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Movers and Shakers

The Shakespeare Electronic Products Group of Columbia, S.C., appointed Richard Belfrage as its European sales manager.

"Richard Belfrage has many years of experience in the marine trade, including senior roles at Raytheon, SMG, Simrad and, more recently, at Tack Tick," said Don Henry, director of Shakespeare's Marine Product Group, in a statement. "We are indeed fortunate to have a man of his qualifications joining our European operation. Richard will take over when Tim Christie retires in early 2010."

Christie was formerly the owner and managing director of Communication Aerials Ltd., manufacturer of the V-Tronix antenna range, and Shakespeare acquired that business in February 2008.

"Shakespeare would like to thank Tim Christie for his efforts ensuring the successful transfer of the business," said Roger Evans, managing director at Shakespeare's U.K. operation, in a statement. "We wish him a long and pleasant retirement.

"We are delighted that Richard has agreed to join us and he brings a wealth of experience in both U.K. and export sales," Evans continued. "Our 2009 European sales are above budget and we are all confident that Richard will continue Tim's successful work on the V-Tronix and Shakespeare brands."

Both Christie and Belfrage will be on the Shakespeare stand number 02.407 in November at the METS exhibition.

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Digital Era Media Inc. named Terry C. Smith national sales and marketing manager for

Smith has more than 30 years experience in the boating industry, including sales and brokerage in the United States, Bahamas, Canada and Europe. His experience also includes representing custom and semicustom yacht builders, creating the London and Hamilton boat shows, establishing the Canadian Marine Acceptance Corp., and teaching the marine technology (computerization of marine operations) program at Georgian College.

"His experience and deep understanding of the boating industry is extremely valuable as we prepare to take our new version of to its full market potential," said Chris Perera, president and CEO of Digital Era Media, in a statement. "I'm more than confident that Terry will be a great leader for our sales team." is a popular destination for millions of boat buyers and sellers, with major supporters including Yamaha, BRP, and Mercury Marine offering targeted exposure for boating manufacturers, dealers and brokers.

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Herve Bonnet was appointed global director of the boat financing activity of CGI, a European financial company. Bonnet will also remain CGI North America's president and CEO.

"This new role offers me the opportunity to expand my core mission of taking business practices further by developing our presence in new markets with strong potential, while at the same time promoting synergies for our current markets to create further added value for our existing clients," Bonnet said in a statement.

CGI Group, a subsidiary of Societe Generale, was created in 1951 and is a leading financial institution in Europe. It has more than 30 offices in Europe and the U.S.

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Brunswick Marine in Europe announced several appointments to key executive positions.

Steve Coultate, currently managing director of Sealine, was named vice president and general manager of the European Boat Business Unit. Coultate will be responsible for the strategic marketing, product development and manufacture of BME's Uttern, Quicksilver, Arvor and Valiant boat brands, as well as European distribution of Bayliner, Boston Whaler and Trophy. Brunswick-owned Sealine will become part of BME's boat business and will be managed as a strategic part of the European portfolio.

Ferruccio Villa will assume the position of vice president and general manager of the European Marine Power Business Unit. Villa will have responsibility for strategic marketing, product management and after-sales service of the Mercury, MerCruiser, and CMD brands, as well as Quicksilver parts and accessories.

Sales and distribution will be led by Francois Sebire, who was appointed to the newly created position of vice president of sales and channel management. Sebire will oversee the sales effort, including BME's district offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Safe Boats International added marine industry veteran John Hotz to its sales team to lead an initiative aimed at increasing the company's growing state, county and municipal government sales division.

"All of us here at SBI are excited to have a person the caliber of John joining our team. Not only is he very experienced in the industry, he is truly a great person," said Scott Peterson, president of Safe Boats, in a statement.

Hotz has a 17-year background with companies such as Boston Whaler, Donzi Marine and Aluminum Chambered Boats. He will be based in Florida and have responsibility for sales on a nationwide scale.

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Vicem Yachts, the Turkish builder of classic-style motoryachts, sportfishers, cruisers and megayachts, named Alberto Perrone Da Zara as its new chief executive officer.

Perrone Da Zara, who comes to Vicem from Ferretti Group USA/Allied Marine, assumed the post Sept. 7. Also hired were Bob Riemens, project manager for Vicem's megayacht division, and Bruce Livingston, Vicem production director.

"Vicem is a company with tremendous potential that has made great strides in the marketplace. We recognized this potential and have invested in the right people to bring Vicem to the next level in the industry," said Zeki Konukoglu, vice president of Sanko Holding, Vicem's parent company, in a statement.

