Delivering fun since 1981

Since our business was founded, our singular commitment has been to sell fun and exceed our customer’s expectations. As one of the country’s premier marina & hospitality companies, we pride ourselves on creating and delivering joyful, memorable experiences for thousands of guests. While our business has changed a lot over the years, our commitment to our guests, our team, and to delivering a world class experience has never wavered.

We can’t wait to welcome you soon.

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Inspiring lifelong memories by delivering the very best in boating & hospitality.

Our core values

Everything we do is guided by our four core values:

1 1

make it “wow”

anything worth doing is worth doing with “WOW”!

2

make it happen

good things come to those who initiate

our core 03

make it fun

because life’s too short not to have fun

our core 04

make a difference

be generous with your expertise, your time, and your money

Join ourfamily

At Best in Boating Marinas, we’re always looking for new ports. As one of the premier marina operators in the United States, we have the capability of providing both buyout and partnership opportunities for sellers as they end their investment cycle or look to transition to a new stage of life.

As a 100% family-owned company, we are proud to offer:

  • All-cash transactions

  • Straightforward contracts with fast timetables from due diligence to close

  • Deal flexibility with partnership opportunities or seller financing

  • Tax efficient transaction structures

  • Significant deal experience with creative problem solving

  • Seasoned operators that know how to create value

Make a difference

As part of our commitment to Making a Difference, we are proud partners of Freedom Waters Foundation, which enhances the lives of individuals with special needs and veterans through providing therapeutic boat experiences.

Freedom Waters Guiding Principles

1

To provide marine based, social, and environmental programs for unique individuals and their families through direct service and community partnerships.

2

To work collaboratively in this effort with the boating public, marine industries, and philanthropic resources.

3

To offer opportunities that result in feelings of independence, self-worth, and accomplishment.

4

To build a greater sense of community, understanding, and tolerance through sharing individual uniqueness.

Our leadership

Douglas J. Traina

Founder, President and CEO

Doug was fortunate to be able to incorporate his love of boating when he founded Best in Boating in April, 1981 with the purchase of a small marina outside of Atlanta, GA. From humble beginnings, he has grown Best in Boating into a vertically integrated enterprise encompassing nine divisions: Marinas, Boat Sales, Boat Service, Marine Retail, Boat Rentals, Hospitality, Food and Beverage, & Real Estate. Through this growth Best in Boating has grown from two employees to over 500.

With over 40+ years as CEO of Best in Boating, he continues to play a leading role in capital allocation and expansion. Doug received a Bachelors in Engineering from Georgia Tech (’74).

Doug is the proud father of 4 and lives in Naples, Florida with his wife, where he leads a healthy and active lifestyle. He is passionate about philanthropy and currently serves as a Board Director for Freedom Waters Foundation, which enhances the lives of individuals with special needs and veterans through providing therapeutic boat experiences.

Kent S. Gable

CFO

Kent Gable, CPA, has served as Chief Financial Officer at Best in Boating since 2004. Through Kent’s tenure, he has facilitated the creation of the corporate finance staff, establishing effective company-wide systems of internal controls, financial reporting, and operational accountability. He has 45 years of experience in accounting, finance, operations, human resources, safety, risk management, and systems management.

Prior to joining Best in Boating, Kent held leadership roles at several large multi-location companies, including Domino’s Pizza Distribution, Liberty House Restaurant Corporation, and Metro Media Corporation.

Kent is married with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. He and his wife enjoy travel, the arts, and adventure. They have rafted the entire 277 miles of the Grand Canyon twice with a third trip scheduled for mid-2021. He enjoys playing tennis and alpine skiing.

Kent grew up in Southern California and received a BS from Humboldt State University.

Brent Pearson

COO

Brent Pearson joined T.E.I. in 1998 and currently manages the general operations of all properties company-wide, with direct oversight of Boat Storage, Boat Rentals, Boat Sales, and Boat Service. His broad and diverse experience in engineering, design, and operations have been core to Best in Boating’s marina expansions, facility construction, and operational improvements. Through his tenure, Best in Boating has managed 10% annual growth in available slips from construction projects since 1998 (exclusive of acquisitions). Before joining Best in Boating, Brent spent a decade with Ingersoll-Rand Corporation where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Production, Engineering, and Quality Assurance management. With a lifelong fascination of all things mechanical, Brent is a tinkerer and loves motorcycles, woodworking, and precision metalworking. He and his family love boating and spending time on Laker Lanier and Lake Allatoona.

Brent holds a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (’88) and an MBA from Berry College.

Dan Groom

Managing Partner of M&A and Business Development

Dan is Managing Partner of M&A and Business Development at TEI. In this role, Dan’s primary responsibility is to focus on growth initiatives, both organic and through acquisitions.

Before joining TEI, Dan worked in Private Equity at Blackstone in New York and was involved in the firm’s investments in Servpro, Paysafe, and Vungle. Prior to Blackstone, Dan was an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he worked with companies across the Media & Telecom sectors. His transaction experience at Morgan Stanley includes Time Warner’s $85bn sale to AT&T, Univision’s $135mm acquisition of Gawker Media, and Vice Media’s $450mm private placement.

Dan received a BBA in Finance from The University of Notre Dame where he graduated summa cum laude. Having grown up playing several sports, Dan enjoys an active lifestyle and loves skiing, tennis, hockey and golf. He also loves to boat, read, watch Notre Dame football, travel, and try new restaurants.

