After an exhaustive search earlier this winter, the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM) recently named John Stefancik as their executive director.
An industry veteran, Stefancik first began in the marine marketplace in January of 2000, working the last nine years as co-owner of the media company producing Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Concurrently, he served on the board of MTAM for twenty years in several capacities, as President, Secretary, and assisting the Association in legislative efforts, notably passing the cap on the State’s boat sales tax and changing the law that once required pilots onboard superyachts visiting Maryland waters.
“A diversity of experience plus the connections with many in the regional industry led us to choosing Stefancik,” said Mike Bonicker, President of MTAM. Bonicker led a committee who chose from a field of several very qualified applicants earlier this year. “It was a tough decision based on the quality of the candidates,” he added.
Stefancik serves on other boards connected to the Chesapeake, including Maryland Tourism Coalition and the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Prior to becoming executive director, he worked at Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 24 years, where he helped lead the business side of the media property, eventually becoming Associate Publisher, and then finally Publisher when he and a partner purchased the company. Before this he worked for a local public relations firm in Baltimore County, using his degree in communications to represent clients serving in Maryland politics, key experience for MTAM’s lobbying efforts with the Legislature.
In addition to Chesapeake Bay Magazine, his prior business published Offshore (later named Northeast Boating) and John was responsible for traveling throughout the Northeast U.S. leading the advertising sales team and working with regional boat dealers and national manufacturers. These magazines also worked closely with boat shows, publishing programs for 14 events from Virginia through Maine. At these events, John founded and led onsite seminars, thereby enhancing experiences for attendees.
Stefancik, 53, grew up boating since birth, on the Severn River in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where his family lived in several communities connected to the river. They spent warm months of the year cruising and exploring the Bay and the colder ones working on boats.
“It was an idyllic childhood, and it cemented my commitment to try and make a career centered on boating. I’m really grateful to serve as executive director,” he said, adding, “I look forward to making sure the industry remains a primary driver of the Maryland economy and promoting boating here as the best in the entire world.”