Boating Industry

October 2016

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October 2016 | Boating Industry | 51 WOMEN making WAVES potential-rich Philadelphia waterfront. How do you hope to inspire other women in the marine industry? I hope to continue the mo- mentum that existing women leaders in this in- dustry have created and demonstrate that there are tremendous opportunities for women who want to be in this industry. Given that women are clear infl uencers in boat purchase decisions, it's important that women aspire to leadership positions that ultimately impact boat design and ensure that boats offer features, products, acces- sories, access and storage options that women desire on a boat. I recently watched an episode of a new show call "Boat Buyers" on the Travel Channel. The wife kept asking how she can get more shade – which not only made me smile of course, but it shows how boat buying really is a team decision between husband and wife. NANCY SMITH CO-OWNER/VICE PRESIDENT, COLORADO BOAT CENTER Education: Associate's degree in Marketing Years in the marine industry: 18 What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? Almost all businesses have peaks and valleys, but work- ing and living in a rural area of Colorado, I have come to realize that owning a boat dealership is much like farming. The success of our business relies heavily on the weather and economy and being prepared for the unknown is imperative. Now I call us water farmers. If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why? In February of 2009, I was very fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time. Before my fi rst MRAA board meeting, my son offered a sugges- tion that MRAA really needed a young leader's board to generate more participation from the younger generations. Being a new board mem- ber, I patiently waited until we got to new business just before the meeting was to adjourn to present the idea. I asked the board to think about it and we could discuss it at the next meeting, but the discussion commenced and it was approved to move forward with what is now known as YLAC. Paul Nickel, Rod Malone and I spent the next eight months creating guidelines, reviewing nominations and applications and fi nalizing the fi rst group to be known as the Young Leaders Advisory Council for MRAA. We didn't know what to expect or what direction to take, but the outcome from the fi rst YLAC meeting in No- vember of 2009 made us speechless. Made up of extremely talented and insightful young people, YLAC immediately generated an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas that paved the way for the MRAA that we know today. I am very proud to have been their "den mother" for so many years. What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? The industry has changed so much, especially over the past 15 years. There have always been a lot of women in the industry, but they often were working on the lines in the manufacturing companies or tak- ing care of the administration details of a small family business. I remember many years ago October 2016 | Boating Industry | 51

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