Marine Marketers of America Announces New 2021 Leadership Team

MIAMI – Jan. 5, 2021 – (Marine NewsWire) Marine Marketers of America (MMA) today announced the election of new officers and appointment of new board members. New officers for 2021 are Courtney Chalmers, president, and Kristen Frohnhoefer, vice president. Romina Bompani continues in her role as secretary of the association. New board members serving three-year terms include Brian Sullivan, vice president of marketing, Nautique; Jane Schlegel, director of global marketing, Malibu; and Keith Ammons, vice president of sales and marketing, Regulator Marine.

Chalmers succeeds founding president Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing, who retires from the post after launching and leading the organization for more than 13 years. Kenton Smith remains in an advisory role as immediate past president. Also retiring from the board are three additional long-standing leaders who have significantly contributed to the organization’s success including founding member and VP Sally Helme of Bonnier Corp. who was point on the conception and launch of the Neptune Awards; founding board member Jim Rhodes of Rhodes Communications who has managed the association’s publicity since the outset and contributed in many projects; and Mark Kellum of Canal Street Creative who assisted in multiple roles including designing the association’s logo.

Chalmers is vice president of marketing for Boats Group. She leads the company’s product marketing and digital marketing teams. She has 15+ years of experience in digital marketing and brand management, having served as brand manager for Boat Trader before transitioning to Dominion Marine Media (now Boats Group) to lead the global marketing strategy for YachtWorld, Boat Trader and She played an integral role on the acquisition team in 2016 when the company was purchased by Apax Partners. Chalmers has been recognized by her peers as a leader in the boating industry through Boating Industry’s Women Making Waves and Movers & Shakers.

Frohnhoefer is chief administrative officer of Sea Tow Services International. She is responsible for overseeing all internal operations including the execution and tracking of all the company’s membership programs and special offers, staff and franchise training, event coordination, marketing, sales, communications and call center operations. She co-chairs the MMA membership committee and is vice-chair of the Neptune Awards program. Frohnhoefer was recently named the 2020 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year.

Bompani is owner of RB Yacht Marketing, a full-service marketing boutique consultancy based in South Florida. Fluent in four languages thanks to a multicultural upbringing, she has a well-traveled outlook and extensive knowledge of the yachting industry. She has worked with a wide range of marine-related businesses, including brokerage houses, European boat manufacturers, marinas and leading industry entrepreneurs.

Kenton Smith commented: “I’m pleased to have served with an outstanding group of smart marketers from all segments of the marine industry to build and grow the association over the past 13 years. From the launch of the Neptune Awards, to many years of professional development, networking and communications initiatives, I appreciate the dedication and hard work of so many who significantly contributed to the success of the association. I leave the MMA in very capable hands and have great confidence in the new leadership team to move the MMA forward into the future.”

Chalmers added, “I am excited to join the board as president and work alongside such a well-respected and talented team of industry leaders. Wanda’s leadership has positioned the MMA very well for future growth and I look forward to carrying the torch and finding new ways to support and strengthen marketing professionals in the marine industry.”

Click here to download an image of Courtney Chalmers, president, Marine Marketers of America.

About Marine Marketers of America

Founded in 2007, the Marine Marketers of America (MMA) has been the voice for marketing professionals in the recreational marine industry. The MMA hosts a variety of professional development programs including event keynotes and recent partnerships with the Grow Boating Summit. It traditionally offers bi-annual membership meetings, membership communications and produces the annual Neptune Awards competition which recognizes excellence and the best work in marine industry marketing throughout North America. For information about the MMA, please visit

Sea Tow’s Kristen Frohnhoefer named Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year

Boating Industry Magazine
December 2020

Kristen Frohnhoefer, president of Sea Tow Services International, has been named the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Educational Foundation.

Frohnhoefer received the prestigious award during the virtual version of MRAA’s 2020 Dealer Week.

The Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award is named after the late Darlene Briggs who was admired for her tireless dedication to the marine industry.

The award is presented yearly to an outstanding woman who is actively involved in the marine industry. Recipients showcase “long and devoted service, untiring commitment, and the advancement of women in the marine business.” [click here to read more]

Marine Marketing in a Coronavirus World

Soundings Trade Only
April 9, 2020

What appeared to be a promising year based on early season boat show attendance, orders and consumer confidence came to a crashing slide in many parts of the world with the advent and rapid spread of coronavirus.

In today’s coronavirus environment, we’ve all had to learn and adapt to new vernacular including “social distancing” and “shelter-in place” among others. Many of us have moved from daily commutes to the workplace to now operating within home-based epicenters. The art and science of communication has radically shifted gears and we’re all struggling to navigate with new rules, boundaries and protocols.

