At the Helm: From fear to hope

Jonathan Sweet

The Movers & Shakers, profiled in this issue, represents just how far we’ve come as an industry in the last two years.

While putting together this year’s issue, I took a look back at the 2012 Movers & Shakers – my first year working on the program – and it brought home just how much the climate has changed in just two years.

From cost-cutting to investment, from fear to hope, you can see a big difference in how the top leaders in the industry are reacting to what’s going on around them. In 2012, many of the companies were being honored for how they had become more efficient, embracing lean manufacturing, changing suppliers, finding other ways to reduce costs.

While that’s still important, there’s a different theme this year. Our 2014 Movers and Shakers, from Jim Lane and Buck Pegg to the rest, are growing, are creating new products, are finding new ways to bring people to the industry.

It’s a stark contrast, and one that is evident when reading our Top 100 applications as well. We’ll have wrapped up the list by the time you read this (and are deep into that process now) and the growth we saw last year has accelerated into 2014.

What do these top dealers and our Movers & Shakers have in common? They’re embracing change, they’ve stopped whining about the economy and they’re making it happen.

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As Bill McGill, one of our Movers & Shakers finalists, said, “The customers are still there – they’ve just been waiting for something new and exciting.”

It’s well past time to make sure they have it.

•            •            •

Before you go, I wanted to wrap up with a few announcements. In July, we announced the Top 100 Leadership Alliance. Since then, we’ve added one more company: Brunswick Dealer Advantage.

We’re thrilled to have them on board, joining the other five already announced: GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance, Manheim Specialty Auctions, Sunbrella Marine, Freedom Boat Club and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

I’m also happy to announce the latest addition to the Boating Industry edit team, our new managing editor, Brianna Liestman. Along with that change, that means a new title for Liz Keener, who will now be our senior editor. Associate editor Nicholas Upton, who had been working on our digital products, has also added Boating Industry, the Top 100 and everything else we do to his portfolio. I’m happy to have all of them on board our growing Boating Industry team.

 

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