This interview is part of the article The Next Generation.
What do you see as the industry's biggest challenge?
The fact that boat pricing goes up exponentially each year. It is inflationary, and I am worried that has begun to affect the entry and mid-level buyer drastically .
What makes you optimistic about the industry?
The product innovation is very strong in this industry. Also, runabouts are weak right now, but we have room to grow.
How can we attract more young people to the industry as boaters?
I think some of the things we are already doing within the YLAC, like dedicated forums, Facebook, LinkedIn, seminars with topics tailored to young leaders in our industry and MDCE.
I think we have to get our industry more involved in post-college recruiting and job seminars, and along with that we need to be marketing our industry to younger crowds coming out of both college and high school.
What do you think the younger generation brings to the industry?
They make better use of technology and have a better connection with the late-20s to mid-30s buyer. They also bring innovative thinking, creative methods and sound strategies for dealing with today’s customers in unique ways .
How did you get involved in boating?
I grew up in a family-owned business environment. My dad introduced me to fishing, which required a boat, which got me into boating. I have three kids, and it is something my family now enjoys doing together.
Why did you join the YLAC?
I wanted to make a difference in this industry .
What can boat builders and other manufacturers do to help dealers be more successful?
They need to adhere to longer-term agreements and support our efforts better with paid-for training, including 100-percent labor reimbursement .
How has your perspective as a young leader helped you improve your company?
I am always thinking innovatively, using technology to the best of our ability and not only looking for younger blood to bring into the business, but also ways to retain them.