During its meeting at the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, the NMMA board of directors unanimously voted to elect Bill Yeargin, President and CEO of Correct Craft, as NMMA’s new Chair. Prior to his appointment to Chair, Yeargin was NMMA vice chair. He has served on the NMMA board of directors for more than a decade.
As CEO of Correct Craft, a 98-year-old company with global operations that include eight boat brands, four engine brands, three water sports parks, a company focused on vertical integrations, and another entity devoted to innovation, Yeargin leads with a unique culture of “Making Life Better”.
A passionate lifelong learner, Yeargin has earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA. He has also completed post-graduate studies at Harvard, Stanford, Villanova University, Wharton, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and is certified in both Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and DISC.
In addition to NMMA, Yeargin serves on the boards for Florida Council of 100, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Yeargin has served both the Obama and Trump administrations on cabinet-level advisory councils and actively represents the industry on national and state issues. He was appointed by Florida’s Governor to serve on the board of University of Central Florida. He is a prolific writer, having been published hundreds of times and authored five books, including the best-seller Education of a CEO.
NMMA president and CEO, Frank Hugelmeyer notes, “Bill is one of our industry’s greatest champions, contributing much of his time and energy to unite the recreational boating industry as we work together to continue positioning our industry as the leader in outdoor recreation. We are fortunate to have Bill’s expertise, passion and commitment to boating as our board chair as his leadership will be a guiding light as we deliver NMMA’s strategic plan.”
Stepping into his new NMMA Chair role, Yeargin took time to answer a few questions. Check out his answers below:
1. What are the top strategic priorities for the NMMA board? NMMA is blessed to have an incredibly talented team led by Frank Hugelmeyer, our CEO, which makes my job easier. Frank and his team are very responsive to board direction, so I want to make sure all our members are being heard. I want to communicate well with my fellow board members to ensure we are identifying all the important issues; once we identify those issues, I have full confidence in the NMMA team to execute on the board’s direction related to them.
2. What are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that the industry faces going forward? We have no shortage of industry challenges or opportunities. We need to continue having great representation in both Washington D.C. and all the state capitals to protect our industry and boaters from inappropriate regulations or other types of government overreach. We need to present boating as a fun and safe family activity that builds relationships, we need to work together to ensure that all boaters have great experiences, and we need to ensure our industry is prepared to an upcoming and significant wave of technological advancement. Thankfully the NMMA team is already doing a great job addressing these and many other issues and the board is united in our support of what the association is doing.
3. What’s your favorite NMMA-produced event to attend? I love them all. All the boat shows are great, but the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show is a unique confluence of both the industry and retail aspects of our industry. The American Boating Congress in May is always interesting and a unique opportunity to meet directly with our Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill. IBEX is incredibly beneficial to our team as the industry joins together each year to become better. Those are my top three, please don’t make me pick a favorite!
4. What mark do you hope to leave as NMMA Chair? The NMMA team is so good at executing I just want to be sure we understand what key issues are concerning our members. I will work hard to communicate with the board and non-board members to ensure that everyone is being heard. The NMMA does not need me to do that, because they are already close to members, but I have decades of industry relationships and I want to use those to ensure we have the right items on our radar.
5. What advice do you have for industry leaders and aspiring leaders about getting involved in NMMA? The NMMA is so critical to our industry that I am not sure how to have a big impact without being involved. Leaders who want to have a positive impact on our industry need to join the NMMA, attend NMMA events and support the BOATPAC.