14 Nov RIMTA Honors Outgoing Board Members at Annual Meeting

The Rhode Island marine trades benefits from having a strong concentration of our industry here in the Ocean State. But with that cluster of companies comes another big bonus: a high concentration of industry leaders who lend their ideas and expertise to the RIMTA Board.

At RIMTA’s Annual Meeting & Industry Celebration, Chairman Andy Tyska gave tribute to our three outgoing Board members who have each had a big impact on our organization and our industry: Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read, Hunt Yachts President Peter Van Lancker, and Pt. Judith Marina General Manager Don Vivenzio.

“I value the energy, ideas and expertise that each of our board members bring to our organization,” said RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie. “We will miss Brad, Peter and Don—for we have all worked well as a group with a common goal: to make sure RIMTA and the Rhode Island marine trades thrive and set a positive course for our industry.”

Read on for more about each of our outgoing Board members. Click here to see the new slate of Board members that will work under incoming Chairman Dick Cromwell and President Brandon Kidd.

Don Vivenzio, General Manager at Point Judith Marina. We have Don Vivenzio to thank for his leadership on environmental efforts.

Don has been working at marinas in Rhode Island since the late 1970s. When discussions with groups such as the Department of Environmental Management were active about a decade ago, about how marinas can operate in an environmentally safe and legal manner, Don took a leadership role and helped to establish guidelines for our Clean Marina Program.

Meetings took place over a period of some four to five years to iron out a range of issues, and Don remained dedicated to that effort. He has led by example: Point Judith Marina was one of the first marinas to be designated as a Clean Marina by the RI Coastal Resources Management Council.

Don believes it is important for us, as an industry, to demonstrate that we are interested in running our operations in an environmentally safe manner. As he leaves the Board, he hopes that RIMTA and our industry will continue to maintain good relationships with environmental groups and deepen our efforts on the work he focused on while on the RIMTA Board.

Peter Van Lancker, President of Hunt Yachts. Peter has brought not only expertise to our Board, but also his vision.

When Hunt Yachts came to Rhode Island ten years ago, Peter was at the company’s helm as president. He became active with RIMTA as a Board member with a deep background in boat manufacturing. But while he brought valuable insights to the Board as someone who knew the ins and outs of manufacturing, he felt his most important role was building the Hunt brand–establishing a successful Ocean State company while providing work to Rhode Islanders.

While he served on the Board, Peter also developed a vision for the nautical tourism that Rhode Island could become known for. If you want to ski, you might go to Switzerland or Colorado. Peter hopes in future, that people who want to go boating see Rhode Island as their ultimate destination.

He realizes there is a lot that would have to happen to realize that vision in a big way, but he knows the great potential of the Ocean State and we thank him for the enthusiasm and ideas he has brought to the RIMTA Board.

Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. During the years that Brad Read built Sail Newport into one of our country’s leading community sailing centers, while also attracting high-profile events such as the Volvo Ocean Race to Newport, Brad has been a valued member of our Board.

He clearly sees the whole picture when it comes to how to grow sailing and the industry that supports it. That starts first with giving children in our community access to boating, and giving those who want to pursue it a chance to do so.

Working with his team at Sail Newport to host events such as the Volvo Ocean Race has showcased boating in Rhode Island to tens of thousands of people who came here during the stopover–and to many more who followed the race online.

We will miss Brad’s energy and enthusiasm and his ability to make big things happen here in our state. But we know Brad is on to more great things: launching his Campaign for Blue Space to raise funding to expand public access sailing programs and broaden marine education; and focusing on building the Sail Newport Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center.

If you are a RIMTA member with an interest in getting involved and serving on one of our committees, email RIMTA at info@rimta.org.