield will be responsible for dealer service and development in addition to sales forecasting and production scheduling in North American markets.

"Mark's 23 years in the recreational boating industry have given him a perspective based on forging strong dealer relationships," said Jeff Messmer, vice president of sales, in a statement.

"Thanks to his experience, particularly in Eastern and Central markets, we believe Mark will be very effective in further strengthening the brand and helping our dealers achieve their individual growth objectives," he added.

Founded in 1958, Ranger Tugs offers a line of traditionally-styled all-composite cruisers from 21 to 29 feet in length.

* * *

Tigé Boats of Abilene, Texas, appointed Kimberly Knight as controller. She accepted the promotion after helping guide Tigé's continued financial strength as assistant controller since March 2007. In her new role, Knight will assume responsibility for all Tigé accounting and financial functions.

Knight has more than 20 years experience in accounting and business management. Originally from Cincinnati, she came to Abilene in 1990 after living in Japan and the Philippines. Prior to joining Tigé, she worked in accounting and business management for several companies in Ohio and Abilene, earning numerous achievement awards and professional certifications.

As controller, Knight will provide fiscal leadership for Tigé by continuing to exercise tight internal financial controls and implementing high efficiency standards. She will also play a key role in the company's budgeting and financial forecasting.

"Kimberly has proven to be a relentless financial steward for Tigé during the past two years," Tigé CEO Charlie Pigeon said in a statement. "During this tough economic period, her focus and resourcefulness has helped Tigé to maintain and even strengthen our excellent financial position. Kimberly and the rest of the management team are a big reason that Tigé is, to my knowledge, the only inboard company that has not had to shut down production during recent months."

* * *

Tom Krigger was promoted to general manager of Bradford Marine's Fort Lauderdale shipyard.

Krigger graduated from SUNY Maritime College with a Bachelor of Engineering in naval architecture and a USCG third assistant engineer's license. He then sailed on cargo vessels worldwide for eight years while upgrading his USCG license to first engineer of steam and motor vessels unlimited horsepower.

Krigger relocated to Fort Lauderdale and began work at Bradford Marine in 1996. He was promoted to assistant superintendent in 1999 to help with Bradford Marine Bahamas' construction of the 1,200-ton floating drydock. In 2003, he was promoted to vice president of operations and superintendent of Bradford Marine Fort Lauderdale, where he manages the daily operations of the shipyard, and he will continue in that capacity while assuming his new duties.

"We're very pleased to promote Tom Krigger to general manager," said Paul Engle, president of Bradford Marine, in a statement. "His extensive shipyard experience and measureless knowledge of the yachting industry will be of even more benefit to our megayacht owners and their captains."

* * *

Gibson Fiberglass of Irwindale, Calif., appointed Billy McKee as its new Western regional sales manager. McKee is based in the Houston area and will be responsible for sales of fiberglass reinforcements and fabrics into the reinforced plastics industry in the Southwest U.S. region.

Before joining Gibson, McKee served as technical sales representative in the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas regions for Zyvax Inc., a manufacturer of semi-permanent mold release systems. He also served as newsletter editor for the Greater Southwest Composite Materials Association for the last 10 years.

McKee has been in the reinforced plastics industry in distribution sales since 1983, working with Ashland Distribution, Interplastics Corp., and Gruber Systems. He also spent five years in manufacturing with WestWind Composites making core material for the composites industry during the mid-1990s.

McKee attended Louisiana State University and completed several educational programs including the ACMA CCT-I certification and the Aarthune Performance Group Profit Specialist Program.

"Billy brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the composites industry to our team. His extensive background includes sales, manufacturing, logistics, customer service, and technical experience," said Ron Adams, vice president of technical sales for Gibson Fiberglass, in a statement. "His sales experience and pre-existing relationships with customers in the Southwest will be a definite asset to our team."

* * *

John Perkins joined Wellington Yacht Partners as the company's fourth partner.

The Rhode Island-based company was established last year by industry veterans Ted Hood, Murray Lord and Adolf Haffenfeffer IV. It offers a range of sail- and motoryachts up to 300 feet in length, along with charter and new construction consulting services.

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Perkins joins Wellington following 20 years as a yacht broker with Little Harbor Yacht Brokers, where he served as director of the Yacht Brokerage Division.

He is active with the Yacht Brokers Association of America and was previously voted the group's Broker of the Year.

This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue.

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