Changing Places

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Nautic Global Group named Natalie Thomas to the newly created position of director of customer service in response to increases in boat sales and a rapidly expanding worldwide dealer network.

Thomas, who has extensive customer service experience with Harmon Automotive, Nibco and Delta Faucet Co., will design, implement and oversee customer service initiatives across areas that include parts, sales coordination, warranty and process improvement.

"We are seeing a tremendous increase in business, and that presents all kinds of new challenges," Nautic COO Jim Orbik said in a statement. "In an effort to stay ahead of these challenges and continue to deliver the high level of service expected by our dealer partners, we have created this new position. Natalie will bring a fresh new vision and an incredible amount of energy to this important role."

Individual departments previously have been responsible for integrating customer service programs, but Nautic said Thomas will oversee all initiatives to ensure consistency and accountability. She will work at the company's corporate offices in Elkhart, Ind.

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Sperry Van Ness International Corp., a commercial real estate brokerage franchiser, named Louis Grasso product council chairman of its new marina division.

Sperry Van Ness said the partnership will make it the only national commercial real estate brokerage with a team focused on marinas.

For the last 15 years Grasso has been president of The Marina Specialists, a company that evaluates and sells marinas across the country. Sperry Van Ness said Grasso will help it establish itself as a specialist in the property category with a proprietary formula for assessing the value and appeal of marina listings and a broad network of broker and buyer contacts.

"We are thrilled to add one of the nation's foremost marina specialists to our growing list of Sperry Van Ness advisors," Sperry Van Ness president and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo said in a statement. "We have a diverse national platform and marinas are a nice complement to the rest of our services."


Yamaha sponsors Jacksonville show

Yamaha has signed on as the presenting sponsor of the Jacksonville In-Water Boat Show that runs April 13 -15 at Metropolitan Park and Marina in Jacksonville, Fla.

Volvo Penta announces contest

Volvo Penta of the Americas is asking new engine owners to submit stories to its inaugural Boating Dreams contest and will award the winner with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

MIASF volunteers collect 32 tons of trash

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and the Marine Industry Cares Foundation, organizers of the 41st Annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup held on March 3, collected 32 tons of trash from 31 sites around the county.