Women Making Waves: Anne Dunbar

Anne Dunbar

IBEX Show Director, IBEX LLC

Education: B.A. Communications, University of Colorado, Boulder; Master’s Certificate in Creativity & Change Leadership, Buffalo State College, 2012

Years in the marine industry: 30

Anne Dunbar

Anne Dunbar

Companies you have worked for in the marine industry and titles you held within those companies: Soundings & Soundings Trade Only, Region Advertising Sales Manager; Boating Industry magazine, East Coast Advertising Sales Manager; Professional BoatBuilder magazine, Associate Publisher; IBEX Show, Marketing Director, and promoted to Show Director in 2013.

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? Over the years I’ve seen many companies come and go, and the ones that have staying power and continue to lead the pack, are the companies who embrace change and innovation. A good example of this is what happens at IBEX each year. The exhibitors [that] introduce new products, materials, or technologies, are the ones who have the best show. The ability to embrace change and capitalize on new products and technologies that are in the best interest of your customer and their experience seems to be a consistent key to success.

Some of the my other lessons are the ones you read about but until you experience them first hand, they won’t resonate.

• Failure is the best teacher if you pay attention.

• The marine industry is all about relationships, so take care of your friends, and colleagues, and they will take care of you.

• If you surround yourself with smart, capable, enthusiastic people, great things happen.  There is nothing better than being part of a great team working toward a focused goal and achieving it together.

dunbar-wbs11saturday-208If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why? After the Industry Breakfast on the opening day at IBEX 2014 in Tampa, a gentleman came up to me and said, “This event made me proud to work in the marine industry. Thank you for bringing us all together to celebrate what we do.”

That was an unexpected and very big moment for me because it confirmed we were living up to the mission of IBEX, which is to bring our industry together and be the platform for positive change and innovation in boats. If we do a good job at IBEX, then better boats are built, and more people will commit to the boating lifestyle. My mantra is “Life is better on a boat” and IBEX is all about better boats.

What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? I always give the same message to any young man or woman. Careers take time to build. Start at the bottom and work hard. As you move up the ladder, find where it feels right for you to become an expert. Then work hard to become an expert. During the journey find mentors who will teach and support you. There are many great marine manufacturing companies so opportunities are out there if you want to work in this industry.

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