Here is an overview of those candidates who have been nominated for the 2021-2022 Board of Directors for the U.S. Superyacht Association. Review them all carefully. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the U.S. Superyacht Association office at 954-792-8666.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NOMINATED FOR ONE-YEAR TERM):
CHAIR: DIANE M. BYRNE
Intro/Background: Diane M. Byrne is the owner of MegayachtNews.com, the only daily superyacht website for American owners and buyers. New Jersey based, she’s a journalist with 35 years’ experience.
Experience: Diane M. Byrne founded MegayachtNews.com in 2007 as the first website educating American luxury-yacht owners and buyers about the leading builders, designers, cruising destinations, and more. Still the only American-focused online media outlet exclusively covering this market, it features all-original content, for real stories of real interest. Byrne additionally is one of the most sought-after journalists for expert editorial coverage and commentary about this segment of the market.
Related Experience: Diane M. Byrne has held a number of leadership roles. These include serving on the USSA Board of Directors since 2015. She’s also chaired the USSA’s annual Superyacht Summit since 2015. Byrne was additionally on the International Superyacht Society Board of Directors for eight years. Outside of yachting, she’s currently a trustee of Sempre Avanti, a non-profit resource supporting Italian and Italian-American individuals, businesses, and organizations in the United States and in Italy.
Statement: As a communicator by profession and personal passion, I am at my best when collaborating with others focused on strengthening and growing influence. From overseeing the Superyacht Summit since 2015 to participating in the American Boating Congress from 2015 to 2019, I’ve done exactly that, further building relationships inside and outside of yachting. As a board member, it’s my job to continue educating and supporting fellow industry members and conveying our industry’s importance.
PAST CHAIR: KATE PEARSON
SAFE HARBOR MARINAS
Intro/Background: Kate Pearson is the West Coast Regional Vice President for Safe Harbor Marinas, the world’s largest marina company. Based in San Diego, Ms. Pearson oversees marinas in Ventura & Channel Island Harbors, San Francisco Bay as well as San Diego Harbor. She was the past President of the San Diego Superyacht Association (SDSA) and sits on the Boards of the Shelter Island Master Leaseholders Group and the Marine Recreation Association. In 2014, Ms. Pearson successfully spearheaded the effort to fold the SDSA into the USSA.
Experience: Prior to working with Safe Harbor Marinas, Kate was the Dockmaster at the Shelter Island Marina, a 190 slip marina with berths to 70 meters located on San Diego Bay, California. She was the Vice President of Business Development at Knight & Carver Maritime for over 10 years. Knight & Carver Maritime was considered the West Coast’s largest yacht refit center for many years tackling major refit projects as large as 102 meters. Ms. Pearson’s role at the organization included sales, marketing and business management. Before moving to the West Coast of the U.S. Ms. Pearson owned and operated a successful yacht charter operation based out of the Mexican port of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and has extensively cruised the West Coast of the Americas.
Related Experience: Ms. Pearson has been at the forefront of actively marketing the West Coast and San Diego to the world’s superyacht fleet. The marketing campaigns have included ‘Refit San Diego’ and ‘Homeport San Diego’ attracting some of the world’s largest yachts to the area.
Statement: I believe that I would make a valuable member of the USSA Board of Directors as my West Coast knowledge and proactive marketing will broaden the USSA’s reach and share the West’s diverse opportunities with USSA members. I am passionate about advocacy, workforce creation and the importance of the American yacht building industry.
VICE CHAIR: BERT FOWLES
With more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience, Bert Fowles joined the IGY Marinas team in 2007 as Vice President of Marketing & Sales. Fowles is responsible for developing and implementing marketing plans leading to revenue growth for IGY’s 22 superyacht marinas across 13 countries.Prior to joining IGY Marinas, Fowles served as operations manager for the Caribbean’s leading casino gaming company. He has also held several key marketing management positions in advertising, hospitality and resort industries.
