Industry mourns former Sail magazine ad director

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Peter Neilsen, Joe Howey and Eric Cressy

Peter Neilsen, Joe Howey and Eric Cressy

Joseph Howey, former longtime advertising director for Sail magazine, died Wednesday in Severna Park, Md. He was 82.

In 1959, Howey immigrated from his native England to the United States and settled in New York City, where he began his career in advertising.

He was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in 1967 married Andrea Bak Howey shortly thereafter, raising three children.

Howey and his family moved to Severna Park from New Jersey in 1976 to establish the Annapolis offices of Sail magazine, according to his obituary.

Joe and Andrea Howey opened the first advertising sales office for Sail outside of its Boston headquarters in the mid-1970s, according to a Sail magazine press release announcing his promotion to advertising director of the magazine.

As a team they built their sales territory from a handful to literally hundreds of accounts. Howey was a pioneer in assisting many of the European and Pacific Rim sailboat and equipment companies in marketing their products within the U.S.

Cressy, who was publisher of Sail during Howey's tenure, called Howey “one of the great ones.”

“People gravitated toward him in a way that I’ve never seen people gravitate to an ad guy,” Cressy said. “He was a real character – who by the way, wasn’t a boater, he didn’t care about being a boater. But he cared about selling ad pages, and he cared about his customers. What he really was was a true friend to many people in the business. He was a wonderful guy and I will miss him beyond words.”

After 25 years selling advertising space in the Mid-Atlantic and International territories for Sail Magazine, Howey added the responsibilities of advertising director to his job in 2001. That meant he was managing the 10-person ad sales staff while maintaining his international accounts.

Eric Cressy, who was the publisher of Sail at the time, said in the 2001 statement about the promotion: “Joe, along with his office manager and wife, Andrea Bak Howey, is extremely successful and focused when it comes to accomplishing what they set out to do. Year after year, Joe has been a top salesman for Sail. The Howeys’ experience, together with their organizational systems and skills, will provide a solid base for the sales staff, especially the newer sales people.”

During his 32-year career at Sail, Howey pioneered the U.S. sailboat advertising markets in China, Japan, Taiwan and Europe, his obituary said.

“He was an unmatched force in his field and received multiple accolades for his exceptional performance,” it read. “His extensive work related travels gave him a deep appreciation of other cultures which resulted in many family vacations throughout Europe and North Africa. He was well known and liked within the sailing community here in Annapolis and beyond.”