BOATING INDUSTRY CANADA – News Week Career Profile
POSITION/JOB TITLE: Location Manager
Your previous position or title if applicable: General Manager, Service Manager
The area you live in: Kingston, Ontario
The number of years you’ve been in this position: five
The number of years you’ve been in the marine industry: 30
Tell us about your education:
Did you complete high school? yes
Did you complete any post secondary? yes – University of Western Ontario
Marine industry courses or training? Marine Technology and Recreation – Georgian College
On-the-job training? co-op while at Georgian College
What is it that you like about your job? I manage the Kingston location in the Pride Marine Group. Every day is different – I am primarily in charge of the sales department, but like many other dealerships, I do so many other things each day. If a customer needs parts, a work order written up, the front step needs sweeping, or I sell a boat – these are all part of the job description of a local Location Manager. Of course, you have a primary job but I’m the kind of person who will step in and help get something done while keeping focus on what my daily tasks are to complete.
Are there tasks or responsibilities that you dislike? There are always tasks from time to time that we would rather not do compared to others. Dealing with displeased customers is always a challenge but you grow out of it and learn about yourself and how others react when situations change. I used to dislike cleaning bathrooms when I started out as an 18-year-old at Ed Huck Marine in Rockport – now as Location Manager, I just clean it quickly because it’s part of the “nonverbal message” we send as a business.
What are your overall feelings? For example, do you find it rewarding, challenging, steady, interesting etc. Please describe.: I couldn’t imagine another career for me. When I was in third year of Western and working at the marina in summer, I picked up a copy of a boating magazine and saw the ad for Georgian College’s MTR course. Finished my degree then went to Orillia and have never looked back. I learned an important lesson when I was 20 – do what you love, and love what you do. In many respects I haven’t worked a day yet because every morning you wake up wanting to bring the passion you have for boating to others. Every day is different as a manager – the employees and customers make the difference.
What quality of life would you say your career in the marine industry has provided you? I am able to work in the city where I live, raised two great boys with my wife, and owning a cottage east of Kingston means that I am what I sell, I am what I service, and I can think like my customer so much more effectively. I can chase my kids around rinks in southern Ontario during the fall/winter and enjoy the Thousand Islands with my family in summer. People often ask me, “Doug, after all you do during the day, isn’t getting into a boat the LAST thing you want to do?!” To which I reply, “Actually, it’s the first thing I want to do.”
What else would you tell a young person about your life in the marine industry? Coming from a marine family means some of this passion was already in my blood. However, I did have to carve a lot of my path myself. I focused on both finding a career that I enjoyed, but also one that allowed me to support my family. As a result, it became more of our “calling” than anything. Keep learning, stay true to what really makes you get out of bed with a smile each morning, maintain the desire to help others, stay humble, and develop the passion that, when times get tough or your career becomes uncertain, you keep at it. Who wouldn’t want to work with boats as a job – like, really. Who?
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