OFFICERS & BOARD

President

Courtney Chalmers, Vice-President, Boats Group

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Courtney leads branding, buzz and all that is marketing at Boats Group, overseeing product marketing, digital marketing and channel marketing teams. She modernizes the function of marketing through strategic management of people, technology and data.

A creative problem solver and strategic thinker, Courtney has 15 years of experience in digital marketing and brand management. She has worked within the recreational boating industry for over a decade as Boat Trader’s Brand Manager before transitioning to Dominion Marine Media (now Boats Group) as Director of Marketing to lead the global marketing strategy for YachtWorld, Boat Trader and boats.com. Courtney played an integral role on the acquisition team in 2016 when the company was purchased by Apax Partners.

Courtney is published in top boating publications, including Boating Industry Magazine and Soundings Trade Only and is invited to speak at industry events across the U.S. She is actively involved in boating industry associations and was recognized in the 2016 Women Making Waves and as the only female Mover & Shaker by Boating Industry in 2011. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Digital Media.

Vice-President

Kristen Frohnhoefer, President, Sea Tow Services International

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Since 2015, Kristen has served as both President of Sea Tow Services International and President of the Board of Directors for the Sea Tow Foundation. Sea Tow is a second-generation, family-owned and operated franchising and membership-based on-water assistance business, headquartered in Southold, New York.

 

A graduate of Dickinson College (BA and teaching certification) and Johns Hopkins University (MS), Kristen spent ten years working as a Spanish teacher in Baltimore and Howard County, MD, while still being involved Sea Tow, her family’s business, during summers. Joining Sea Tow full time in 2003 Kristen has worked in multiple roles, learning all aspects of the company as well as a great understanding of the marine industry. As President, Kristen is responsible for overseeing all internal operations, including the company’s membership and sales programs, marketing, communications, the Customer Care Center and technology efforts. She focuses much of her time on business development and maintaining key relationships across the marine industry. Kristen has served on the Board of Directors of the Sea Tow Foundation since inception in 2007 and as President of the Board since 2015.  

 

Kristen was named one of Long Island’s Top 50 Women in Business by Long Island Business News in 2019, and twice recognized by Boating Industry magazine in 2016 on the Women Making Waves list and in 2012 as a Mover and Shaker. The MRAA Educational Foundation recognized Kristen as the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the year in 2020. Kristen has served on the Board of Directors of Marine Marketers of America since 2014 and was named Vice Chair in 2021.

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Romina Bompani is a consummate marine marketing professional, and the owner of RB Yacht Marketing; a full-service marketing boutique consultancy based in the South of Florida.

 

RB Yacht Marketing focus exclusively on marine industry clients and have proven success bringing companies and products to market using the proper mix of traditional and digital marketing services to best fit their clients’ needs.

Fluent in four languages thanks to a multicultural upbringing, Romina has acquired a well-traveled outlook, teamed with extensive knowledge of the yachting industry.

 

She had worked with several marine companies where she oversaw all internal and external communications, developed digital campaigns, organized events, and boat shows while establishing a clear, consistent, and identifiable image for a wide range of marine-related businesses including brokerage houses, European boat manufacturers, marinas and leading industry entrepreneurs.

Louisa Beckett
Owner, Turnkey Communications & Public Relations

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Louisa Beckett started her career as a book editor at Fawcett Books in New York City, acquiring Dances With Wolves for publication along with many other titles. In 1988, she switched to the magazine side of the publishing business and has served as editor-in-chief of Motor Boating; editor of ShowBoats International, editor of Southern Boating, executive editor of Yachting, and managing editor of Redbook during the course of her career.

This experience has given Louisa an extensive knowledge of the boating industry from the smallest personal watercraft to the largest superyacht.

 

In 2005, Louisa founded Turnkey Communications & Public Relations, Inc, a boutique communications, PR, marketing and advertising firm specializing in yachting, private aviation and luxury travel.

Not long after, she was joined in the business by her husband, Gary, who brought the experience he gained as editor of Soundings Trade Only, corporate communications director of OMC, and account manager at Barton Gilanelli to the firm.

Traci Davis

Boston Whaler

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Traci Davis is the Manager of Content Development and Events for Boston Whaler. She is a 24-year veteran with the company, spending most of her time in marketing and sales.

 

Traci oversees marketing content initiatives, both internal and external, across multiple platforms, focusing on all things related to content optimization, brand consistency, segmentation, analytics and meaningful measurement.

She also is heavily invested in the customer experience to drive sales, engagement, retention, leads and positive customer behavior. She fosters relationships through various touchpoints to include owner experiential events that drive increased brand loyalty.

On a personal note, Traci is married with two children. The entire family are avid boaters and enjoy spending time on the water with each other and friends.

Abby Heimensen
Director of Marketing, MarineMax

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A native of Iowa, Abbey started her marketing career promoting tourism in in her home state. She quickly advanced becoming the Director of Tourism at the Okoboji Tourism Department.