Fowles has served on several boards, including the United States Superyacht Association and Marine Industries Association of South Florida. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida, where he majored in Business Administration.
ADVOCACY CO-CHAIR: JOE DARGAVAGE
ROMORA BAY RESORT & MARINA / UNITED ISLAND & YACHT
Joe is the Founder and Partner of United Island and Yacht in Fort Lauderdale, one of the top yacht agency organization in our region. United Island & Yacht offers agency and shore support to superyachts entering the region. Their service’s include but are not limited to: U.S. customs & immigration clearance, U.S. B1B2 Visa’s, provisioning, Bahamian Visa’s, Bahamas charter inspection & fees, itinerary planning, and bunkering. United has offices in Fort Lauderdale Fl., Nassau, and Harbour Island, Bahamas. Our clients include the top tier of superyachts worldwide and our reputation of impeccable customer service is at the top of our field.
In addition, Joe is the Managing Partner of the iconic Romora Bay Resort & Marina, the premier marina destination in Harbour Island, Bahamas. In the past eight years, Joe and his Team at Romora have been strong supporters of the USSA and our one of the top destinations for yachts and charters in our region.
During his career, Joe has achieved great recognition from many business groups in Florida, as well as the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism. He is an active member of the Broward County Boys & Girls Club Yacht Rendezvous Board, The U.S. Super Yacht Association, International Yacht Brokers Association, Founding Board Member of The Bahamas Super Yacht Association, and is currently the Vice President of the Association of Bahamas Marinas.
Joe is the Co-Chairman of the 2021 Broward County Boys and Girls Club Yacht Rendezvous at Fisher Island and the Chairman of the 2022 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show being held in Nassau.
I feel that myself and our company, United, can offer great support to members of USSA in terms of offering superyacht owners and crew, real and valuable insight in the ever-changing world of United States Yacht Formal Clearance, Customs, Immigrations, Coast Guard and Home Land Security. Our team of professional yacht agents have built impeccable credentials with each of these departments, and our goal is to share this knowledge with USSA and its members.
ADVOCACY CO-CHAIR: RICK GLADYCH
MID-AMERICAN MARINE CONTRACTING, LLC
Intro/Background: Rick Gladych is President of Mid-American Marine Contracting, LLC, (MAMC) a small; Texas based marine transportation business centered on heavy lift marine transport, bespoke towing services and construction.
Experience: After working on yachts from steward to Captain, project manager and fleet manager, Rick focused on entrepreneurial pursuits in the form of Omni Risk Management in 2006 and Raven Offshore in 2013 that he sold in 2019. He formed MAMC later that year. He has traveled by yacht to many destinations throughout the world and has completed two builds and many refits. Rick travels extensively for his business interests that will continue to allow him to be an active participant in all USSA Regions. He has been and continues to be a large financial supporter of USSA and is a strong advocate for the US as a cruising destination
Related Experience: Having served as Chair, Past Chair, Vice Chair and Regional Board Chair of the USSA and former Chair of the NMTA Superyacht Committee, Rick has worked to create a simple and inviting cruising process in the United States to influence federal laws, Rick has proven to be an outspoken and effective advocate for attracting superyachts to our country and regions and promoting the businesses that support them.
Statement: “A Rising Tide Raises All Ships” I firmly believe that by becoming an Advocacy Co-Chair, our message will resonate farther and louder as to why enticing Superyachts to come here is good for the U.S. and our industry. I am a fervent promoter of USSA and have successfully induced many new members during my association. I am asking for your vote for Advocacy Co-Chair to take our work to the next level.
MARKETING CO-CHAIR: DAN COWENS
Intro/Background: Dan is the Founder and CEO of Oasis Marinas and Snag-A-Slip with HQ in Annapolis MD. He currently serves on the board for the Perdue School of Business.