Charles A. Dixon

Chief Maintenance & Projects Officer

Charles joined Best in Boating 1996. As Chief Maintenance & Projects Engineer, he helps oversee maintenance, master plans, projects, infrastructure, and safety company-wide. He has 28 years of experience in real estate leasing and acquisitions, permitting and zoning, and sales and marketing. Prior to his current role, Charles served as Managing Partner of Outdoor Media Group, an outdoor advertising division of Best in Boating which was successfully sold in 2017. Charles’ efforts and extensive experience were instrumental to the development of a solid long-term base of rental income on billboard land lease sites and two profitable sales of OMG assets.

Charles holds a Bachelors of Business Management degree from Auburn University.

Charles and his wife Monica have 4 children (including a set of triplets!) and are looking forward to welcoming their first grandchild. Charles and Monica enjoy boating, the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with their family.

Brent L. Danneman

Vice President, Boat Sales Operations

Brent Danneman is a 40+ year veteran of the boat sales and service industry and leads Boat Sales for all Best in Boating properties. Under his direction, company-wide annual boat sales have experienced tremendous growth, with net inventory reductions and improved profitability. Brent is proud to have completed all management training courses and programs by Brunswick Inc., the industry’s premier manufacturer.

Brent has served as Chairman of the Education Committee of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, President of the Metropolitan Marine Trade Association, and continues to serve on several industry association Boards of Directors and Committees. Prior to his tenure with Best in Boating, he has owned and operated highly successful Atlanta-area boat dealerships.

Brent and his wife Phyllis have been married for 58 years and have 2 grown children. They live near the water and Brent spends many happy hours teaching his 3 grandchildren how to fish and drive a boat. Brent also has a lifelong passion for collecting and refurbishing old cars.

William M. Archer

Vice President, Boat Rental Operations

William Archer joined TEI in 1990 and currently oversees Boat Rental, Gas Sales, and Ship Store operations company-wide. His management background and extensive knowledge of the marina industry has driven expansion of Best in Boating’s Boat Rental business, with significant growth of both revenues and profitability.

William started his career as a seasonal boat rental attendant, working his way up to where he now serves in his current role.

William holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University with a Minor in Human Resources and Marketing.

William and his wife Beth enjoy traveling and spending family time on the lake with their 4 young children. The Archers live in Cartersville, GA near Lake Allatoona.

David Schaum

General Manager, Resort & Hospitality

David has been a prominent figure in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years. Most recently, he served as the General Manager for the Hilton Washington Dulles, in the Washington D.C. market. For 4 years prior to that, he served as Area General Manager of Hilton Charlotte University Place and Holiday Inn University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Through energy conservation and employee community service efforts, in 2017, his Hilton hotel won the prestigious Hilton Travel With Purpose Award.

From 2004-2015, Mr. Schaum served in several roles at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort, including Director of Revenue and Director of Hotel Operations, culminating as Hotel General Manager from 2012-2015. David drove increases in the Hilton Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking (SALT) Service scores, elevating the hotel from the top 40% to top 1% of ALL Hiltons within the Americas.

David also served as Vice President of Operations at the Panos Hotel Group, for 12 limited-service hotels, consisting of two Comfort Suites, three Hampton Inn & Suites, four Hilton Garden Inns, and three Hampton Inns in the Charlotte area. During his tenure, he guided one hotel through a renovation and two through the final construction and opening phases. From 1990 to 2000, David held a variety of hospitality positions, including General Manager at the Newcastle Hotel and Dolphin Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and multiple Front Office Manager roles.

Finally, David is a proud Veteran having been Honorably Discharged after serving 5 years in the United States Air Force.

David is best known as a high-energy motivator, and for achieving success in fiercely competitive, rapidly evolving marketplaces. He will focus on developing and maintaining relationships with all hotel stakeholders, including brand leaders, owners and vendors, and most importantly – guests. His emphasis on customer service and multi-faceted general managerial skills perfectly complement the existing talent at T.E.I. Industries.

Kevin Allen

Service Director

Kevin Allen joined Best in Boating in 2001 and currently manages the Boat Service division company-wide, including all marina locations and retail stores. Prior to serving in his current capacity, he started his career as a service helper, working his way up the service department where he went on to manage the most profitable location company-wide.

Before joining Best in Boating, Kevin worked at Rocket Marine, which was acquired by Best in Boating in 2001.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Kennesaw State University.

Kevin and his wife Rickie have two daughters and are always looking forward to days on the lake with family. The Allen’s are avid boaters on Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier. Kevin grew up spending most summers as a child on Lake Allatoona boating with his parents and grandparents. He is continuing that tradition by creating the same wonderful memories of boating and being on the lake with his wife and daughters.

Amy Looby

Marketing Director

Amy Looby, Marketing Director for T.E.I. Industries, began her employment in 2007 as a Rental Boat Reservationist while attending college. With a passion for the hospitality industry, Amy has always strived to improve and use her creative talents by constantly thinking of ways to improve operations and enhance the customer experience.

In 2008 she became Rental Supervisor and headed the move from a one room store and gas dock to the now 5,000 sq ft. Port Royale Store and Gas Island. After graduating in 2011 with a degree in Marketing from the University of North Georgia, she was promoted to Rentals Assistant Manager. In October 2012, T.E.I. Industries had an opening for a Marketing Director of which Amy was awarded that position. Since 2012, Amy has redesigned menus for the restaurants, brochures and signs for boat shows, increased social media visibility for all entities, redesigned the website and continually maintains current events, and is part of the core management team.

Amy’s hobbies and interest include two common things, the lake and dogs. She is an active volunteer with Angel’s Among Us Pet Rescue here in Atlanta. She enjoys spending weekends at the lake or doing some kind of activity outside with her pets.

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