Boating Industry

October 2016

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32 | Boating Industry | October 2016 [ 2016 Movers & Shakers / BOLD MOVES ] "We've always said it has to be controlled growth," he said. "That's what we're trying to manage and not overbuild. Century has a very high ceiling. We just need to manage it do it doesn't get away from us." RAISING PROFESSIONALISM VIN PETRELLA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YBAA – THE ASSOCIATION OF YACHT PROFESSIONALS ANNAPOLIS, MD. At YBAA, a big part of the job is making sure that those who sell yachts have a resource and an advocate for professionalism. "One of the things we've tried to always do is make sure we are sort of self-policing when it comes to the level of professionalism and ethi- cal behavior of our members and yacht brokers," said Executive Director Vin Petrella. "It all comes back down to the consumer. We were very con- cerned many, many years ago that the reputa- tion yacht brokers had with consumers was not necessarily a good one." With California and Florida as the only states that require licensing, the YBAA took it upon itself to create a certification, the Certified Pro- fessional Yacht Broker, which Petrella helped develop as a volunteer leader in 1999. That reputation challenge is why YBAA made a conscious move to get away from the term yacht broker, instead preferring yacht sales professional. Brokers had a "used car salesman" reputation to many consumers, Petrella said. As a yacht sales professional for more than 35 years before taking over as executive director of YBAA in 2010, Petrella knows those challenges faced by his members on a day-to-day basis. Under Petrella's leadership, the YBAA has also become more engaged with the rest of the recreational boating industry through his partici- pation in American Boating Congress and the Recreational Boating Leadership Council. "One of the things that I brought to my peers in the industry is that awareness that we've got to be involved in all the issues that affect the rec- reational marine industry," he said. One of those key issues is the need to bring more diversity into the yacht market, not only as buyers, but also as salespeople. "We have to do that to support to promote the effort of Grow Boating in terms of them try- ing to attract a more diverse group," Petrella said. An important element to that plan is help- ing owners and managers break away from the typical commission-only compensation that makes it difficult for younger salespeople to get into the industry. "We've got to find a way to … develop com- pensation plans that can attract a more diverse group," Petrella said. "I think that's why you see a lot of old white, retired guys. They don't need to earn a salary. They think yacht brokerage is fun. They don't have to have an income so they can do the job." EDUCATION ADVOCATE LIZ WALZ VICE PRESIDENT, MARINE RETAILERS ASSOCIATION OF THE AMERICAS MANLIUS, N.Y. The Marine Retail- ers Association of the Americas has under- gone a huge trans- formation in the last several years, improv- ing its benefits, edu- cational offerings and advocacy efforts. The leadership of MRAA President Matt Gruhn (who we profiled in the 2012 Movers & Shakers) and Vice President Liz Walz has helped drive those changes, along with an ac- tive board of directors. Anyone who talks to Walz will quickly real- ize she is passionate about education, whether it be at the annual Marine Dealer Conference & Expo produced by MRAA and Boating Industry or regular webinars and online education. "In recent years, we've worked incredibly hard to expand not only the number of edu- cational opportunities at MDCE, but also their depth, subject matter, presentation format and the takeaways attendees can bring back to their business to implement what they learn," Walz said. "Here's the rub: The MDCE takes place once a year. And while it offers a ton of ideas, tools, resources and best practices, training and education is most effective when it is a part of your company culture and your daily, weekly and monthly work life." That's why MRAA has also focused on offer- ing a range of educational resources throughout the year. "[The] chance to help the industry get better through training and education is what gets me out of bed in the morning," she said. "I believe in what our members sell – the boating lifestyle – and I believe in what they do to improve the lives of their employees, their customers and ev- eryone in their communities. I want to help." The same philosophy has carried through to her own life and the daily operations of MRAA. Walz is currently enrolled in Spader Business Management's Leadership Devel- opment Program, and she and other team members have taken other professional devel- opment courses. In the end, the goal is to help members im- prove – to simply get better at what they do. "The way we see it at MRAA, we work for our members," Walz said. "So what makes us proud is contributing to their accomplish- ments, whether that's helping them hire a new employee through our Career Center, improve their customer satisfaction through the Marine Industry Certified Dealer Program, or sell a new boat through one of our virtual training courses." 500+ CPYB DESIGNATIONS EARNED SINCE 2001 1,147 2015 MDCE ATTENDEES

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