Experience: Dan’s love for the water began when he worked for Annapolis Bay Charters in Annapolis Maryland throughout High School and has continued to grow since. Dan Cowens has over 25 years of experience in hospitality management services working as the Vice President of Operations with hotel companies ranging from Five Diamond hotels like Four Seasons to the largest and most consistent brands like Marriott. Dan was an owner and employee 18 at his previous company where he helped grow it to over 14,000 team members at 1,000 + locations. As a result of this hospitality experience and his love for boating, Dan developed the Oasis Marinas’ vision: to provide high quality marina management services in the US and around the globe. Oasis Marinas serves 25 marinas in 6 states with more on the way. Snag-A-Slip is an online booking engine connecting over 600,000 boaters with just over 700 marinas that have available boat slips.
Dan is also a military veteran with eight years of service in the U.S. Army., he holds a BS from Salisbury University and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Statement: I think I would add value to the USSA Board of Directors due to my experience and proven track record of bringing groups together behind a common vision and working with them to build and execute a plan. I am a connector by nature and love bringing subject matter experts together to solve challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
MARKETING CO-CHAIR: JULIE PERRY
Intro/Background: Julie Perry is author of the book “The Insiders’ Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess.” Since 2006, she has run WorkOnAYacht.com—a digital-information website focused on attracting and providing guidance to entry-level superyacht crew.
Experience: Julie has been a member of the USSA for eight years and has served on the board as the Marketing Co-Chair since 2019. Since 2014, she has served as a digital marketing consultant for the USSA and assisted in running our Association’s social media and digital advertising campaigns. She is a frequent speaker on marketing topics at superyacht and marine-industry events, including events held by the USSA (Julie has presented at every Superyacht Summit!), Northwest Marine Trade Association, Marine Marketers of America, International Superyacht Society, and Chris-Craft Boats.
Related Experience: In addition to her work with the USSA, Julie has served as a marketing consultant for superyacht-industry businesses such as Reardon Yacht Consulting, International Superyacht Society, and Axxess Marine. She has been an active proponent the USSA’s “Refit America” campaign and has a strong vision for how—together—we can make an even bigger splash promoting our U.S.-based shipyards and superyacht-centered businesses, worldwide.
Statement: I’ve been passionate about the superyacht industry since crewing as a stewardess back in the late 90s. In promoting my superyacht-crew career book for the last 15 years, I’ve stayed intimately connected to many facets of the industry. I took my passion of attracting people to yachting to the next level by becoming involved with the USSA eight years ago. Marketing our wonderful industry and championing the businesses that make it up is second nature to me now.
MEMBERSHIP CO-CHAIR: ZACK SAVAGE
Intro/Background: Zack Savage is the USA Sales Director for Underwater Lights LTD and has worked in the superyacht lighting manufacturing sector for more than 20 years.
Experience: Zack Savage has been with Underwater Lights LTD since 2014. Zack moved to the US from Europe in 2007, tasked with opening the US division of OceanLED; a lighting manufacturing company he helped to establish in 2003. Zack grew up in the superyacht industry, learning from his father, who had established several lighting companies in Europe over the past few decades.
Zack attended various international marine trade shows from a young age, which provided a strong foundation and knowledge of the industry.
Related Experience: Zack’s work brings him into close contact with captains, crew, managers and yards on a regular basis, which has helped to expand his personal and professional network.
Zack has been deeply involved with Young Professionals in Yachting since 2009. Zack also volunteers for many activities relating to the marine industry on a regular basis.
Zack and Lee Savage established Between Two Yetis, a social media vlog, interviewing yachting industry leaders about current trends.
Statement: I have a true passion for the superyacht industry and having worked in the industry for many years, I have established a large network of colleagues from all sectors. I am extremely excited at the prospect of being able to serve on the USSA board; to give back to the industry that has brought so many positive experiences to my life and I want to donate my time to help the industry continue to grow.
I have admired the incredible work the USSA has contributed to the industry and believe I would be able to make a strong contribution to the success of the organization by being part of the team.
