Licensed Vessel Marketing Training Specialist
Resides: Sarasota, FL
Started with POP Yachts: September 2012
Q. You're in a relatively new position at POP Yachts now. What does your current job entail?
About six months ago, I was promoted to director of training and recruiting for the vessel marketing department. That involves looking for highly qualified salespeople. People who are experts on the phone. I train them from start to finish in a 30-day boot camp - teaching them the software and the sales side as well.
Q. What was it that drew you to POP Yachts in the first place?
I was referred to the company by Todd Drennan, who's been a friend of mine for 10 years. [The opportunity for] listing and selling boats worldwide opened my eyes up, and I was excited about it.
Q. Before you came to POP Yachts, what type of sales were you doing?
I was in financial services from about 1995 to 2011.
Q. So what was the transition from financial services to boat sales like?
I've been boating my whole life, but I'd never owned a boat and didn't know that much about them. I'd just jump on a friend's boat or my grandpa's boat and go fishing. That was a little bit of a difficult transition. You know - can I do this in an entirely different industry? But it turned out pretty well. I listed 51 boats my first months. I caught on pretty quickly.
Q. How have you seen the listings grow over the past few years at POP Yachts?
When I started listing boats, it was incredible if we got to 200 listings in a month. Now we're doing that per week. When I first started, we had a total of 2,000 boats listed, and now we're well over 5,000 boats listed.
Q. What do you think contributes to the that tremendous growth?
No. 1 is our ability to getting our boats on 160 web sites in such a short time. That coupled with customer service. Buyers come to us looking for boats - that's impressive. We've doubled sales volume every year. I believe it's definitely going to continue this year.
Q. So you're in the Sarasota office now. What brought you to Florida originally?
I'm from Grand Rapids, MI, but I always wanted to come to Florida. My step-father bought a business here and asked me if I wanted to move right after I graduated high school, and I said, "yep!" So we moved down here and I got accepted to the University of Florida and graduated in 1990.
Q. What's your degree in?
Political science and pre-law.
Q. So what do you like to do with your time when you're not working?
Spending time with my kids, and I'm very active with local politics. I have a political consulting business that I do on the side. I have an antique and political memorabilia trading company - I buy and resale stuff all the time for collectors. And I'm a big baseball fan.
Q. What is it about history that intrigues you?
You've seen a deterioration for the appreciation of the past, and that's what my entire goal of that side of my hobbies is - to preserve history. Plus, I have three daughters and when they see my collection, they learn things they'll never learn in today's school system. They know a lot about presidential and political history in this country and how we were founded and the military history as well that's not normally taught within the school system. I think it's of vital importance - those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.
Q. How old are your daughters?
Eighteen, 14 and 2. Sydney, my oldest, just graduated from high school. I'm very proud of her.
Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I tried out for the Detroit Tigers when I was 19, right out of high school. They had a free agency tryout and I was invited to that, but nothing happened; I never heard back from them.
Q. OK, enough about history. What do you see in the future?
I see myself retiring from this company; I really like it and the system is fun. Plus, the potential for making money here is great. If you put the effort in, you'll make good money.