"Hiring Mr. Perrone Da Zara is an important step toward achieving our goal," he added. "He brings a new approach, vision and philosophy to bolster operations and expand Vicem's business and reputation."

The Italian-born Perrone Da Zara graduated in 1992 as a naval architect and marine engineer from the University of Southampton in Great Britain. He then went to Germany to intern with architect Gerhard Gilgenast, designer of such notable yachts as Octopussy, Shergar and Ronin.

Perrone Da Zara moved to Argentina in 1992, where he spent four years designing and building racing sailboats for Billoch Yacht Design, and Patriot Yachts, for which he was co-partner. This experience led to his post with California-based Alan Andrews Yacht Design, designing large performance sailracing yachts.

He then moved to Miami where he was with Magnum Marine, a builder of luxury offshore performance powerboats. Perrone Da Zara was primarily involved with production and development during his three years with the company.

In 2002, he joined Ferretti Group USA/Allied Marine, the U.S. arm and dealer network of one of the world's largest yacht builders.

"As CEO of Vicem, I am excited to be in a position where I can collectively apply the knowledge and business development capabilities I have acquired over nearly two decades working in virtually every major aspect of the yacht building industry," says Perrone Da Zara.

"I share the same level of commitment Vicem and Sanko have to growing this company, and look forward to leading Vicem to becoming a world leader in the luxury motoryacht sector," he says.

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Northrop and Johnson's sales division added Chuck MacMahon to its Fort Lauderdale office.

MacMahon has more than 33 years of brokerage experience with a variety of yachts. He has also completed numerous construction and refit projects, and founded and operated a sales brokerage firm for 10 years.

MacMahon has been an active member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and has served two terms on the board of directors. He is also a founding member of the Certified Professional Yacht Broker program. He has served as the chairman and is currently a member of the advisory council.

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NGK Spark Plugs (USA) promoted Michael Schwab to vice president of the aftermarket division.

Schwab, a 20-year veteran in the aftermarket, has been with NGK since 1989 and previously served as director of sales and marketing for North America. Prior to that, he served as general manager for NGK Spark Plugs (USA).

"The aftermarket industry is an ever-evolving marketplace," Schwab said in a statement. "Opportunities to grow and succeed are much more challenging than ever. To succeed, we have to quickly adapt to change. We must continuously lead with innovative products, innovative thinking and innovative customer service."

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Anita Mays partnered with Channel Islands Yachts in Channel Island Harbor, Calif. Mays has more than 20 years of experience in the yacht sales and finance industry. Channel Islands Yachts is a full-service yacht center serving clients from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Calif.

Mays can be reached at (800) 774-2186 or

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Tecnoseal USA added Paul Smith to its management staff at the company's U.S. facility in Fort Lauderdale.

Smith has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the marine industry. As sales manager for Tecnoseal, he will be directly responsible for the North American, Central American, South American and Caribbean markets. He will direct all sales through the company's representatives and distributor network.

Tecnoseal is a leading manufacturer of marine anodes in Europe, but the Italian company is fairly new to the American market. Its Florida location opened in early 2008 to serve the Americas.

"My goal is to bring Tecnoseal USA to the same level of acceptance and respect that it enjoys in Europe," Smith said in a statement. "The product line is extensive, the quality is superior and the pricing is more than competitive, so I expect we'll have serious consideration from all the major players."

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Elio Betty, former national sales manager for Soundings Publications, joined the Boat Owners Association of The United States as director of advertising for BoatU.S. media.

Betty was formerly responsible for advertising sales of Soundings magazine's national and waterfront real estate sections, as well as the company's custom publishing operation. Previously, he held positions as a yacht rigger and harbormaster and owned a small business.

Betty will oversee sales efforts of the recently relaunched BoatU.S. magazine. In addition, he will be responsible for advertising sales for the organization's BoatU.S. Trailering magazine, BoatU.S. Angler magazine, and many of the organization's electronic media properties, including

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Doug Still joined the Gibson Fiberglass sales team as national accounts sales manager.

"Doug brings over 25 years of composites sales expertise to our team. We are looking forward to utilizing his knowledge and experience in the composites industry managing large accounts in the U.S.," said Ron Adams, vice president of technical sales for Gibson, in a statement.

Still worked for Composites One for 12 years, serving as national accounts manager for the last four years. Before that, he worked for Superior Oil Company for 15 years.

He graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in industrial technology. He is certified by the American Composites Manufacturers Association as a Certified Composites Technician Instructor.

This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue.



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