Boating Industry

May 2016

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8 | Boating Industry | May 2016 LAUNCH Analysis, data, solutions, news and perspectives to move your business forward. BY JONATHAN SWEET Chaparral and Robalo President Jim Lane passed away in March at the age of 73, after a long battle with leukemia. Several in the industry praised Lane for his long years of service to the industry. "We all have lost a dear friend with the passing of Jim Lane, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and col- leagues," Mark Schwabero, CEO of Bruns- wick Corp., told Boating Industry. "A staunch advocate for the marine industry, Jim was a true professional who seemingly knew just about everyone in the business. Jim was al- ways generous with his time and insights, and will be truly missed." Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas, noted Lane's signifi cant impact on the boating industry. "Over the last 50 years, Jim Lane has made countless contributions to our indus- try and undoubtedly left a lasting legacy," he told Boating Industry. "Though well-known for his fi nancial skills, Jim's best trait was the ability to lead with a passion that resulted in the development of trusted, long-lasting rela- tionships. His wisdom was leveraged within ABBA [American Boat Builders Associa- tion] to give the organization an advantage and build a stronger membership. All of us here at Volvo Penta are thankful for the time we've spent working with Jim and feel even more blessed to have called him a friend for so many years. He will be missed." Another industry partner, John Pfeifer, president of Mercury Marine, echoed that sentiment. "Mercury Marine and the boating world lost a good friend, partner and indus- try pillar with the passing of Jim Lane, " said Pfeifer. "Jim was an astute businessman who truly understood the intricacies of the boat- ing industry, but he also loved to spend time on the water. He will be missed by Mercury Marine, just as he will be missed throughout the boating world. We wish the very best for Jim's family and close friends." Phil Miklo, founder of Oak Hill Marina, a Chaparral dealer in Arnolds Park, Iowa, worked with Lane for 25 years. "When I started with Chaparral, Jim was very understanding that I was a very small dealer and he was willing to help us get started with just a truckload of boats ... any- one that took the time to visit with Jim knew that he was a wonderful and caring person," Miklo said. "When I would visit with him he loved to talk about his place in the mountains and how it was so peaceful. He is now at the highest mountain he can get to and can rest in peace. Jim will be missed by many." Even before he started Texas Marine, owner Mike Hebert found a friend and men- tor in Lane. "I met Jim Lane while I was working for a Chaparral boat dealer in Beaumont, Texas, when I was just 16 years old," Hebert said. "He came in to meet with the owner and took the time to introduce himself and speak with me. At that point I knew Jim as not only a friend and someone I admired, but he also became like a mentor that I learned so much from through the years. "From the very beginning of Jim's career in the marine industry he had a huge im- pact on the industry and everyone he came in contact with. Jim's intellect and business management skills helped shape the industry to what it is today. But what made Jim truly great was not just the work he did, it was his passion for people. He had a big heart that clearly showed to everyone. "Jim was one of the most dynamic people I have ever known and I will miss him dearly – his loss will be felt not just by his family, friends, and company, but also by the boating industry as a whole," Hebert added. James Albert Lane Jr. was born September 23, 1942, in Wauchula, Fla.. In 1964, he earned a B.S.B.A. accounting degree from the Univer- sity of Florida. He worked for Ernst & Ernst as an account supervisor overseeing a large portfolio of international clients. In 1965 he earned CPA accreditation. From 1969 to 1977, he served as CFO of the Delta Corporation. In 1977, he joined his paddleball partner William "Buck" Pegg at his Fort Lauderdale- based Fiberglass Fabricators boat company. "What made Jim truly great was not just the work he did, it was his passion for people. He had a big heart that clearly showed to everyone." — Mike Hebert, owner, Texas Marine Industry mourns Chaparral's Jim Lane

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