MEMBERSHIP CO-CHAIR: JULIE BERRY
CBRE CAPITAL MARKETS | MARINA & SHIPYARD PROPERTIES
Intro/Background: Julie is a Senior Vice President with CBRE Capital Markets, Marinas and Shipyard Properties. Based in the “Yachting Capital of the Word”, Julie handles domestic and international transactions of boatyards, marinas, mega yacht facilities and marina resorts.
Experience: Julie recently joined CBRE to lead transactions of marinas and shipyard properties, having led a marina investments group for her previous firm. Julie has experience in development, providing a foundation of infrastructure knowledge, an asset to her 12 years in marine properties. Julie’s experience provides clients with a trusted and knowledgeable advisor in complex transactions. Exclusive sales include Lauderdale Marine Center, Bradford Marine, Bradford Freeport, Faro Blanco Marina, Caloosa Cove Resort & Marina and numerous others.
Related Experience: Julie has had several leadership roles and received awards including the 2019 U.S.S.A Beacon Award. She was named one of South Florida’s most Influential Businesswomen by the South Florida Business Journal. Current activity includes the Marine Industries Association of South Florida Board of Directors, Vice President of Seafarer’s House, Boys and Girls Clubs Board of Directors-Yacht Rendezvous. She advocates for the marine industry, speaks at public meetings, serves on panels, and has been published.
Statement: My goal is to encourage the value of yachting facilities while promoting investment in the marine industry, ensuring that marine properties and operations remain in place. Continued growth as a valued asset class is crucial to yachting and maintaining our valuable skilled workforce. I feel that my passion for the industry and goal to increase membership and support for further awareness of industry issues will allow me to serve as valuable and productive board member.
REGIONAL BOARD MEMBERS (NOMINATED FOR ONE-YEAR TERM):
SOUTHWEST REGION: LEAH YAM
MARINE GROUP BOAT WORKS
Intro/Background: Leah Yam serves as the Director of Sales and Communications at Marine Group Boat Works, headquartered in San Diego, CA.
Experience: Leah has over a dozen years of experience in communications, beginning with her role at a PR firm. It was there that her talent of turning small moments into impactful stories was noticed by her client, Marine Group. They offered her to join their team where she has now been for over 13 years. Leah was able to take her natural affinity for communication and develop a sales process that grew the company into a multi-million-dollar business, earning her a spot in Boating Industry’s 40 Under 40 achievement list.
Related Experience: Leah has been an active board member of the U.S. Superyacht Association, providing guidance on communications processes and valuable input on the west coast’s yachting industry. In addition, she takes time to mentor young women looking to grow as professionals in their industries. Leah also takes time to be involved in her community, including liaising with the Port of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, and City of National City.
Statement: I entered the industry as the superyacht market began to take off. Marine Group’s refit services provided me the opportunity to interact directly with hundreds of captains, owners, and crew members, getting first-hand observation of their demographic. I currently track vessel movements and forecast sales and market trends based on a superior database I have built up since MGBW began refitting superyachts. In addition, I have gained skills and technical knowledge through my oversight of other business segments, including new construction, commercial, and government, allowing me to bring a diverse perspective to the board.
NORTHWEST REGION: MARTY MARCHANT
Started out in San Diego Spring of 1991 first run up the West coast to Alaska as a mate on a 72’ Jefferson at the time it seemed to be a large yacht the owners called her “Quie-Too.” Growing up in the Midwest on the shores of Lake Michigan boating at an early age. Spent summers cruising to places like Mackinac island MI. My early experiences in yachting kept me in the Northwest making four trips up and through S.E. Alaska. Moving up to a mate aboard my first 50M traveling through the Panama cannal for the first time to the Caribbean and venturing to the Mediterranean for my first time in 1995. My eyes were wide open and so the venture started and I’ve never looked back. It’s been a journey that would have been hard to imagine where life had taken me. November 1996 was my first of many deliveries for Palmer Johnson aboard what was eventually named “Parriffin.” My career as a crew member took me back to the Med and then the eastern seaboard through late 1999. My yacht building experience started where I was raised with Palmer Johnson Yachts, which included the refit business at Thunderbolt, in Savannah, GA that finally lead me to Florida as a resident of Ft. Lauderdale, where my I ended up joining Westport Yachts the first time in spring of 2002. I eventually relocated back to the Northwest where I call home now. With the many yacht deliveries, shipyard refit yards and family life experiences over the past 26 years, it’s been an incredible journey. I’m currently working with Westport Yachts LLC in Port Angeles Washington in a Project Manager roll and couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity in front of us as a USSA Super Yacht builder.
