Zeelander Yachts names head of U.S. operations

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Dutch boatbuilder Zeelander Yachts B.V. named Michele Allen president of Zeelander USA in Fort Lauderdale.

Her responsibilities will include overseeing day-to-day operations and executing key strategic growth initiatives.

“As Zeelander positions itself to be the leader in luxury cruising yachts, it is critical to have well-managed daily operations and timely execution of strategic initiatives in order to meet the company’s goals,” founder Sietse Koopmans said in a statement. “We are excited to have Ms. Allen join the team. She recognizes the importance of strengthening our daily operations as the key to accomplishing our growth strategies.”

Zeelander Yachts also announced a company restructuring that includes the addition of a yacht sales division in preparation for growth and new products. Chris Holtzheuser will be president of the new division. Former Zeelander USA president John Slate will move to the sales division.

The company said Allen brings 30 years of experience providing strategic, tactical and financial leadership.

She most recently was general manager of Bradford Marine Yacht Sales. Prior to that, she served in pivotal roles, including director of product development for QVC, vice president of operations for Teslar Watches, director of sales and marketing for Hotels.com and vice president of marketing for Sky Limo Air Charter.

"It is going to be an exciting road ahead with many new happenings for 2015, starting with the retooling of the flagship Z44 and the launch of the roomier Z55 scheduled for later in the year,” Allen said. "Knowing what's important to a discriminating yachtsman is crucial, so our commitment to innovation and superior service is our No. 1 priority.”

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