Thank you much for this nomination. I am very honored to be considered!
I’m twenty-five years old and while my home base is in Arizona, I travel nine months out of the year as a stewardess and deckhand. I’ve always loved the vast wonders of the ocean, so after obtaining my Associate of Arts degree in Organizational Management, I researched avenues in which to make a living doing what I loved. I have recently opened “YachtInspired”, (https://yachtieinspired.com/) online retail store and would love to share with you my journey.
In September, 2017, I obtained my yacht crew certifications from the SuperYacht Crew Academy in Newport, Australia and have worked as a stewardess and deckhand on many different yachts across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and the United Kingdom. This year, I have a contract to work as a Deck/Stew in Spain. It has been delayed due to the current Coronavirus tragedy, but hopeful our world will normalize and praying people stay healthy.
I published my first novel, The Girl and the Golden Leaf, in 2018. The story focuses on a teenage girl, Tia and her twin brother, Finn who hope to find a way to escape poverty after the recent deaths of their parents. As whitewater rafting guides out of West Virginia, they meet a Hollywood film producer who offers them an acting role in Chile. The opportunity takes a devastating turn. The story uniquely touches on many injustices and social issues that span the globe – namely children in poverty and slave trafficking. I optioned the screenplay adaptation to producer Philip Spilker’s Hollywood-based Metrostop Entertainment and we are currently searching for funding.
Volunteering for organizations that support children in need and conservation have always been a large part of my life. Comfort Cases (https://www.comfortcases.org/) that supports foster children and The Conservation Project International (T-CPI) (https://tcproject.co.uk/) are two of my favorite organizations. In August of 2018, Harry Wright who is T-CPI’s CEO, provided me with the opportunity to volunteer as an Assistant Researcher and Deckhand for The Dolphin Project out of Ischia, Italy. I spent eight weeks onboard the Jean Gab, a 1938 sailboat, volunteering for this wonderful organization. As Assistant Researcher, I focused on cetacean observation and identification to include Photo-ID, behavior, acoustic protocols, data collection, and equipment maintenance. Additionally, I performed deckhand duties and assisted volunteers with cooking and cleaning duties.
Fitness on board a yacht is important for the physical and mental health of crew and guests. I completed my 200 hour Yoga Instructor course in Bali, Indonesia so that I could offer yoga onboard.
When I returned home from Ischia, I wanted to find a way to earn money for some of the non-profit organizations, to include T-CPI, so I opened an online retail store called, YachtInspired (https://yachtieinspired.com/). I mentioned earlier that I have worked on many different yachts. I discovered fairly quickly that the leadership style, onboarding experience, culture, and teamwork varied significantly from yacht to yacht. These variables played a significant role in whether a crew member stayed for the season or left the yacht early.
Employee engagement, motivation, productivity, safety, and retention are key factors for a successful yacht. I wanted to provide convenient and meaningful products for Captains and leadership to have in their tool box to say “Welcome” “Thank You” and “Well Done!” I customized welcome packets and spot awards for Captains and leadership to assist with retention, motivation, engagement, and productivity. Additionally, I designed “Yachtie” inspired clothing, accessories and drinkware. My “Sea Our Love” theme speaks to the love and respect we have towards the Ocean, Sea Life, and those we work and live with each and everyday onboard a yacht.
Ten-percent of all profits go to my non-profit organizations and I hope to increase this amount year-over-year. Contained within this store is my Sea Blog where I highlight Yacht Crew Members and other sea related and conservation projects. I will be launching a new design line in the next month that highlights Conservation and Wildlife Protection.
Thank you again for your consideration! I am so proud and happy to be a team member of the yachting family!