Women Making Waves: Liz Walz

Liz Walz 

Vice President, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing, Hobart & William Smith Colleges; Spader Business Management’s Total Management 1 Course; currently enrolled in 18-month Leadership Development Program

Years in the industry: 17

Liz Walz

Liz Walz

Companies you have worked for in the marine industry and titles you held within those companies: Boating Industry magazine – Associate Editor, Managing Editor, Executive Editor, Senior Editor, Editor-in-Chief; MRAA – Director of Membership and Marketing, Director of Education, Vice President

How do you hope to inspire other women in the marine industry? We have incredible women in just about every area of this industry. Through my involvement with the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award, I’ve had a chance to read more than a hundred of their stories, and I’m always inspired by them. I’ve also had a chance to work alongside and serve some amazing women.

I haven’t thought a lot about inspiring them. But I do think that our industry needs to market careers in boating to women and men alike. This is a wonderful business to be involved in with a great diversity of opportunities, and we need to tell that story. It’s also important to welcome the newcomers, find ways to learn from each other, and support each other’s growth and development. We’re always looking for new ways to do that through offerings like the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? When I started in this industry, I was all business. I saw my personal life and my work life as two completely separate worlds. But what I’ve learned is that relationships are what drive our industry’s success. Relationships with the people you work with and relationships with your customers. Today, some of my best friends work in the boating business. So, if there is any advice I would pass along, it would be to get to know your coworkers and your customers. What you learn from them and the relationships you build with them will fuel your success.

What are some of your favorite non-boating hobbies? Biking, martial arts, reading, hiking and whatever other activities our kids are into.

What is your favorite place to go boating? My kids are the sixth generation of our family to boat in the 1,000 Islands region of Upstate New York. My great grandfather built a simple waterfront cabin on land his parents owned on Wellesley Island back in the late 1800s. It has been handed down through the generations, and we now share ownership with three different branches of my family tree. It is not just our favorite place to go boating, but it’s our favorite place period. It is a beautiful piece of the world where we can unplug, unwind and enjoy each other and nature.

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