It’s interesting how life can surprise you. My new position as CEO and publisher at Club Marine is a perfect example. I’ve been involved in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, most recently with Club Marine’s parent company Allianz. I’ve also been a keen boatie for many years and have always made sure my boating insurance and activities have been covered by Club Marine. As part of my Club Marine insurance, I have also been a long-time subscriber to the magazine. Now I find myself both the CEO and the magazine’s publisher!
Prior to taking up my new position, and through my own boating experiences, I have always regarded Club Marine as an intrinsic part of the Australasian boating lifestyle. It seems that there is barely a boat show, yachting regatta or other boating-flavoured event that does not enjoy some support, sponsorship or coverage from Club Marine. And that’s without taking into account the fact that, for more than 40 years, the company has underwritten and supported the boating activities of a huge number of boaties and boating families throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is this family aspect of the lifestyle and company that impresses me most when I ponder the nature of the Club Marine brand.
Since coming aboard barely a month ago, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the staff and I have to say that it feels more like I have become part of a big boating family, rather than the head of a leading insurance company. Everywhere I go I am impressed by the affinity and direct connections many of the staff have with the fantastic boating lifestyle we all enjoy.
At all branches and levels within the company, there are people who are as at home on the water as they are at their desks. We boast staff members who are championship sail and water ski competitors, one or two thrill seekers who race power boats in their spare time and many others who simply like to dangle a line in the water chasing everything from Murray cod to marlin. Some are content to just take the occasional opportunity for a quiet cruise with family and friends, and then there are the ‘boaties in waiting’ – those who will, no doubt, eventually be lured on board to share the fantastic thrills that boating offers.
So, from my own point of view as the CEO, it is great to know that many, many of the people who are part of the Club Marine team also live and breathe the lifestyle that is the foundation of the company. It means that when our members have need of our services, they are likely to be talking to someone who can empathise with their situation and offer them timely and expert assistance. The same can also be said of our dealers, assessors and others who work under the Club Marine umbrella – they can draw on years of on-water boating experience to give members the best possible service.
Going forward, I intend to maintain Club Marine’s respected position within the Australasian boating industry and lifestyle. I’m also committed to maintaining our strong and growing membership base. The company, through the efforts of its hard-working team across Australia and New Zealand, has rightly earned its reputation for professionalism and commitment to service.
In coming months, as the many boat shows and other events unfold through 2010, I hope to meet as many members as possible. I’d like to invite you to come over to the Club Marine stand to have a chat with staff. Direct feedback from members is one of the best ways we can ensure that we are offering the best service we possibly can.
Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity of my first column in the magazine to pay tribute to my predecessor, Mark Bradley. During his term as CEO of Club Marine, Mark maintained the company as the largest pleasure and commercial leisure craft underwriting agency in Australia, performing strongly in an uncertain market and leading a dedicated and talented team. We wish him well as he sails off in a new direction.
In the meantime, I hope to see you somewhere soon, on or near the water, enjoying our fantastic boating lifestyle.
CEO and Publisher,