2017-09-28 / Community News

Biddeford resident retires after long career with marine association

Stacey Keefer, a marine industry veteran, will replace Biddeford resident Susan Swanton, current executive director of 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 in a press release.

Keefer is no stranger to the marine industry having spent several years working in a midcoast boatyard, as an employee of Maine Marine Trades Association and more recently as boat show manager for Maine Boats Homes & Harbors. She has also served on the Maine Marine Trades Association Board of Directors and in her most recent position has gained experience in the larger world of non-profits.

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 Maine Marine Trades Association. 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 Deptartment of Environmental Protection. In addition, she was instrumental in the creation of the Marine Systems Training Center, a program of Maine Marine Trades Association that focused on providing high quality, high demand training for incumbent workers and co-chaired Maine’s North Star Alliance Initiative, a $14.4 million 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.

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