Boating Industry

October 2016

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50 | Boating Industry | October 2016 WOMEN making WAVES changed – and our plans became one of provid- ing our customers with the most fun and excit- ing boating experiences to share with family and friends. It has taken great persistence, persever- ance and passion to not only learn about the in- dustry but to become a successful business owner. The journey thus far has been beyond rewarding. How do you hope to inspire other women in the ma- rine industry? As an advocate of what women can accomplish in the boating industry, I want to inspire other women to follow their passions and dreams and to be leaders in our marine industry. I want to help mentor others to avoid the same pitfalls that I've experienced as a business owner and give them opportunities to excel. What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? First and foremost, let boating be your passion. Enjoy challenging yourself to be the best you know you can be each day. Set goals for yourself and push be- yond what even you think you can achieve. Find a good mentor who can teach you the technical stuff and encourage you along the way. What would you be doing if you weren't working in the boating industry? I am an entrepreneur at heart and I love anything that is physically active. I would enjoy owning a gym or yoga studio. What is your favorite place to go boating? While I love to travel and would take the opportunity to boat anywhere I might land, I'd have to say there's no place like home and home for me is Lake Norman. DANA RUSSIKOFF BUSINESS LEADER & CO-FOUNDER, SURESHADE Education: Double Master's Degree in Marketing and Operations, Drexel University Years in the marine industry: 9 Was it difficult to navigate a career in this industry? Why or why not? My career began 20+ years ago in the male-dominated manu- facturing industry, so I'm used to that dynamic and therefore has no bearing on getting the job done. What I learned and appreciated very quickly was how many women in this industry are in leadership roles – from the Grady White President Kris Carroll to Regulator President (and also NMMA Chairperson) Joan Maxwell to the many women managers, engineers and production personnel I have met along the way. I think this industry does a good job of welcom- ing, promoting and celebrating women. If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why? Well, other than leading our company growth to where it is today – factory installed on 65+ boat models – I am also proud to represent my local hometown of Philadelphia as a leader in manufacturing and boating, and I have spoken on several panels with other business leaders in- cluding a Women in Manufacturing Panel held earlier this year. Most recently, I helped host the NMMA Day on the Water event for the DNC in Philadelphia where I was proud to showcase our Delaware River waterfront and the economic importance of the boating industry. Next I am looking forward to helping bring a major boat show back to Philadelphia and also aligning the right folks so that we can begin a serious dis- cussion on building a world class marina on the 50 | Boating Industry | October 2016

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