GREAT LAKES REGION: JIM RUFFOLO
BURGER BOAT COMPANY
Intro/Background: Jim Ruffolo is the President & CEO of Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, WI, situated on the Manitowoc River, which flows into Lake Michigan.
Experience: Jim Ruffolo became co-owner of Burger Boat Company in 1993. He now serves as President & CEO. Jim’s primary role is to ensure the well-being and profitability of the entire company. Other responsibilities include keeping abreast of the industry, setting the vision and strategies, planning and implementing the company’s direction, and communicating the Company’s beliefs within and outside the company. Jim has led the complete renovation of Burger’s facilities.
Related Experience: Jim Ruffolo has served on the board of the Manitowoc Public Library and as President of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, where he continues as an honorary council member. He has been a USSA member for ten years and has served as its Great Lakes Regional Board Member for eight years. In addition, he is a past member of the Manitowoc Harbor Commission and the Manitowoc County Airport Advisory Committee.
Statement: I believe I would continue to be valuable to the USSA Board of Directors because I have demonstrated proficiency in observing opportunities, developing strategies, and implementing appropriate activities. I have the drive and leadership skills needed to bring people together. Lastly, I believe the only way to help shape the needs of our industry is to get involved and lead change through education and communication at all levels.
NORTHEAST REGION: MIKE YORSTON
AERE MARINE GROUP
Intro/Background: At Present, Mike Yorston is the Director of Sale for AERE’ Marine Group of Coral Springs FL.. . Manufacture of Inflatable Fenders, Inflatable Platforms and other Custom projects for Recreational Boaters, Large Yachts, Commercial and Military vessels Worldwide. Proud Co-Founder of New Bedford Community Boating Center, serving 22 year…. reaching 5000 inner city kids.
Experience: Mike Yorston, of AERE’ Marine Group is as comfortable Sailing as he is Fishing and Powerboating. He started his boat building career in 1975, building Semi Custom Classic Sailboats, he assisted naval architects, worked in shipyards, managed marinas, managed large box retail stores and has traveled the world extensively catering to world class yachts. Mike’s well known in the Industry for his knowledge and commitment which he has brought to many Community Boating activities such as Regattas, Fishing tournaments, Whale Boat Rowing and Powerboat Racing. Presently, as Director of Sales for Aere’, his job consists of nurturing and supporting his dealer network, New product development and attending Charter and Yacht Show around the world. Mike’s been in the Marine Business 46 years.
Related Experience: Mike’s served in many leadership roles in the industry, Working for West Marine as a Store Manager and Northeast Rep for Their Mega Yacht Division for approx. 14 years Actively involved in the company’s growth from 30 to 300 stores.
- Past Trustee of New Bedford Industrial Park
- Co-Founder and Board member of The Pro-Am Cancer Regatta
- Co- Founder of The Whaling City Rowing Club
- Co- Founder past Board Member of NB CBC…” Where Kids and Water Meet” 22-year to date
- Past Chairman of Water Activities for New Bedford Waterfront Festivals.
Statement: After 46 Years in many aspects of Marine /Yachting Industry honing my trade skills. Building relationships and nurturing people and businesses is my forte’. I believe my skills will complement the USSA Board of Directors with me as a member.A passion of mine is working with today’s youth to Strategically create the Future workforce of the Marine/Yachting Industry. There’s so much opportunity and it needs to be broadcasted to today’s youth . This is just one of the variety of ways I can contribute to the USSA
MID-ATLANTIC REGION: SCOTT WALTER
SHORE PREMIER FINANCE
Intro/Background: Scott Walter is the Chief Operating Officer of Shore Premier Finance, a division of Centennial Bank, in Chesapeake, Va.
