Boating Industry

October 2016

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October 2016 | Boating Industry | 37 WOMEN making WAVES generally skeptical of any sort of government as- sistance. "I'm here from the government and I'm here to help" didn't resonate well in the begin- ning. I learned early to tweak my messaging. Fortunately, the late and beloved Frank Her- hold, executive director of the Marine Industry As- sociation of South Florida, took me under his wing and personally introduced me to key players in the industry. Little by little, I was able to expand my contacts and build solid relationships that helped me to multiply efforts. Many are relationships that remain important to me to this day and ultimately led me to the work that I now do for the NMMA. What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? Find a mentor. Learn another language, learn another culture, and broaden your network to include interna- tional contacts, as this truly is a global industry and growing more so every day. As a mother of two children, I often landed at the airport after a grueling overseas business trip only to rush straight to a soccer practice or a PTA meeting. It wasn't easy juggling a demand- ing professional life with lots of travel while rais- ing a family at the same time. I had to work extra hard and be hyper effi cient to get it all done. But, absolutely no regrets. JACLYN BAUMGARTEN CEO/CO-FOUNDER, BOATSETTER Education: Stanford Graduate School of Business, M.B.A. 2005; Wellesley College, B.A. 2000, Dual major in Political Science and Spanish. Years in the marine industry: 5 What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? The marine industry has a powerful network and by tapping into that network and gaining the buy-in of some of the industry's heavy hitters, Boatsetter has been able to gain traction, brand recognition and credi- bility as a new player in this well-established space. When I conceived the idea and began to cre- ate a boat sharing network, I knew I was in un- chartered waters. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is convincing the world's leading marine insurer to create a new class of peer-to-peer boat sharing insurance policy. To- gether we developed what is now considered the "gold-standard" for coverage in the boat sharing market. Securing that insurance deal was the piv- otal factor that launched the peer-to-peer market in the marine industry, and not just for my com- pany but for the entire industry. It has been important to me personally and a key touch point for the boating industry as a whole to place a top priority on safety. Boating is the ultimate form of fun; but only after all safety considerations are carefully addressed. What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? I know that when I began to feel happier in my career – and per- haps even perform better – is when I stopped asking myself, "What can I do to fi t in?" and in- stead asked, "How can I be myself but still kick ass in this environment?" I have also learned you have to be extra resourceful and extra savvy and often need to work two times harder than anyone else in the room. I've defi nitely had to overcome some biases, but I've also learned how to turn that into my competitive advantage and make it work. And I strongly believe that to be successful as women, we have to be true to ourselves, trust our gut instincts and surround ourselves with other strong women to keep us on our toes. The queen bee effect and the old trend of women not help- ing each other are in the past. Also, I would say make sure you understand the inner workings of the boating industry. If you are an expert on your subject, you will quickly gain respect and many obstacles will fade away. MARGARET BONDS PODLICH PRESIDENT, BOATU.S. Education: B.A. in History/Political Science from Tulane University, New Orleans Years in the marine industry: 22 What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? If you think about everyone in the U.S. going to work today, what percentage of them are working to give other people happiness? That's what we do in boating, whether it's building a boat, or run- ning a marina, or selling engines. I consider us quite lucky for that. We have to remember that the entire recre- ational boating industry is based on discretionary income. There are many threats at so many dif- ferent levels. That's why the industry must be alert and politically active about legislation and aware of how connected our businesses are to the overall economy. If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why? Passing the Clean Boating Act in 2008. This was a turning point within the boating industry where everyone put their differences aside and started working together. It's the only way the bill got passed. Otherwise all of us would be living in a world with "normal operational discharge" per- mits required for every boat in every state to go in the water. What a nightmare. Think the luxury tax was bad? This would have been worse. But the byproduct of this particular legislative success is an ongoing collegial working relationship. See all the cosponsors for the NMMA's ABC? That demonstrates the ongoing bonds. How do you hope to inspire other women in the marine industry? The future for boating is diver- sifi cation from the traditional white male boat owner. Having women in the industry, in every business, at every level, helps fuel that gender- neutral and ethnic-neutral future that we all need

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