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Offshore Sailing School Launches #DocksideChatswithSteve on Social Media Channels

Offshore Sailing School Launches #DocksideChatswithSteve on Social Media Channels

Offshore Sailing School founders Steve and Doris Colgate are producing self-made #DocksideChatswithSteve from their home on the Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida, for a little sailing-oriented entertainment to those who may also be homebound during the COVID-19 crisis. These short vignettes are based on the couple’s sailing experiences over the past 56 years of owning and operating Offshore Sailing School. Based in Fort Myers, Fla., the company has taught more than 150,000 adults and families how to sail and powerboat safely and confidently. The stories the Colgates are sharing will be featured in their memoirs to be published in 2021.

“We’ve sailed and raced boats, and hosted more than 100 sailing vacations for our graduates, all over the world. The sailing lifestyle continues to bring us so much joy. And I’m so hopeful that those who watch the series will be inspired to get out on the water as soon as possible when current tensions ease,” company Chairman Steve  Colgate said.

The series began on March 30 and new episodes will premiere every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the company’s Facebook page for the next several weeks, These stories will also be shared on Offshore Sailing School’s Instagram,, twitter,, and YouTube Channel. The company’s YouTube Channel, contains many educational and instructional videos on learning to sail, race and bareboat charter, along with video recaps of special events, corporate team building activities, and profiles of the six resort locations where the company operates sailing schools, four on Florida’s Gulf Coast and two in the British Virgin Islands. Offshore Sailing School offers every level of US Sailing and US Powerboating certification, from Basic Learn to Sail, to Performance Sailing, to Bareboat Charter Cruising, Navigation, and Passage Making.

MarineMax Creates New Customer Experience Platform

MarineMax Creates New Customer Experience Platform,
Led by Boatyard Founder Nathan Heber

MarineMax recently announced the acquisition of pioneering Boatyard digital platform to transform the boating customer experience, creating a new way for boat owners to enjoy their passion, wherever and whenever they want. Built around the Boatyard acquisition, the new MarineMax Customer Experience Platform will be led by Boatyard Founder and CEO Nathan Heber, who will become President of Boatyard at MarineMax.

Shawn Berg, MarineMax Chief Digital Officer, said, “As a customer-centric company, we believe utilizing technology to enhance our boat owners’ experience by saving them time and allowing for easier and more efficient access to products and services can truly change the industry. This Customer Experience Platform enhances the ownership experience by removing friction from the boating experience, making it accessible and easy for people to enjoy the boating lifestyle. Nathan and his team bring tremendous leadership, passion and drive and we are excited to partner with him to further develop new product capabilities.”

The disruptive Boatyard digital platform seeks to eliminate the confusion, guesswork and stress of boating, making it accessible and easy for customers to have an exceptional experience. The Boatyard digital platform will include an expansive range of on-demand services to streamline the boating experience by qualified service providers with only a few clicks on a smartphone. Named to Boating Industry Magazine’s “Top Products of 2015” list, the Boatyard digital platform enables boat owners to take back their free time by curating the best services and offering excellent communication to ensure users always receive an exceptional experience.

MarineMax Online Boat Shows Continue to Produce Results

In December 2018, MarineMax tried something new. The event was called “Virtual Yacht Expo,” but there wasn’t a single yacht on display. Instead, an online platform was designed to “display” yachts from across the country. Anyone anywhere could log in any time and visit the Virtual Yacht Expo.

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Sea Tow Foundation Announces Inaugural Winners of “National Boating Industry Safety Awards”

The Sea Tow Foundation recently announced winners of its inaugural National Boating Industry Safety Awards at the Elevate Summit in Orlando. The awards were sponsored and judged by the newly established National Sober Skipper Advisory Council and funded through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. They were established to recognize the best boating safety work in the for-profit sector of the recreational marine marketplace occurring within the United States.

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Teakdecking Systems Announces New Partnership with The Nature Conservancy

Teakdecking Systems (TDS), the world’s premier manufacturer of teak decking has launched a campaign to conserve Myanmar’s biological and cultural assets, and to restore forests, by donating $50,000 to The Nature Conservancy. TDS is committed to increasing awareness of this important campaign to colleagues and customers in the marine market and is facilitating methods for donation to supporters of this important and necessary effort in Myanmar.

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Kenton Smith & DeMartini win Kicker Marine Audio Marketing Account

MMA members Marilyn DeMartini of PR Power and Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing jointly pitched and recently won the national Kicker Marine Audio marketing account. The twosome are actively engaged in marketing/media consulting, brand initiatives, PR, promotions, partnerships/sponsorship and content development.

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Congratulations to Regal Boats on 50th Anniversary!

Regal Boats of Orlando, FL launched its 50th anniversary celebration with an international dealer meeting at the Ocean Reef Club, followed by a VIP invitation-only press event at the company’s Orlando, FL World Headquarters. Most recently, the company hosted an employee party at an offsite resort facility for its Regal Team members and their families.

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