Women Making Waves

By Brianna Liestman

Women Making Waves is Boating Industry’s effort to recognize the numerous women in the boating industry who have made large contributions to its success, propelled its growth and led their organizations into the future. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year award, which is as appropriate a time as any to give these women the credit they deserve.

Choosing women to highlight was no easy feat; there are so many women doing incredible work that the pages don’t offer enough space to honor them all. However, the women selected in these pages have worked tirelessly in their marine industry niche and have accomplished so much — no matter how long or short their tenure. Women profiled were selected through editorial evaluation by the Boating Industrystaff and recommendations from marine industry professionals.

Here they are, the 24 Women Making Waves as selected by Boating Industry.

Lisa Almeida
Director of Sales and Marketing, Freedom Boat Club

Ann Baldree
Senior Vice President, Chaparral and Robalo Boats

Julie Balzano
Export Development Director, National Marine Manufacturers Association

Jaclyn Baumgarten
CEO/Co-Founder, Boatsetter

Margaret Bonds Podlich
President, BoatU.S.

Kris Carroll
President, Grady-White Boats

Courtney Chalmers
Vice President of Marketing, Dominion Marine Media

Rallee Chupich
Director of Service and Restaurant Operations, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine and Gordy’s Boat House

Paulee Coughlin Day
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Assistant Secretary, MarineMax, Inc.

Nancy Cueroni
Executive Director, National Marine Distributors Association

Anne Dunbar
IBEX Show Director, IBEX LLC

Kristen Frohnhoefer
President, Sea Tow Services International; President – Board of Directors, Sea Tow Foundation

Paula Fulton
Owner/Vice President, BMC Boats

Serenity Gardner
Chief Operating Officer, SeaDek Marine Products

Wanda Kenton Smith
Chief Marketing Officer, Freedom Boat Club; President, Kenton Smith Marketing

Marcia Kull
Vice President – Marine Sales, Volvo Penta of the Americas, LLC

Joan Maxwell
President, Regulator Marine, Inc.

Lori Melbostad
President, Premier Marine, Inc.

Debbie Parks
Marketing Director and Buyer, Parks Marina

Amanda Rodriguez Levandowski
Chief Operating Officer, Sales, Charlotte Ski Boats

Dana Russikoff
Business Leader & Co-Founder, SureShade

Nancy Smith
Co-Owner/Vice President, Colorado Boat Center

Nicole Vasilaros
Vice President, Federal and Legal Affairs, National Marine Manufacturers Association

Liz Walz
Vice President, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas