Executive Vice President
Time with POP Yachts: Since February 2012
Family: Wife, Iris; Son, Michael; Daughter, Amanda
Q: What is your role at POP Yachts?
I review all the deals that come to closing, making sure the paperwork is in order and that all the funds clear. There are a lot of steps, probably 20 to 25 per boat, and that's with a fairly simple deal.
Q: What's your background?
I went into the military right after high school and lived in Germany for a while. When I came back, I went to NC State University then worked retail security for a number of years. One day, while shopping at a mall, I caught myself studying people, trying to determine who was about to steal something. I realized my job made me constantly look for the bad in people, so I decided to go a different route, one which put me amongst people trying to do good. I took an administrative position with my church, First Presbyterian of Sarasota. I did that job for churches in Texas and Sioux Falls, S.D., before returning to Florida, so my wife could be near her parents. Then I worked on hardware and software for cruise ships for about four years, until the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks slowed that industry. At that time, I did consulting work for VenVest, now Clockwork Services, a franchising company. It was a startup with eight employees when I started; when I left four years later, they had 85.
Q: Did your tenure cruising foster a love of boats?
I actually grew up with a love of boats. My uncle, who lived in Richmond, Va., took us on rides down the James River to Williamsburg and up the Chesapeake Bay to Crisfield, M.D. for the National Hardcrab Derby every fourth of July. That said, I ldid love the opportunity to travel the world by boat through the cruise industry. I've been to every ocean except the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica.
Q: What's the best place you've been?
It's a tie between Thailand and Norway. Thailand had great food, a lush landscape and the most gracious people I've ever met. They're Buddhists, very kind and willing to do anything for visitors. And Norway, well, it certainly wasn't the food that won me over! It was its untouched grandeur. Cruising down a fjord, I could imagine the mountains looking exactly the same 1000 years earlier.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?
I still enjoy traveling, although I do less of it these days. I'm active in my church and I'm an avid spades player.
Q: What do you like about working at POP Yachts?
I get to draw on all of my experiences (loss prevention, church administration, franchise consultation). The owners appreciate those gifts and talents and let me use them to make a difference. That provides an even higher degree of satisfaction than my paycheck.
Q: What do you think sets POP Yachts apart from the competition?
We don't require an exclusive agreement for sellers. Also, our technology gives us worldwide coverage. Without it, we couldn't have the marketshare we have; it would be cost prohibitive to reach it by traditional means.