Mar 21, 2023
Boating Industry Canada is kicking off its Marine Industry Career Path series once again. For the first installments this year, we have two subjects to highlight. Introducing Wendy and Brett Ramsey!
The Ramsey’s have been working in the marine industry for many years but have both had unique paths in getting to where they are now.
They’ve also been working on an impactful pilot project for a long time, which will now be launching this spring. The focus of this initiative is to bring more young people into the marine industry.
This project will be starting in a number of high schools in eastern Ontario. They’re working with the government and several marine companies like Mercury and Yamaha to bring this project to fruition.
The initiative all started because Wendy wanted to use co-op money from their business to send people to school.
Stay tuned for the developing news and updates on this exciting pilot project in an upcoming Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest.
We’re thrilled to introduce both Wendy and Brett Ramsey. You can read about Brett Ramsey’s career path HERE .
Full Name: Wendy Ramsey
School: Algonquin College
Program: Business Administration – Marketing
Graduating Year: 2005
Current Workplace: Pirate Cove Marina Inc. and RBK Distribution Inc.
Wendy and Brett Ramsey
What is your background in the marine industry? Tell us a bit about how you got into the marine industry.
In 1994, my parents decided to venture into a new business and purchased Pirate Cove Marina. From a young age I would come to work with my parents and get put to work while I was here. As I got older, I started working at our gas dock, pumping fuel, cleaning bathrooms, emptying garbage, cutting grass and keeping the grounds clean. Then eventually I was moved into our service office to clean, file and answer phones.
After graduating college, I began working full time. I started off doing our marketing and sales then was moved into our service department for customer service and shortly after, became the service manager. I ran our marina of 96 slips, our PDI department and service department. I started to attend different schooling that our manufacturers offered and attended dealer meetings. Then in 2018 my husband and I created RBK Distribution Inc. (interior/exterior protection and combo kits for pontoons) allowing us another opportunity to stay in the marine division, but to venture into RV’s and cars as well.
What was your post-secondary pathway and what made you choose that pathway?
My post-secondary Pathway was Algonquin College. I always wanted to further my knowledge with education and learn more about the marketing aspect to a business. I was always very intrigued with different marketing strategies.
What was your path after your post-secondary education and what are you currently doing now?
I would go to manufacturer seminars/schools to keep up with the product. We have recently become part of the MRAA and started to follow their courses that are available, so it can be done on our own time schedule.
I am also on the YLAC (Young Leaders Advisory Council) for the MRAA.
What is next in your career/future endeavours?
I have actually recently begun a pilot project that we are going to be launching at the end of March, beginning of April. I am looking at educating the youth on what jobs are available in the marine industry – primarily the need for technicians.
Ramseys at TIBS interviewing with Allegra Smith-Herriott, Associate Editor
What have been some highlights in your professional career so far, whether that be in marketing, in the marine industry, etc?
Last year I was nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur. I did not make it to the final but was very excited for the opportunity.
I worked with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development LevelUp Career Fair. I organized five different locations across Ontario for marinas, Mercury and Yamaha, to attend these events and educate the youth on the possibility of a career in the marine industry. I am now furthering that with more education to come at the high school level and hoping to have more locations open up that will give people the ability to complete an apprenticeship program.
How have you seen the marine industry change over the past couple of years?
The last couple years have honestly felt like a whirlwind. I have seen the marine industry grow tremendously. In our area, more and more people are choosing pontoons/day boats for their primary boat. People are looking for a family friendly day boat everyone can get on and enjoy.
What is one piece of advice you could give someone entering the marine industry?
Enjoy the lifestyle of the marine world, it will get busy and hectic but it’s well worth it.
It is all about providing a great customer experience!
What do you hope to accomplish in the marine industry?
For Pirate Cove Marina, I want people to know us as a place where people want to be. Great friendly customer service and a knowledgeable staff.
For RBK Distribution, I hope to be a brand that people recognize no matter where they are buying a car, a boat or an RV!
On the educational side, I hope to make an impact in the high schools to generate future growth within the marine industry. Encouraging students about what a great opportunity they have ahead of them and how they can build a career in the marine industry. Showing them the lifestyle that they can achieve by some hard work and dedication.
Are you a power boater, sailor, or both?
I am definitely a power boater!
Your fondest/funniest memory out on the water?
My fondest memory is on my 5th birthday I got up water skiing behind our 1985 19-foot Thundercraft Cuddy.
Allegra Smith-Herriott is a recent (Sport Media) graduate (from Ryerson University) as well as an active sailor and power boater on Georgian Bay. She can be reached at email@example.com