MarineMax CEO marks 40 years in the industry

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MarineMax team members surprised CEO Bill McGill with a party as he passed his 40-year milestone on March 26.

McGill’s son, Brett, who is vice president of MarineMax’s West Operations, presented the avid water skier with a Goode slalom ski to mark the anniversary, MarineMax spokeswoman Abbey Heimensen told Soundings in an email.

From a spy plane test engineer to a NASA astronaut at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., McGill’s career path took him back to the thing he’d loved most as a child — “barefooting” on the water any chance he gets, McGill told members of the press at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October.

McGill moved to Florida with his family and joined a group of entrepreneurial boat dealers to form MarineMax.

“A lot of people focus on what they sell, but very few talk about why they sell,” McGill said at the event. Selling the “why” is the key to marine industry success, he said at the event. McGill might have hit on something — MarineMax is now the world’s largest boat retailer with 55 locations.