Women Making Waves: Nancy Cueroni

Nancy Cueroni

Executive Director, National Marine Distributors Association

Education: B.A. in American Studies, Communications, University of Notre Dame

Years in the marine industry: 27

Nancy Cueroni

Nancy Cueroni

Companies you have worked for in the marine industry and titles you held within those companies: Director of Member Services, Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA); Executive Director, NMDA (current job)

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? I think what I have seen, and continue to see, is how honest and straightforward almost everyone I have worked with in the marine industry has been. This is an industry that people seem to WANT to be a part of; one of the things we joke about at our office is the people never really leave the industry they just change the logo on their shirt. I truly believe there is an element of truth in that. The second thought I have on this is that there isn’t anything a woman can’t do in this industry. We have so many incredible women leaders – and that is not true in all industries.

If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why?  When I was hired as the executive director of NMDA I took over for Bette Kelly who had been the only executive director that NMDA had had.  She was a wealth of knowledge and had the most incredible laugh. Well the laugh sort of turned out to be on me as within a week of being hired I was told I would be producing our training event at Boating Week at the Orange County Convention Center. The event had not been held before, we were using our part of the facility in a way that it hadn’t been used before and we didn’t have approval from the fire marshal until the end of July for an event that started August 20, 1999. I often have thought that my tenure at NMDA could have been real short if we hadn’t gotten approval to proceed! So for me, putting together an event that was the size and scope it was, with last minute (truly!) approval, made me believe that I could do just about anything.

What are some of your favorite non-boating hobbies? Traveling, reading and food & wine.

What is your favorite place to go boating? Right now it is the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound – mostly because they are literally right outside my office door which means boating is easy to do!

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