Volunteer Profile: James Maitland July 26, 2017
Background: I am originally from Annapolis, MD. My love of all things boating began at the age of seven with my father, retired Navy Captain (USNA 64’), on the Severn River in our 19-foot ski boat. I moved to Fort Lauderdale in May of 2013 and I am currently the National Sales Director for Oceanmax, a growing company out of New Zealand who distributes Propspeed around the world. I am also President of the Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY).
How did you get started in the marine industry? I started in the marine industry in 2005 with a part time job at the West Marine store in Annapolis, MD. It then shifted into a career in 2007 with my departure from the rapidly declining mortgage industry to join the wholesale division of West Marine, now called West Marine Pro.
What prompted your involvement in MIASF and what did you enjoy most from volunteering for Waterway Cleanup and Marine Industry Day? I learned a long time ago how important “getting involved” can be. When I first moved to Fort Lauderdale I didn’t know anyone outside of West Marine; I was lucky to meet several YPY members who invited me to their monthly meeting. The President of MIASF at the time was the guest speaker, Kristina Hebert of Ward’s Marine. I learned how important YPY and MIASF were to the industry here in South Florida and I wanted to help support them by getting involved.
Volunteering with MIASF for Waterway Cleanup and Marine Industry Day has given me the opportunity to give back to the community. “What we get, we have given” is a quote from my high school track coach, Ed Purpura which has always resonated with me. If we give back and support the community and industry that surrounds us, I believe, we get that in return. An organization is only as good as the people that care and support it to help make it better and do more. For me, volunteering my time to help kid’s complete community service hours by cleaning up a beach, is time well spent. Running to the West Marine store to get supplies so we can clean chairs off for Marine Industry Day, is time well spent. I believe it is important to spend the time to give back to the community that has provided all of us with so much. Putting your skills to work for the community, in whatever form it comes in pays dividends for the event and the community, and in return we receive great purpose and meaning. Another great gift from volunteering is building lifelong friendships with all the incredible people along the way.
Are you involved in any other community organizations or events? I’m involved with MICF and the Spin-a-thon, for three years YPY helped support the Freedom Waters Foundation (and Luke Brown) through building and operating a handicapped accessible boat. Freedom Waters would enter it into the Winterfest Boat Parade and the YPY team would decorate and operate it in the parade. I also serve on a few committee’s within MIASF. We are also looking forward to August 12th when Team YPY has a Habitat for Humanity build day planned.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy traveling to fun, exciting places (or just visiting family and friends) with my fiancée. Most recently a trip to Bermuda for the Americas Cup where I was the spotter on the live TV camera chase boat. I play soccer with industry friends on a South Florida Club team and spend weekends boating on the New River and Intracoastal with my fiancée and friends, any day on the water is a good one.