Experience: Scott Walter has been with Shore Premier Finance and its predecessor organizations since 2002. He joined Shore full-time as its Chief Operating Officer in 2018 when Shore joined Centennial Bank. Prior to that, Scott held various roles in banking where he was responsible for risk management and Board and regulatory reporting. In his role as COO of Shore Premier Finance, Scott has been responsible for introducing and integrating superyacht lending products.
Related Experience: Scott Walter has served in various leadership roles throughout his career, including the Boards of non-profit and religious organizations. In addition, Scott has helped the Risk Management Association to develop training materials and has been closely involved with the National Marine Lenders Association.
Statement: I believe I would be a valuable member of the USSA Board because of my experience in a unique segment of the industry. Shore Premier Finance is one of the nation’s largest integrated marine specialty lenders, offering financing across the spectrum from recreational boaters to superyacht owners to marine dealers. I have helped to broaden the acceptance of superyacht financing and attracted new entrants to the superyacht space that can benefit the USSA Board
SOUTHEAST REGION: CLIFF DEFREITAS
DERECKTOR OF FLORIDA
Intro/Background: Cliff has served as General Manager – Derecktor Shipyard, Dania Beach FL from January 2020 to present. Prior to that, he served as their Project Manager from March 2018 – December 2019.
Experience: Cliff has spent more than 35 years in various aspects of the marine industry. Starting in the eighties, he spent his summer breaks during High School & College at one of New York Harbor’s commercial shipyards. This allowed him to spend time in the machine shop, learn how to operate cranes, tugs and floating dry docks. After moving to South Florida in December of 1989, he joined Jones Boat Yard in the new Dry Dock division and quickly rose through the ranks to become Vice President.
Related Experience: He facilitated new hire initiation & onboarding procedures. Introduced and Implemented protocols for development of entry level techs from junior to senior tech levels.
Statement: I will be a strong and valuable member of the USSA board thanks to my extensive experience in the marine industry and I will employ that experience to motivate & inspire teammates from all walks of life into the common objective of making the USSA the most effective voice of our industry.
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBERS (ONLY 6 SEATS AVAILABLE FOR ELECTION):
SAVANNAH YACHT CENTER
Intro/Background: Jim Berulis is Vice President and General Manager of Savannah Yacht Center (SYC), Savannah, Georgia and serves on the SYC board.
Experience: Jim Berulis is a Navy veteran with service aboard the nuclear submarine SSBN 643. In his current role at SYC he has overall responsibility for re-building and re-purposing an existing shipyard; targeting service, repair and refit of large yachts. He has been in the marine industry for more than 40 years building, refitting and repairing yachts. He has held senior management positions with companies including Rybovich, Trinity Yachts and Kiwi Boats building and servicing a wide variety of vessels both sail and power. As an avid sailor in the 70’s and 80’s he competed in offshore races in the U.S. and abroad.
In his career he has negotiated and managed significant contracts with marine industry subcontractors in around the world. As a partner in Trinity Yachts he was often the primary shipyard contact with Owners, captains and designers.
Statement: My broad experience has brought me in contact with all the elements of yachting – owners, designers, contractors of all disciplines, etc. I think this allows me to bring a unique perspective to the process. I think I can make a positive contribution to the organization.
Intro/Background: Audrey Hodgdon is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Hodgdon Tenders and Hodgdon Yacht Services in Maine and serves on the board of the USSA.
Experience: As the sixth generation to be involved in the family business, Audrey is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing programs, brand management, customer relations, and public relations activities across all divisions. She officially joined the business in 2014 as Marketing Manager and enjoys the variety seen in Hodgdon’s customer base and in day-to-day activities. She is actively involved in planning and determining the course of the company’s future.
