Continuity and investment are driving the future of this venerable brand
PORTSMOUTH, R.I., April 9, 2021— Directly on the heels of announcing new Production Manager and Marketing Coordinator positions in its Portsmouth, Rhode Island office, Kadey-Krogen Yachts President & CEO Tucker West announced additional structural changes that are part of an overall long-term strategic plan.
Kadey-Krogen former partner and president Tom Button has announced his retirement after 20 years at the builder, where he led design and production. He oversaw the development of some of the builder’s most popular models, such as the Krogen 44, 52, 55 Expedition, 50 Open, and the Summit 54. Tom’s dedication not only to the brand, but also to the entire customer experience earned him respect and admiration throughout the yachting community.
“It’s been such an enjoyable and rewarding adventure for me,” said Tom. “We started as Kadey-Krogen 42 owners and liveaboard cruisers before joining the company. My goal was always to nurture the legacy of Art Kadey and Jim Krogen. Looking back, I feel confident to say that we accomplished exactly this.”
In addition, after 18 years with the company, Kadey-Krogen Yachts former partner and Vice President Larry Polster will be transitioning into a sales and customer focus while cruising on board his 50 Open with his wife, Janet. Larry also first became associated with the brand as an owner of a 42, which gybed seamlessly with his lifelong passion for the sea.
“Having someone with Larry’s boating knowledge and experience serve as a conduit between the builder and the customer is invaluable,” said Tucker. “We’ll transition his daily marketing activities to our team to allow him more quality time on the water and the ability to work with current and future customers.”
As a result of these changes, Kadey-Krogen partner Tucker West was appointed as President & CEO and currently operates out of the company’s Portsmouth, RI, office with a marketing, production, and sales team. The company’s headquarters remains in Stuart with the same dedicated team of design, sales, project management, and operations professionals that Kadey-Krogen owners have worked with for years.
Tucker has saltwater in his veins, spending summers in his youth sailing and working on boats in Newport, Rhode Island. His prolific 25-year-plus marine sales and marketing career has taken him to Thailand for Sunsail Yacht Charters, then to the Catamaran Company in Ft. Lauderdale, before transitioning to lead North American Sales for Grand Banks Yachts. While there, he helped lead the company to record sales.
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of this company,” said Tucker. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tom and Larry these past seven years and because of their steady hands and experience, we have a company that is built on a solid foundation to allow for growth, innovation, and expansion into additional markets as well.”
The initial elements of the company’s Five-Year Innovation and Strategic Plan will be revealed this August in Newport, Rhode Island. The roll-out includes a planned media event, customer-focused gatherings, and new model announcements.
“We continue to focus on what we can do as a company to not only deliver superior quality cruising yachts, but to ensure our customers understand they are part of our family,” said Tucker. “For me, the opportunity to continue to work with such a professional and talented team in our Stuart office, as well as invest in an even deeper bench with recent hires, makes this an extremely exciting time for the entire company.”
Under Tucker’s leadership, the company has also announced it has signed with Blue Creative Group as its marketing agency of record. Blue Creative was founded by marine and media industry veteran George Sass Jr., the former Global Marketing Director for Grand Banks Yachts, and an award-winning editor-in-chief of both Yachting and Power & Motoryacht. George also served as the editorial director of the AIM Marine Group overseeing PassageMaker, Soundings, Sail, Trade Only, Anglers Journal, and Yachts International editorial departments. He began working on boats at age 12 for Annapolis Yacht Sales and has more than 60,000 bluewater miles under his keel. George’s business partner Andy Hawk is the former managing director of Warren Miller Entertainment and AIM Media’s Mountain Sports Group where he oversaw revenue and strategy across the company’s snow sports division. The agency has offices in Newburyport, Mass., and Boulder, Colo. serving clients around the world.
“I’ve known George for years and he knows us well, knows the industry, and also actively cruises with his family,” said Tucker. “To have him and his team work closely with Ford Bauer on the marketing side is another key, deliberate step in our overall long-term strategy.”
These changes kick off an already busy and exciting 2021 for Kadey-Krogen Yachts. Stay tuned for more news and announcements in the future.