Regional Sales Executive
Resides: New Orleans, LA
Started with POP Yachts: June 2012
Q. When did you get interested in boating?
I'm from New Orleans, which is a coastal town and a major U.S. port city, so I've been boating all of my life. To live in New Orleans is to be a boating person, really. I grew up with small bass boats, center console fishing boats. But I was never in the boating industry as a career.
Q. What was your original career?
I started out in the restaurant business, and I did that for 30 years. I have a business degree from the University of New Orleans. I went back to school and got a degree in Information Technology. Then I entered the IT sector of the restaurant business. But after sitting behind a desk for 10 years, I was looking for something where I could be out in the field, vising with people, seeing new areas.
Q. So what was attractive about going to work for POP Yachts?
I like to manage my own schedule and I was ready to get outside. I basically changed careers from a database administrator to boat sales. I was no stranger to meeting new people. I was a stranger to selling boats ... particularly all the different types of boats and mechanical differences. It was a fun adjustment. I'm like a sponge. I enjoy learning new things.
Q. What surprised you most about working in this industry?
They way people take care of their boats and don't take care of their boats. I was really surprised to go to different people and see them living in a half-a-million-dollar house and have a boat full of mold and spiders. I don't know how people can buy something so expensive and not take care of it.
Q. How do you deal with that?
I tell people: Clean boats are easy to sell. If a boats dirty, I'll clean it myself, if the seller will allow me. I want to sell their boat, and I know they want to sell the boat. If I put pictures of a dirty boat on our website, people won't want it.
Q. Do you have any interesting boat sale stories to share?
I've sold boats to Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico and Australia. They're all unique in their own way. Right now I'm selling a 1987 Nonsuch Hinterhoeller 36 Cruiser Cat Rig. The interesting thing about it is the boat sailed around the globe twice. It's been to Gibraltar three times. It has won several international boat races. The owner is a surgeon from Belgium and the buyer flies Apache helicopters. He's going to have the boat shipped to a lake in Kansas where he's going to live on it for five years. Once he retires from the Army, he's going to put it in the Atlantic and sail it around the world, also.
Q. How have you seen POP Yachts grow since you've been here?
I've seen a huge amount of growth. I've watched our software evolve over the last two years. You can't work for anyone anywhere who has a software system like this. I plan on being with POP Yachts for a long time.
Q. What do you do with your free time when you're not working?
I have two sons; one who is 27 and is an intern psychologist in Australia. My younger son is 14 and a freshman in high school. He's in the robotics club and he's an Eagle Scout, so we travel for competitions, go camping and and do whatever he's doing.
Q. And enjoy life in New Orleans?
New Orleans is a city where you work for the weekend. We party a lot. There's a celebration here every day. If a leaf falls off a tree, we'll have a festival. Enjoying my family: That's a party for me.