Mike has been with Smoker Craft, Inc for 25 years and is currently director of sales. Smoker Craft is the 3rd largest boat manufacturer in the US and the largest family owned and operated manufacturer. They manufacture Smoker Craft, Starcraft and Starweld Aluminum brands, Sylvan, Sun Chaser and Starcraft brands of pontoon boats, and Starcraft Fiberglass deck boats and center consoles.
Mike served on the Board from 2008-15 and was Chair from 2012-2014.
What do you most appreciate about NMTA?
I appreciate that the NMTA is not just a show promoter, like we see around the country. NMTA works on behalf of their members to not only put on one of the best boat shows in the country, but to work on advocacy issues affecting all of our businesses.
What’s something the Board worked on/helped impact during your involvement that you’re most proud of?
While I was on the Board we voted annually to fund a grand prize boat package and support the NW Salmon Derby Series as part of NMTA’s Grow Boating initiative. I firmly believe these events and other events we funded and supported with marketing and PR lead to increased boating and fishing participation and a more healthy retail boating marketing for Washington State.
(Editor’s note: We’re very proud of our unwavering commitment to Grow Boating. Since 2003, NMTA has spent more than $2 million to promote boating in the Pacific Northwest, something no other marine trade association has come close to. NMTA’s Grow Boating program is funded through a surcharge on square footage rented at the Seattle Boat Show.)
Personal boating history:
When I was young, we lived in Hastings, Minnesota, which sits on the Mississippi and St. Croix river, and we would boat most weekends.
I learned to boat and my first boat was a fiberglass over wood – utility boat, powered by a vintage Mercury outboard. My parents had to give me a ration of gas each day or I would spend 100% of my time running up and down the lake, fishing for panfish and perch. When I was a little older, my Dad upgraded me to a Forrester speedboat with a 90HP Mercury. As a bonus, it had navigation lights, so I could boat in the dark!
Currently, we own a 14’ Smoker Craft utility boat, a 17’ Boston Whaler Montauk for crabbing
and have a demo 2024 Starcraft 211 SVX Deckboat and multiple kayaks and paddle boards.
Favorite place to go boating:
We have a cabin on Camano Island (Iverson beach) and our kids have grown up boating off Camano Island. Every weekend during the summer you will find us boating in Port Susan. We love to drop crab pots and while they are soaking, we use our Starcraft to explore and tow our kids on tubes.