GULF SHORES, Ala. — Andrew Saunders, founder of Saunders Yachtworks and longtime chairman of the Gulf Coast service yard, recently announced the appointment of board member Jim Bronstien as the new chairman of the board. John Fitzgerald continues as President and CEO of the firm.
Saunders is retiring after 36 years in the role.
“I could not be happier than to turn over the reins of this company to Jim,” Saunders said in a statement. “He is a great friend and source of guidance over the years. He will be an outstanding chairman. I know Saunders Yachtworks will be in good hands as we move into the next phase of this business.”
Bronstien is a 27-year South Florida marine industry veteran. He serves on several industry boards and is a frequent speaker at numerous industry functions. He is best known by many as the former owner and president of Rybovich of West Palm Beach, Fla., where he was CEO/owner for more than 21 years before selling the company in 2004.
Since then, through his company Marine Business Advisors, he has been engaged with numerous yacht-related businesses in either an advisory or partnership role.
Saunders is in the final stages of a major expansion. The company is building a brand new boatyard in Gulf Shores, directly located on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
The new facility, being built on 12 acres of Baldwin County property, with Federal grant assistance, will be able to service vessels in or out of the water up to 125′ with a 150 ton Travelift combined with an in-water service basin with deep water access to the Gulf.
“Having served on the board of Saunders Yachtworks for past four years, I know the company and the challenges. Andrew has worked tirelessly to position this company for strong growth and future success with the new Gulf Shores location,” Bronstien said in a statement.