Marine industry colleagues were recently shocked to learn of the death of Michael Devlin, an industry sales representative who championed multiple brands over a successful 44-year career.
He began his industry career in 1975 as a sales representative with Hurst Enterprises, an Orlando, Fla.-based regional manufacturer of bass boats. He later represented national brands including Regal, ProLine, Wellcraft, Regulator, Scout, Albermarle, Jupiter, Parker Boats and Buddy Davis Yachts. Most recently, Devlin had accepted a new position and was returning to Albermarle Boats as SE regional sales manager.
Several industry colleagues commented on Devlin’s contributions to the boating industry.
“Owen and I were very saddened to hear about Mike’s passing,” said Joan Maxwell, president of Regulator Marine. “Mike loved the marine industry and the many friends he met along the way. Even though it has been 13 years since we did business together, he remained our friend. He was a true veteran, a survivor through all the industry’s ups and downs. Our hearts go out to his family and friends left behind.”
Added Scout Boats COO Dave Wallace, “I’ve known Mike for more than 20 years. He’s been a fixture in our industry and always looked after his dealers’ best interest. He worked the boat show circuit better than anybody and will be missed by all who knew him.”
Another veteran industry executive, Mike Collins of Contender, recently relocated to New Smyrna Beach and had reconnected with Devlin. “Mike was a hard-working rep, but also someone who was always ready to go out and have some fun,” he said. “He did a great job for the manufacturers he represented in setting up and servicing their dealer organizations.”
“Mike was one of the most well-connected people in the boating industry and was always generous in sharing his contacts and making introductions among colleagues,” said Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing. “He and I worked together at Regal Boats and later, he opened the door for me to two national brands that became clients of my former advertising agency. We collaborated on many projects over the years and I always valued his experience and insight. The news of his passing hit many of us hard, as he was a wonderful person who really cared about the industry, the brands he represented and his many friends.”
Devlin is preceded in death by his parents and one sibling, leaving behind two brothers in Florida along with several nieces, nephews and cousins. His nephew Thom Devlin of Orlando said Mike did not want a funeral service or memorial, preferring instead that friends simply “lift up a glass to celebrate his life.”