Darren Plymale – General Manager
The MDCE and Top 100 Gala were exceptional this year, I have personally attended annually since 2007 and the combination of speakers, content and vendor displays were the best yet. BI Magazine and the MRAA have combined their resources to provide a great presentation for dealers in attendance. The annual event allows so many of us to reflect on the year and plan for the year ahead. Although many ideas and best practices shared during the forums have been heard many times, it is great opportunity to listen to those that mean the most in today’s environment. All the dealers in attendance strive to improve everyday, and the MDCE provides the content to allow us to do so. The networking opportunity for growing relationships we have had for years, as well as developing new ones is a great benefit to attending as well. Since many of us share the same interests, brands, and market strategies, this was a great opportunity to discuss strategies that may work for our own markets. The Top 100 Gala is such an honor to attend, we are so proud to represent our dealer body in Boating Industry Magazines Top 100 Hall of Fame. Having the opportunity to attend with Tim Schaefer, Michael Galati, and Angela Jackson was the highlight of the night. With Angela having her first opportunity to represent us on stage and hold the 2013 Hall of Fame trophy, it was priceless. So proud of all that represented Galati Yacht Sales; however, the real recognition goes back to Team Galati for their efforts everyday, without them our attendance would not have been possible.
We are so proud of our opportunity to participate and always honored to represent our company in such a great event every year.
Tim Schafer -CFO
I found the MDCE to be a wonderful benefit to my professional and career development in three very distinct ways.
1) TEAM BUILDING. Attending the conference with Darren, Michael, Angela and Matt, we were able to discuss the professional speakers, workshop subjects and other dealers’ opinions and thoughts that we experienced throughout the conference. Reviewing our experiences together helped shape and define how we could apply them to Galati Yacht Sales. Receiving immediate feedback from the team helped me prioritize what we learned, provided additional perspective from each of our different viewpoints and helped me map out a strategy to implement ideas. I really appreciated the interaction with all of you.
2) BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE. The workshops and classes were of a high caliber. I attended classes on leadership, management, profitability, budgeting, yacht brokerage and F&I. It’s important to know the latest trends and current events in these areas and how they may affect our company. I feel even more confident after these workshops, knowing that Galati Yacht Sales is usually (but not always) ahead of the curve based on the information presented.
3) MOTIVATING. Interacting with the Top 100 dealer representatives, manufacturers, floor plan lenders, IT vendors, professional speakers, etc. is truly inspirational. The positive atmosphere of the MDCE is contagious and networking with the various participants provides important insights that may be hard to come by in any other setting. While every industry faces challenges, you gain the sense that there are a number of hardworking and talented individuals striving to improve and push the marine industry to even greater success.
Michael C. Galati – Sales Professional
Attending the Marine Dealer Conference in Orlando was an exciting experience that presented opportunities to network with industry vendors and other dealers. Presentations made by various speakers were very motivational and inspiring. The speakers discussed different tactics for improving sales and then challenged the audience to consider ways to implement them in their own businesses. Attending with other members of the Galati team was very beneficial because we could quickly discuss the sessions and bounce ideas off each other on how to apply them to our business practices. It was refreshing to hear a collective positive outlook on the recovering economy and future of the boating industry. Lastly, as a 3rd generation Galati family member, it was an honor to attend the Top 100 Gala where Galati Yacht Sales was recognized for the third year in the Hall of Fame.
Angela Jackson - Marketing
It was my first year attending the MDCE and Top 100 Dealer Awards for Galati Yacht Sales. Being a Gen3 (third generation), I was nervous and excited. Once I got there, I was overcome with passion, pride and most importantly, inspiration. Jeffrey Gitomer, the keynote speaker, spoke of customer service, sales, customer relations, and coaching your team. What made Gitomer great was his ability to present in a casual and humorous fashion. As he walked the room making funny voices, shouting, and flipping through his witty slide presentation, he made very valid and educational points. He held our attention by keeping us laughing.
The following days I attended a variety of seminars such as Creating Customers for Life to the Industry Leaders Panel Discussion that was held on the final day. Each day exemplified knowledge from countless individual experiences and expertise (ideas that would take a young professional like myself years to gain). The speakers opened the minds of those that have been in the industry to the changing world with seminars titled The New Faces of Boating and Rethinking Social Media 2014. With a whole binder of notes and many new business cards, it was time for the black tie affair, Boating Industries Top 100 Boat Dealers.
Networking with the Top 100 Boat Dealers was incredible and the awards banquet - elegant. Boating Industry announced each dealer on stage, sharing their biggest accomplishments over the years, such as adding additional manufactures to surviving devastating hurricanes and rebuilding their community. Galati Yacht Sales was inducted into the Hall of Fame two years ago and this was our third year to accept the recognition. Darren Plymale, General Manager of Galati Yacht Sales, briefly spoke to all the dealers about having fun with your customers and the importance of keeping that customer relation strong. Speaking from his heart and the heart of Galati Yacht Sales, Darren’s message was genuine. We were all humbled and honored.