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Member Spotlight: Steve Arnold
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Steve Arnold is the owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard and Moose Landing Marina located in Maine. Steve has been involved in the marine industry for a great while. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale, and started his time in the marine industry as a yard hand. Arnold worked his way up through management roles before heading off to college at Florida State University. After earning his MBA, Steve embarked a career in finance. In search a richer quality of life, Steve moved to Maine in 2003. He purchased Yarmouth Boat Yard in January 2004, happily shifting from his career as the Vice President of Trading at Goldman Sachs to focus on his passion for boats. We had the chance to ask Steve some questions in order to get to know him better and discuss the industry that he couldn't stay away from.

Q: How long have you been in the marine industry and what is your fondest memory of your time, so far?

Arnold: I grew up working in marinas in Fort Lauderdale. I started out as a yard laborer, sanding bottoms, and worked my way up to travel lift foreman. 

My fondest memories are when customers take delivery of their new or used boat for the first time. It’s a very happy day. For some, owning a boat and being on the water has been a lifelong dream. It’s very gratifying to be able to help them fulfill that dream. 

Q: You acquired the business in 2004, What made you decide to get into the industry?

Arnold: Marinas have always fascinated me. I really enjoyed early years working in boatyards and it was a time in my life where I could make a transition and hopefully succeed at it!

Q: What is the most interesting decision you’ve made while in the boating business? 

Arnold: There are too many to list, but one important one is when we decided to carry the Pursuit line of boats. That decision really put little old Yarmouth Boat Yard on the map and it has been a great partnership over the years.

Q: What are you doing differently today versus this time last year that has helped you stay competitive?

Arnold: For us it is always about the customer experience. I challenge all our employees with the question of “how do we make the customer experience better”? Knowing your competition and market share is good, but delivering a A+ experience for the customer is even better!

Q: What are your hopes for our industry?

Arnold: More consolidation for one voice to be heard at the national level as well as at the state level. As an owner of two marinas in Maine, I have to manage a lot of the agencies who oversee our industry. That is a full time job itself.

Q: You have been an MRAA certified dealer since 2008. What value has the certification brought to your dealership?

Arnold: Becoming Dealer Certified was one of the best decisions I have made. It taught me and my employees how important it is to maximize the customer experience. It provided a handbook of best practices to help us achieve our goals and drive up our CSI scores. It made us consider everything from the appearance of our facilities to boat deliveries. The process of becoming dealer certified helped us to clarify our objectives and fine tune our strategies.

Q: What’s your “dream boat” to own?

Arnold: A 38’ Holland lobster boat. One of my customers owns one and I love that boat.

Q: What are 5 things that people may not know about you?

Arnold:

  1. I haven't flown in a while but I have my pilot's license.
  2. At one time in my life, I wanted to be a CPA and sat for the exam.
  3. I worked on Wall Street for several years.
  4. I have lived in London and San Francisco at different points in my life.
  5. I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (my daughter finds that fascinating.)

 

If you have a nomination for the Member Spotlight section of our newsletter, please send an email to mickaela@mraa.com.