Kelsey Barrett, Marketing Manager, Seakeeper Inc.
I originally got into the marine industry because of my love for the ocean, specifically, scuba diving. As a kid, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the University of South Florida’s Oceanography Camp for Girls. Having just had my first child, Lainey, in February, I love the idea of marrying those two things together as a dream career in my next life: kids and science/conservation. Introducing kids to the ocean is magical and will stay with them throughout their lifetimes. Of course, all of this hinges on whether travel diving is something you can actually get paid to do.
Michael Mellett, Senior Marketing Director, SiriusXM Marine
My philosophy for work has always been to follow my passions. I’ve been fortunate to have worked in businesses that aligned with my love of music, the arts, and fishing. I’ve worked in creative and marketing in the music industry, at Nikon cameras, and for many years now, at SiriusXM, which checks at least two boxes for me: music and fishing. Other true passions of mine are cooking and entertaining. I was raised in Alabama, and I’ve embraced a lifelong obsession with barbecue. So, if I get to choose my next career, I’m picking my dream job as pitmaster at my own barbecue joint.
Bill Shedd, Chairman, CEO, AFTCO
Two things are most important: 1) Find a field you are interested in and that fits your natural, God-given skill sets. You can’t easily force a square peg into a round hole, and if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you will not be able to work hard enough to be good at it, making you frustrated and dissatisfied. 2) Work in a business with only people you trust. It is nice to like the people you work with, but it is critical that you trust them also. I was fortunate to work my entire career at AFTCO, which kept me connected to fishing and with people I both trusted and liked. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Allison Reis, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Spot Zero
Seven years ago, I was sitting in a cubicle. One day I thought, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. I’ve always loved boating and fishing, and thought perhaps I could work on a boat, but I couldn’t part with my true calling: marketing. I needed something that satisfied both loves, so I quit my healthcare job and set out to create my dream career. Fortunately, I had many great mentors who helped me navigate into the marine industry—the perfect blend of my personal and professional passions. I wouldn’t change my career for the world. I have found my people.