Canadian distributor announces management transition plan

Western Marine promotes three executives to run daily operations while its founders step back.
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Western Marine Company, a Vancouver, Canada-based distributor with satellite offices outside Toronto, has announced a management transition plan. The company said in a statement that Bill Falk and Alan Stovell, who have managed the business since it started in 1985, will step away from day-to-day operations.

“This is going to start for Bill immediately and Alan in a year or two,” noted the statement. “Bill and Alan will remain active in the company as directors for some time to come, but primarily in support roles.”

As part of the management transition, Paul Saunders, currently chief financial officer, has been promoted to president of the company. Saunders has been with Western Marine for 20 years.

Melissa Ballard, currently purchasing manager, was promoted to vice president of operations. Ballard also has more than 20 years of experience in most areas of the business.

Brad Kane, general manager of the Transat Marine Division in Barrie, Ontario, was named vice president of Transat Marine. “He will retain that position while taking a more active role in senior management,” said the statement.

Western Marine has grown from a single location in Vancouver with 12 employees to 65 employees at its operations in Vancouver and Barrie.