MasterCraft announces executive promotions

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MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc. announced that it has promoted George Steinbarger, the Company’s vice president of strategy and business development, and Dave Ekern, vice president of operations, to the newly created roles of chief revenue officer and chief product officer, respectively.

“Since joining MasterCraft, George and Dave have helped propel our success and position the Company for the future,” said Fred Brightbill, CEO and Chairman of MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc. “As we detailed in February, we have a new, value-enhancing strategy to drive sustainable, accelerated growth that centers on sharing and leveraging resources across the organization to create synergies, further innovation, enhance quality and drive long-term growth. George and Dave will be instrumental in these efforts.”

In his new role, Brightbill said Steinbarger will be focused on driving top-line growth across all company brands, with direct oversight of MasterCraft’s sales and marketing functions.

Brightbill said, as chief product officer, Ekern’s primary responsibility is centralizing the company's product development and engineering function, allowing it to leverage expertise across its entire portfolio, including Aviara, Crest and NauticStar.

"Our goal is to accelerate product innovation cycles while ensuring we are consistently producing high-quality products and maintaining the integrity and unique aspects of each brand," Brightbill said. "We expect to start realizing the benefits of these efforts over the next model year as we finalize the reorganization and deploy industry-leading product development processes more broadly throughout the organization."

Steinbarger joined the organization in May 2018 as vice president of strategy and business development. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president of investment banking at Raymond James, responsible for advising companies across a range of industries on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and debt financing transactions. Steinbarger received his M.B.A. from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, and graduated with a B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Florida.

Ekern is a 20-plus-year veteran of product development in the marine and automotive industries and was named MasterCraft’s Director of Engineering in May 2011. He was promoted to vice president of product development and engineering in July of 2018 and most recently served as vice president of operations at MasterCraft beginning in March 2019. Ekern holds numerous marine patents and has led the MasterCraft team responsible for winning six National Marine Manufacturers (NMMA) Innovation Awards. Prior to joining MasterCraft, he held senior roles at Sea Ray, Brunswick Corp. and Johnson Controls, including engineering, program management, product management, finance and purchasing. Ekern holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in bio mechanics from Michigan State University and an M.B.A from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

“With our new leaders and key strategic initiatives in place, we believe MasterCraft will be a more competitive player and have significant opportunities to drive growth and capture a greater share of the recreational boating market,” Brightbill said.

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