 

During Abbey’s 7-year tenure, she led many initiatives at the local, state and national level to promote tourism and boating at Iowa’s number one tourism destination, Lake Okoboji.

Abbey joined the MarineMax Marketing Team In 2011, shortly after relocating with her husband in Clearwater. Abbey’s responsibilities have included directing and the execution of MarineMax OEM marketing, social media, advertising, public relations and media strategy to promote the business.

 

Now as the Director of Marketing, Abbey’s responsibilities are expanded to include working directly with the MarineMax Regional Presidents along with their Marketing Coordinators as well as overseeing all marketing initiatives and managing the MarineMax marketing team.

Mary Strauss
Director of Marketing, Galati Yachts

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Mary has come full circle… having started her marketing career in the marine industry with a major boat manufacturer, she left the industry and spent the majority of her career in the technology field and now has returned to work at Galati Yacht Sales as director of marketing.

Earning her MBA with a focus on digital marketing, Mary is very focused on measuring marketing campaign impact on business growth.

Mary resides in Sarasota with husband Richard, a boating industry veteran, and two dogs.

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Christine Carlson is the marketing communications manager for Volvo Penta of the Americas. In this role, she oversees dissemination of external communications for the company’s marine leisure, marine commercial and industrial segments throughout North America. Prior to joining Volvo Penta, Christine spent eight years with Wireside Communications, a boutique public relations agency that specialized in high-tech B2B communications.

During this time, Christine served as the primary point of contact for the agency’s impressive client roster which included a global Fortune 500 telecom leader and a prestigious R&D testing laboratory.

 

Christine graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.  She earned a B.S. in Journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business administration. Actively involved in the community, she is a member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach and a mentor for Seton Youth Shelter’s Children of Prisoners program. She serves on the board of the Marine Marketers of America. She has earned 40 under 40 awards from both Boating Industry Magazine and the Virginian Pilot newspaper’s Inside Business.

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Fueled by more than 20 years of marketing management experience, Margriet joined the North American team of Jeanneau/Prestige in early 2016.

 

As a senior-level strategist and results-driven leader, she is actively engaged in the latest marketing and media trends. She leads all North American strategic marketing, communication, and special event initiatives for Jeanneau’s sailboat and powerboat divisions, as well as, the company’s motor yacht division, Prestige.

Prior to joining Jeanneau/Prestige, she worked for a select group of agencies who represented brands in the luxury goods and services market.

Margriet received the TWIN Award in 2015. TWIN is the premier awards event for professional women in the Mid-Atlantic and is a highly respected distinction. Honorees are selected for their exceptional vision, contributions, accomplishments, and leadership excellence within their organizations and their community.

Margriet graduated from Lynchburg College with a B.A. in Marketing. A life-long sailor/boater, she lives in Annapolis, Maryland and is a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Victor Gonzalez
Marketing Manager, Sportsman Boats

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Victor is a result-driven and energetic marketing professional originally from Havana, Cuba. He attended the University of Miami as a Music Performance & Computer Science double major with a minor in Math.

 

Victor started working in the boating industry in 2005, where he designed marketing materials and web content for an inflatable boat manufacturer and quickly fell in love with the industry.

In 2012, he took on a marketing role at an up-and-coming boat dealership in West Palm Beach. During his time there, his work contributed to numerous awards including 3 Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer Awards and “Best In Show” awards. In 2014, he got promoted to a General Manager position for the dealership’s new location in Miami, FL and led the ownership transition at that store. In one of the world’s most competitive markets, the Miami store team far surpassed their goals and the store still stands today.

In 2017, he moved to South Carolina with his family to join the Sportsman Boats marketing team. In his current role at Sportsman, Victor continues to push boundaries and shapes the marketing efforts to be forward-thinking and modern. His responsibilities include all website development, marketing strategies, go-to-market strategies, digital marketing campaigns, photography, content management, branding and graphic design. In 2018, Victor won the Marine Marketer’s of America Best Website award.

 

In his spare time, Victor is the Co-Host of the Foreign Devs Podcast, a podcast dedicated to those that eat, live and breath marketing and web development. He runs the Coder’s Tape YouTube channel, an instructional resource for all levels in a rapid growing community with over 20,000 subscribers.

 

He has released two full-length web development courses on Udemy with over a thousand 4+ star reviews. His weekly contributions to the open-source community has earned him the respect of his peers and his instructional material in web development has had world-wide reach.

Sander Rosen
Director of Consumer Marketing, Shows, NMMA

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Sander Rosen is the Director of Consumer Marketing, Shows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. 

 

He oversees the marketing and media plans for 18 boat shows across the country, including the Miami International Boat Show. 


Sander and his team use a wide variety of media resources to promote the boat shows and their offerings, ranging from

mass-media broadcast advertising to strategic programs with industry partners including Boats Group, Progressive Insurance and BoatU.S. 

