Women Making Waves: Paula Fulton

Paula Fulton

Owner/Vice President, BMC Boats

Education: Associate in Arts with a Concentration in Biology from Valencia College; Coastal Navigation Certification; CPR Training.

Years in the marine industry: 17

Paula Fulton

Paula Fulton

What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry?  First, I learned that good employees are hard to find, so you have to stretch the budget in order to keep the talented employees. Second, I would say that I have learned that I have the ability to overcome certain challenges in my personal life and in my professional career as long as I stay focused on the task at hand.

If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why? I took over warranty when I first was in the business because we lost our warranty clerk and warranty was falling behind. Nobody thought I could do it because I was “just the owner’s wife” but I showed them, and I did really well bringing $100,000 in labor warranty over a six-month period.

How do you hope to inspire other women in the marine industry? I would seek out your local marine association and if you do not have one, see how you can start one. I hope to inspire women by leading by example and showing them that you can do anything that you put your mind to. I have made it my lifelong goal to do something that makes me happy, and I found the marketing of my company. So I would say find some aspect of the business that you really enjoy, and the rest will fall in line.

What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? First of all, you do not have to be a man to be in this industry, as a matter of fact I have been past president for the Marine Industry Association of Central Florida, and continue to serve as an officer on the board of directors and have been a board member for the last 15 years. I have been the only female the whole time and I am currently the vice president. Secondly, get yourself involved in every aspect of the business from service and sales, to financing and accounting. I am not saying you have to do it all at once, just become familiar with all departments of the business.

What are some of your favorite non-boating
Ballroom dancing, traveling, cruising to exotic locations, writing a novel in my spare time, horseback riding, spending time with my four dogs, two horses and two birds.

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