Related Experience: Audrey’s previous experience includes working primarily in marketing, most recently for a global media company and an international education organization. Immediately after college, she worked for a marine engineering company in New Zealand and gained relevant global experience. She feels strongly that the time she spent outside of the family business and in different industries has provided her with a unique perspective. She holds a BBA from James Madison University.
Statement: I am passionate about strengthening the Superyacht industry within the US and feel as though it would be valuable to remain on the USSA Board of Directors. Having grown up around the industry, but with recent work experience outside it, I believe that I offer a different outlook. I have global connections and am excited about the opportunity to continue supporting the organization’s mission.
TAMPA SHIP/EDISON CHOUEST OFFSHORE
Intro/Background: Chuck Levert is the Yacht Business Development leader for Cut Off, LA based Edison Chouest Offshore and affiliated companies including Tampa Ship, Marine Technologies and SeaLand Mechanical.
Experience: Chuck Levert has been associated with Edison Chouest Offshore(ECO) for most of his 40 years in the industry. His current role with ECO and affiliated companies is to diversify into the Yacht Industry. Tampa Ship performs refits, conversions, machinery upgrades and dry dockings for some of the world’s largest yachts. ECO affiliate, SeaLand Mechanical, provides yacht A/C systems and custom refrigeration. ECO affiliate Marine Technologies, provides yacht integrated bridge systems in the USA and in Europe.
Chuck Levert started his career in the yacht industry in 1982 in the yacht charter business while still attending college at LSU. He soon switched to sales and was a broker in Miami and Ft Lauderdale with Allied Marine and Hatteras of Lauderdale/Westship. In his capacity as broker, he also worked with Louisiana offshore companies brokering vessels and completing several new builds of PSV’s.
Statement: I think I would benefit USSA as a board member due to my experience in both the yacht industry and the commercial marine industry. In the yacht industry I have experience as Charter operator, Yacht Broker, Yacht construction and Yacht Yard management. I have also performed these tasks in the commercial marine industry as well. This mixture has benefitted me in attracting Superyacht refit and repair to the USA.
LEWIS MARINE SUPPLY
Intro/Background: James Maitland is the Category Manager and Strategic Account Manager with Lewis Marine Supply, a legacy wholesale marine distributor serving South Florida and beyond for over 65 years. Under new ownership and management with rapid expansion and growth over the past 3 years. James is a past President of The Young Professionals in Yachting, former VP, and committee member with the MIASF. Currently serving as Urban Development & Environment Day committee chair and Class 40 retreat facilitator with Leadership Broward Foundation.
Experience: Mr. Maitland serves as Category Manager and Strategic Account Manager with Lewis Marine Supply where he is built a $MM paint program, supports the sales team on thousands of Boatyard-related products, and manages the largest accounts for the business. Helping to re-establish the Lewis brand in the yachting industry through strategic relationships and industry association involvement.
Related Experience: James served as the USSA southeast regional board chair from 2017 to 2019 while working as the National Sales Director with Propspeed. He is a former VP and was the MC for the 4th Annual Marine Industry Day as well as serving on various MIASF committees over the years. James believes that giving back and volunteering to help support the industry and the community are a must and always strives to create a positive impact on people and the industry.
Statement: I believe I would make a strong and valuable member of the USSA Board of Directors because of my experience, knowledge, and passion for the superyacht industry. I feel that my many years of creating a positive impact and building strong relationships within and outside the industry will enable me to contribute as a member of the USSA Board. I am an enthusiastic positive change leader with a contagious passion for the industry who collaborates with other organizations that will help bring a unique dynamic to the USSA.
Intro/Background: Ted McCumber is the Director of Feadship America, married with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.