 

He also leads the NMMA creative team, directing marketing materials and advertising for NMMA’s consumer, marine industry and government advocacy efforts

Alisdair Martin

NMMA

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Alisdair is a boat show marketing vet with over 20 years of experience in the field. Born in the UK, he moved to Chicago in 2010  where he established a small, innovative one-man media company. 


 TRMG provides an exclusive platform that allows marine brands to get their modern marketing content (video, VR, podcast, etc.) directly into the hands of the people and influence consumers before they arrive at boat shows. 

Alisdair has spent the last 10 years convincing brands to stop advertising, and instead to focus on meeting shoppers where they are shopping and provide access to content that actually helps to educate and shape their buying decisions. 

The success of the non-interruptive marketing philosophy has seen the small company double in size every year for a decade.  Alisdair now creates the media for NMMA Boat Show, IBEX, Informa boat shows and is the US rep for METS.

 

He also has experience partnering with many other major international events (Formula One, Moto GP, Royal Ascot, St Andrews Golf, etc). 

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With over 24 years of marine marketing experience in the marine industry, Brian Sullivan joined the Nautique team in 2003 and has revolutionized the marketing presence of this legendary global inboard brand.

 

Prior to joining Nautique Boats, Brian worked for a global marine Advertising and PR agency who represented brands such as Grand Banks, Palmer Johnson, Regulator, Regal and Scout boats, to name a few.

As a senior-level executive with a rich history in the marine industry, Brian has helped been instrumental in transforming the Nautique brand by utilizing a strategic vision while focusing on the following two key objectives: Building Brand Equity and Teeing It Up for Sales.

 

He is skilled in critical areas of marketing, such as CMS, LMS, LMS, CRM, SEO and CRO marketing, lead nurture, retargeting and social media marketing, e-digital marketing, product planning and positioning, brand strategy, content creation, special events, product launches and athlete/celebrity endorsements. Brian has spent the past seven years investing in refining his skill set in leadership, team building, time management, collaboration, decision making and business negotiation. All of these which have assisted him in building a robust team of marketers at Nautique Boats and vaulted this global brand to the forefront of towed watersport worldwide.

 

Brian has been engaged in some of the most innovative marketing offerings in the marine space to date, and over the years has been presented with numerous marketing awards for his exceptional vision, creativity and strategy.

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Keith Ammons has had a long history in the marine industry. He started with Regulator in 2014 as a sales consultant, leading the company’s international expansion in Australia and Panama, among other areas, and working with the dealer network to drive product education and expertise in market. Prior to working with Regulator, he held various positions with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and served as National Spokesperson for NMMA’s Discover Boating across his 14-year tenure.

Mr. Ammons has been integral to Regulator’s latest growth track – posting multi-year sales increases, expanding the domestic dealer network, and helming sales and marketing strategies overall.

 

As Vice President, he expanded his role, leading the sales team through the latest in customer acquisition and retention strategies and further ensuring the prominence of the Regulator brand in the center console space.

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Jane began her career supporting various manufacturers, but found her niche in the marine industry beginning in 2010. Her roles and responsibilities have evolved over the years from strategic marketing to product portfolio management and currently she leads the marketing team that supports the Malibu and Axis boat brands globally. Over the years, her teams have produced American Advertising Award (ADDY) winning marketing materials and industry recognized product innovation.

Of course this wouldn’t be Jane’s niche industry if she wasn’t a long-time boater. From fishing to wake surfing, she has had a passion for the water and recreational boating ever since her childhood.

 

When she isn’t working alongside the boats as they are built, she can be found on the water driving the boats. An advocate for more women boaters, Jane along with her husband are also busy teaching their two young sons to waterski and foster the next generation of boaters.   

Past President

Wanda Kenton Smith, Kenton Smith Marketing

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Wanda Kenton Smith is a 30+-year marine marketing veteran and a trained journalist whose stellar marketing and media career  includes former posts as a national copywriter for a 70-person in-house agency; editor of two boating consumer magazines, and two trade newspapers; vice president of marketing for 11 years for a major independent marine manufacturer with global brand responsibilities; owner and president of her own $20 million multi-award- winning advertising and PR firm with more than 35 national and global power and sail accounts; and national marketing columnist for Soundings Trade Online since 1998. She has also edited three books and published more than 300 by-lined articles.

Wanda is the former founder and president of Marine Marketing to Women and has trained more than 1000 dealers on the women’s market, and continues to raise her voice on diversity marketing initiatives. She is the chairperson of the Recreational Boating and Leadership Council’s New Market Task Force.

Today, Wanda serves as a marketing consultant and practitioner, providing ongoing marketing, advertising/media, PR, web and social media programs for select clients in multiple industry disciplines. She speaks frequently on marketing topics at regional and national conferences, and continues to write, edit and produce a variety of editorial and marketing collateral.

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