Wanda Kenton Smith, Kenton Smith Marketing
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.
Sally Helme, Bonnier Corporation
Sally Helme is the Group Publisher of The Sailing Company, which is part of the Bonnier Marine Group. She is responsible for their two Newport based sailing magazines, Cruising World and Sailing World, plus the National Offshore One Design Regatta Series, or “NOODs.”She learned to sail growing up in Shelter Island, New York. Her marine industry background began in retail as a yacht broker and included marketing roles at C&C Yachts, Lewmar and B&G before she moved to the publishing side of the business.
She joined Cruising World and Sailing World in 1994 and became Publisher in 1998.She is active in marine industry trade groups and has served on the boards of Sail America, the National Sailing Industry Association and US SAILING. She is the immediate past president of Sail America, and represented the sailing sector on the marketing committee for the NMMA’s Grow Boating Initiative.
She is also a founding board member of Marine Marketers of America. Sally has managed the North American Sailing Industry Study, which produces annual statistics on sailboat production, imports and bareboat charters for North America, for over 20 years. This study is the benchmark for the sailing industry in this country, and provides the official industry statistics used by the NMMA and Sail America
Owner, Turnkey Communications & Public Relations
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.
Owner, RB Yacht Marketing
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.
Vice President, Boats Group
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.
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.
Chief Administrative Officer, Sea Tow Services International
Having spent the first 15 years of her working life learning every aspect of the business, Kristen has served as Sea Tow’s Chief Administrative Officer since 2009. As CAO, Kristen is responsible for overseeing all internal operations including the execution and tracking of all of the company’s membership programs and special offers, staff and franchise training, event coordination, marketing, sales and communications, and call center operations. She also focuses much of her time on business development and maintains key relationships across the marine industry. Kristen co-chairs the MMA’s membership committee.
Director of Marketing, MarineMax
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.
Owner, Acumen Creative and Marketing
Captain Mark Kellum is a former ad agency owner and creative director whose passion for the boating lifestyle is clearly reflected in his work. In his own agency days, Mark worked with multiple leading brands including Red Lobster, Proudfoot and a variety of publishers and entertainment accounts, along with one of the largest independent boat manufacturers in the country. He also worked several years as creative director for a leading marine industry full-service agency and was involved in the strategic design, development and creative account management of multiple global power and sail brands.
He previously served as marketing manager for Regal Marine with global marketing, media and creative responsibilities. Mark has been involved with Marine Marketers of America since its founding, having designed the logo, serving on the board and assisting in multiple Neptune Awards judging capacities. He currently owns Acumen Creative & Marketing, works with a handful of clients while also lending his expertise by writing and conducting boat tests for several boating publications.
Executive Director, Boating Writers International
Greg Proteau is a highly respected marketing communications consultant to service providers, not-for-profit organizations, marketing agencies, manufacturers and others within and outside the marine sector. Greg serves as Executive Director of Boating Writers International and oversees all the daily activities of this robust association which includes the world’s most foremost marine journalists.
Himself a writer, Greg contributes editorial regularly on the topics of boating and marine finance industry trends, companies, people and ideas. He worked for many years in an executive capacity with the National Marine Manufacturers Association. At the MMA, Greg edits and produces The Voice, the association’s quarterly newsletter.
President/Owner, Rhodes Communications
Jim Rhodes is founder and President of Rhodes Communications, Inc., an international PR and marketing services company based in Norfolk, Virginia, and Marine NewsWire, a press release distribution wire service. He is also co-owner and director of ShippingInsight conferences for the commercial maritime industry. Jim spent 36 years of active duty and reserve service in the U.S. Navy, specializing in naval special warfare, combat boat operations, navigation, ship-handling and training, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampden-Sydney College, a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University and did graduate studies at Oxford University. He is a regular contributor to trade journals in the U.S. and U.K. He is a board member of the International Marine Sales and Marketing Association, based in U.K. In his board capacity, Jim handles PR for the MMA.
Director of Marketing, Galati Yachts
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.
Marketing Communications Manager, Volvo Penta
Marketing Director, Jeanneau America
Marketing Manager, Sportsman Boats
CEO, TRMG LLP
Director of Consumer Marketing, Shows, NMMA