NMBA elects new board members

CHICAGO – The National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) has elected new officers and directors for the association’s nine-person board, the organization reported in a statement yesterday.

Don Parkhurst, senior vice president of SunTrust Bank in Fairfax, Va., was elected as president by the NMBA board in early November. He succeeds Peggy Bodenreider, vice president of manufacturer relations for Ganis Credit Corp., Costa Mesa, Calif., according to the association.

“It is an exciting time to be taking over the organizational helm as there are clear signs that we are finally coming out of the economic slow down of the last few years and boat purchases are on the rise,” said Parkhurst. “It is our job to provide ample and inexpensive credit to fuel this increase in sales. At the same time we face the challenges associated with the end of the huge refinance boom over the last 18 months, brought about by the lowest interest rates in 40 years. We’ve been fortunate that the timing of these counter-cyclical events worked in favor of the marine finance industry as was evident at our best attended annual conference ever in Orlando at the end of September.”

Looking to the future, Parkhurst said that the NMBA will continue to nurture and grow the marine finance industry and to promote the highest business ethics of its members.

“We will work closely with industry partners in marine manufacturing, insurance, surveying and documentation to continuously improve the service quality to the marine borrowed,” added Parkhurst. “We will also support the United States Coast Guard and implementation of the new regulations from the Patriot Act to help protect our country from future terrorism.”

Other officers elected to one-year terms include Vice President Jim Meere of Debis Financial Services of Lutz, Fla., Treasurer Jim Coburn of National City Bank of Detroit, and Secretary Nikki Tompkins of Wachovia Bank, Winston-Salem, N.C., the NMBA stated.

Newly elected to the board were Mark Beecher, CEO and vice chairman of Essex Credit Corp. of Emeryville, Calif., and Michael Bryant, vice president and a principal of Trident Funding Corp. based in Newport Beach, Calif., according to the association.

Beecher previously served as senior vice president and manager of credit, sales and marketing at Bank of the West, Essex’s parent firm. He has been involved in both marine and recreation vehicle lending for 15 years. Bryant has 23 years in the marine finance sector with most of that time spent on the West Coast. He currently oversees his loan office and others in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Houston.

Re-elected to a three-year board term was Bill Otto of KeyBank USA of Grand Rapids, Mich. Continuing NMBA directors include Jacqueline Forese of Forest Green Associates of Islandia, N.Y., and Don Mattocks of Primus/Ford Credit of Franklin, Tenn., the association reported.

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