Boating Industry Canada August 2015 - (Page 10)
BY ANDY ADAMS
YAMAHA MOTOR CANADA recently announced the promotion of their long-serving head of marketing, Tim Kennedy, to the newly-created position of General
Manager, Marketing and Brand Development.
In an interview in early July, Tim explained he is still sorting through the details
of what his new responsibilities will entail with Yamaha Motor Canada President,
Peter Hastings and VP, Peter Smallman-Tew.
"In essence, I'll be taking on a little less of the 'day-to-day' in order to focus more
on the long-term, big-picture perspective; looking more at the future of the brand
and the future of our marketing activities," he said.
Tim has enjoyed a long history with Yamaha and spent a great deal of his career
in the marine industry.
"I started with Yamaha in 1983," he told us. "It was my first job out of school and
I started in the sales department in the position of Inside Sales. Then, Yamaha created a new department called Sales Promotion and ultimately I became the Marketing
Coordinator, focused solely on our marine business."
Tim worked as a marine specialist on everything from consumer shows to dealer
conferences, creating a variety of marketing materials that included such items as
brochures and point-of-sale items for dealerships.
"I left Yamaha in 1988 and went to work with Formula Publications in print media
sales for about a year and a half," he said. "Working on titles such as Boat Guide magazine, Snowmobile & ATV Sports, Car Guide and RV Guide gave me a good taste of
being on the other side."
Eventually, the Canadian National Sportsman's Shows bought a portion of the
Formula Publications business and came knocking on Tim's door.
Yamaha reached out to Tim again in early 1999. They were looking for someone
to head up their marketing division and he had maintained a lot of relationships with
previous colleagues. After a few months of discussing the opportunity, he decided to
return to Yamaha as the National Manager of Marketing.
Tim has Been with Yamaha Ever Since
As a company, Yamaha seeks employees who are passionate about the products
they sell. In fact, to help staff become familiar with and engage in all of their products, Yamaha provides opportunities for employees to access a variety of equipment
for their own personal use. A lifelong cottager himself, Tim enjoys snowmobiling in
the winter and boating during the summer (he rides motorcycles as well).
With all of these experiences over the years, we asked Tim if there were any particular highlights. He said he has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work
with a lot of really wonderful people. Not only does he feel he's had great mentors,
bosses and supervisors over the years, he's also had the good fortune of hiring a number of great people who have gone on to excel.
Boating Industry Canada
Bringing New People in
That led us into business and the thorny
issue of attracting new people - especially younger individuals - into the marine
industry. The shortage of skilled technicians is something Yamaha considers
detrimental to delivering customer satisfaction in their boating experiences.
"This has been an ongoing issue for
as long as I can remember, and I don't
think there are any easy answers," Tim
said. "I think we need to work not only
as individual manufacturers, but also
together through our industry associations. We need to band together with
community colleges and marinas to find
ways of getting people excited about a
career in the marine industry."
Tim commented that Georgian College
has done a lot to benefit the industry and
to prepare people for a career in the marine
industry. Unfortunately, we are competing
against other industries that are also looking for bright, enthusiastic young people
that can offer higher pay and year-round
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boating Industry Canada August 2015
Impact - Tim Kennedy
Products & Innovation - Marine Tech Crisis
Propulsion - Going for a Ride
Made In Canada - Scepter
Made In Canada - Steelhead Marine
The Boat Shop - NMEA
The Boat Shop - ABYC
Boating Industry Canada August 2015