Experience: Ted started in yachting in the 1980’s in San Diego getting his sea time on charter yachts and racing sailboats. He served as Captain and Project manager for the Washington family for 20 years, building and running their fleet of yachts from the first 147’ Attessa to the 332’ Attessa IV. He later went on to run other Feadship yachts and get involved as a build Captain. The last project he was involved with was as Captain/Project Manager of the 273’ Feadship Savannah. In March of 2017, he started working with Feadship as the Managing Director of Feadship America.
Statement: I think with my past experience as a Captain, project manager and my current position with Feadship could be a real asset to the USSA. My goal has always been to promote yachting in America, and that does not change with my new role. The majority of Feadship clients are Americans and I will continue to promote yachting in America.
Intro/Background: Melissa Orlick is Brand Ambassador at Isotropic Networks and serves as the treasure of the International Superyacht Society.
Experience: Melissa Orlick has been with Isotropic Networks since 2012. Holding the role as brand ambassador Melissa engages with national and international partners, vendors and clients.
Related Experience: In addition to her role at Isotropic, Melissa has held positions on the International Superyacht Society board and executive committee, was the USSA spin-a-thon chair, has participated in USSA national and international seminars and functions, is member of the Fort Lauderdale Junior League and SSPI Women in Space Engagement.
Statement: I believe I would be a valuable USSA board member because I’m dedicated to the betterment of the yachting community not only in the US but globally.
H2 PROJECT | BUILDER/OWNER
INTRO/BACKGROUND: For the past 35+ years, Brian Schmitt has been the President/Owner of Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate of the Florida Keys and serves on many local Boards including the Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust.
EXPERIENCE: After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in biology and a Masters Degree in Marine Biology, Brian’s first job was as manager of the Boat Inn Marina in Islamorada, Florida, now owned by Johnny Morris as the famous World Wide Sportsman. Brian currently owns the Duck Key Marina in the Florida Keys. He has brokered a long list of marine related business properties and has been building custom boats for his own use from his first skiff at the age of 9 years old.
RELATED EXPERIENCE: Brian continues to serve his local Florida Keys Communities in many ways, by preserving and protecting their local marine resources through various entities such as the Dolphin Research Center, Aquarium Encounters, the indigenous Bird Center, Turtle Hospital, and the Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust. Over the years he has developed a close working relationship with government officials, including our State Representatives and Governors in Tallahassee concerning the environment and marine related business issues, balancing and supporting both as needed.
STATEMENT: I believe that I can provide a unique perspective to the USSA’s Board Of Directors and the association by utilizing my long-standing marine related business experiencemy support and concern with balancing those business concerns with an environmental sensitivity but because of his love for the Sea and his relationship with it. Going back to Brian’s early beginnings as a small little boy, sitting on a dock dreaming about being out on the water in his leaky little old boat was who he still is today!
FRONT STREET SHIPYARD
Intro/Background: JB Turner is the president and general manager of Front Street Shipyard (FSS), a yacht construction, repair yard and superyacht marina in Belfast, Maine.
Experience: Along with his partners, JB founded Front Street Shipyard in 2011, beginning with nothing but flat land, deep water and a vision for a world-class shipyard. He quickly grew FSS into one of New England’s most-capable superyacht facilities. JB’s vision for success extends beyond his shipyard; he has worked to position Maine as a premier international cruising destination. In 2019, JB entered into another partnership to become a principal of Cape Charles Yacht Center in Virginia, which is now under development to become a superyacht service center.
Related Experience: JB consistently supports the industry in his region and nationally. He sits on the boards of the Maine Built Boats Association, his local chamber of commerce, and even his local hospital. He has served in an advisory capacity for multiple vocational education organizations. Most recently JB was honored with a regional award for his efforts to boost Maine’s economy.
Statement: I’m proud to have both a personal and professional commitment to the marine industry. As a shipyard owner I strive to draw international attention to the craftsmanship and technology available in the U.S. boatbuilding industry. As a sailor myself, I want to grow the sport of yachting as a recreation and a passion among people everywhere. I consider myself to be an ambassador for our industry, and to the USSA.