Stacey Keefer will replace Susan Swanton the current Executive Director of the Maine Marine Trades Association when Swanton retires in early December after 20 years of service. “I can’t imagine a more amazing career than the one I am about to leave. I have loved this industry and its many wonderful people for nearly 40 years. But for the good of the Association, I felt it was time for a fresher set of eyes, a different perspective, and someone with more energy than I can muster – and we will certainly have that with Stacey! It is a real pleasure for me to turn the tiller over to Stacey who I have known, respected, and been delighted to work with for years!” Swanton said recently.
Keefer is no stranger to the marine industry having spent over a decade working in a midcoast boatyard, as an employee of MMTA, and more recently as boat show manager for Maine Boats Homes & Harbors. Stacey has also served on the MMTA Board of Directors and in her most recent position has been gaining experience in the larger world or non-profits. She notes that “I like to say that ‘Maine is lucky to have an incredible amount of incredible’ – much of that is due to our waters, boats, marine businesses, and working waterfront. Over many years I have had the privilege to serve as a volunteer member, on the Board of Directors, and as an employee of MMTA. I am honored to be able to take all my combined experience working in the “trenches” of the marine industry to help move this long-standing organization forward.”
Swanton began her career at Rumery’s Boat Yard in Biddeford in 1979. She spent the next 18 years managing service departments in boatyards, doing inside sales at a marine wholesaler, and managing a well-known chandlery in Portland before making the move to MMTA. During her tenure, she has played a significant role in creating the Maine Marine Trades Apprenticeship Program, the Maine Clean Boatyards & Marinas Program, and many other environmental initiatives in partnership with EPA Region 1 and Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection. In addition, she was instrumental in the creation of the Marine Systems Training Center, a program of the MMTA which focused on providing high quality, high demand training for incumbent workers and co-chaired Maine’s North Star Alliance Initiative, a $14.4M federal grant. Her work has been recognized regionally by US EPA Region 1 and nationally by the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association which honored her most recently with the Dennis Snow President’s Award in 2016.
MMTA Board President Joan Fetsko noted that “We are so grateful to Susan for her unwavering dedication to our members, our association and the industry as a whole. We are sad to see her go, but understand her reasons and wish her all the best in any future endeavors. The Board is equally grateful that Stacey is willing to step into this new role and have every confidence that she will do a great job for us! We look forward to a smooth transition and a great future for MMTA”.
As current Executive Director, Susan Swanton prepares to retire the MMTA Board is pleased to announce the appointment of her successor.