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Shannon's Swan Song

Even writing the title saddens me! But it's true. After over four incredible years at Kadey-Krogen, I have decided to transition out of the company and pursue my Master's in Speech-Language Pathology. Some of you may recall that before I came to KKY I was debating becoming a nurse. As much as I have loved working for Kadey-Krogen and learning about the marine industry, I have continued to feel a pull towards a helping profession.

It was easy to ignore for a while as I flourished at KKY. My job was a blast. I had the best boss. The boat shows were fun. Kadey-Krogens are gorgeous, comfortable, quality boats. "Boat people" are amazing. Social media, digital marketing and marketing communications were becoming bigger pieces of the marketing puzzle. There was a lot to focus on, a lot of responsibilities to take on, always a lot to plan for. After a while that primal, innate pull was back. It was a very difficult decision, but with lots of support from my husband, family, and of course Kadey-Krogen, I began to take the pre-requisite coursework while continuing to work full time.

Anyway, the time has come for me to move on. Calling it a bittersweet transition is an understatement. Even though I am very excited for my future, I have tears in my eyes as I write this post. I recently met the woman who will be taking over my position. Her name is Jennifer Burkett and she will be a huge asset to the company. She clearly has great visions for Kadey-Krogen and it makes me happy they found someone who is excited to learn and bring new ideas to the table. It's definitely a promising union.

I still have my hand in the Fall Waypoints, but before I say farewell to my blog and pass the torch to Jennifer I thought it would be fun to recount my Top 5 Favorite/Memorable Moments. It wasn't easy to narrow down, but here goes!

5. My First Miami Boat Show

I had been at this job for about three weeks before the Miami show. I'm terrified of elevators and my room was on the 55th of 56 floors at our hotel. My Valentine's Day was spent 'buying' six new men in my life a greasy Chinese dinner. Most memorable, or perhaps lack thereof, was our big night out with Yachting Magazine. (Larry loves to tell this story, and I figure I can put it on the blog now. What are they gonna do, fire me?)

Larry and I went to dinner early to grab a drink because his high school aged daughter was on her first date. Then Yachting showed up for more drinks before dinner. Then at dinner there were 7 bottles of wine for 5 people. Then there were after dinner drinks. Then we ended up at the Fountainebleau! I was in jeans and my KKY fleece jacket - needless to say I was the only gal in Miami without a skin tight dress and stilettos on. Oh, and I had forgotten to bring my extra liver out with me for the night. Dennis asked me the next morning why my eyes were orange. Larry got a kick out of this. I'm brushing broad strokes, but let's just say I learned there is a delicate balance between working a boat show and surviving a boat show. 

4. The Floods of FLIBS

For two consecutive years FLIBS was rainy, wet, and flooded! Foul weather gear was donned. Umbrellas were broken. Tents collapsed. I was literally blown down the street by 50+mph gusts of wind. We waded through thigh deep water down A1A to get a "nice", warm meal from Primanti Brothers. It took my Sperries days to dry. Bulldozers were called in to remove the sand blocking the storm drains. It was chaotic. Oh, also there was the moment I tucked my purse in my jacket to make a run for it. People were being very kind and getting out of my way and giving me space. Eventually someone held a door for me and smiled. My co-workers neglected to tell me that I looked pregnant and that's why I was getting all the sympathy. Don't worry! Larry took a picture. 

3. Regata del Sol al Sol

Remember that time Kadey-Krogen sent my dad (an experienced ship pilot) and me across the Gulf of Mexico on a humanitarian mission in an unstabilized, un-paravaned Krogen 39' sans fuel polisher? All of that would have been just fine if the weather had remained as it was the first day. But it got bad. I got seasick and added a second scopolamine patch which caused me to be legally blind and talk to the curtains worse. The motion of the ocean loosened the sediment in the fuel tank which clogged the fuel lines and cut the engine. For two hours we were at the mercy of the seas. I was grateful that the owners were prepared with the knowledge and the tools to remedy the situation. Though I was uncomfortable, I was never scared. I knew what Kadey-Krogens were built for. I knew the boat was tougher than I was! I was very happy when we arrived in Mexico, but truth be told - I'd have done it all over again (with Bonine)!

2. Waypoints/Blog Posts

These platforms were great primarily because it allowed me, and subsequently so many others, to live vicariously through incredible cruising adventures. The Chesapeake Bay, the Caribbean, Alaska, Venezuela, the Marquesas, the Mediterranean and so on and so on. These responsibilities afforded me the opportunity to connect with some really amazing people who were out cruising and living their lives according to the seas and their dreams. These platforms also allowed me to showcase 'me'. It still hurts my heart that my blog posts for 3 years were unable to be recovered once the blog was hacked! However, it was always flattering at the boat shows to be approached by people who treated me like an old friend because they kept up with my writing. It's been fun to get to know so many of you and an honor to be able to help bring your stories to life.

1. The People

I know people aren't technically a "moment", but my absolute most favorite part of my job has been the people. Meeting new prospects at boat shows, building relationships with owners, getting to know the good bad and ugly of my co-workers (ha! I really do love them all), maintaining relationships with publication and boat show representatives, and even building friendships with the competitors. At the end of the day, we all have a shared love of being on the water - there's just something about "boat people." You know what I mean. To everyone I've had the pleasure of working with over the past couple years (only a few are posted below), please know you've made an everlasting impression on me and I hope I've done the same for you. Incidentally, it's my love of people that's fueling the changes I've decided to make. Thank you so much for taking this journey with me! And enjoy continuing it with Jennifer and the rest of the KKY team. I know I will.