Nearly 25 years ago, a couple of strong and long-lasting presences moved to South Florida. Frank Herold became executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) in Ft. Lauderdale and the Carrie B paddlewheel boat began touring the waterways.
In early December, one honored the passing of the other.
“Frank was always an ally for the industry and the Carrie B,” Capt. Steve Jordan said.
Jordan has been at the wheel of the 112-foot boat since before it came to town, and he first met Mr. Herhold at city advisory board meetings in the early 1990s.
“I had to give our guests a heads up that I would sound the ship’s bells to honor Frank,” Jordan said about a tribute he made to honor Herhold. “I told them about how deeply he was involved in the city, the marine industry and the making of this as the yachting capital of the world.”
Jordan then steered out of the center of the Intracoastal Waterway toward the seawall, where attendees stood to hear the bells during a memorial service for Mr. Herhold held at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Mr. Herhold died Dec. 5 at his home in Ft. Lauderdale. He was 75.
Many in the industry said Mr. Herhold helped guide them into and through their careers, like Betty Bauman, who founded Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing about 20 years ago.
“Frank was my mentor, and he was a master networker,” Bauman said. “I admire his kind heart. He would take anyone who needed help under his wing. He made the world a better place.”
Gordon Connell, president of Connell Communications and executive director of Marine Industry Cares Foundation, was interviewed by Mr. Herhold in 2000 for an internship with MIASF. Connell was hired and eventually worked as director of association services under Herhold for 11 years.
“He was my introduction into the marine industry,” Connell said. “And he introduced me to everyone in it.”
Leadership seemed to be natural for Mr. Herhold, Connell said.
“He didn’t set out to be mentor and a leader, it’s just who he was,” Connell said. “Frank just genuinely wanted to help, share his knowledge and introduce us to make things better and people better.”
Jimmie Harrison, owner of Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller, credits Herhold with bringing him out of his shell.
“Twenty years ago I wasn’t involved in civics, the community or even my customers,” Harrison said. “I was introverted.”
Then Harrison was asked to work to create the Fort Lauderdale Maritime Museum.
“I got Frank onboard and even though we were not successful, I enjoyed the people I met and that kept going,” Harrison said. “The vast majority of the people I know are directly because of Frank. He taught me that the more you give, the more you get.”
Kitty McGowan, president of NautiCom Communications, was hired by Herhold after she worked as a chef on yachts.
“He saw my energy and ideas and the best thing he did was get out of my way,” McGowan said. “He championed and cheered on to the finish.”
She said he was the most supportive boss she ever had.
“I would not be doing what I do now if not for Frank.” McGowan said.
Patience Cohn worked closely with Herhold since she began at MIASF in 2005.
“He was a good guy that let you make your own way, but he would guide or tap you back on track,” Cohn said. “He was willing to share and he included you, so you could learn.”
Mr. Herhold’s guidance reached throughout the industry, even to Rick Gladych on the U.S. West Coast. Currently chairman of the U.S. Superyacht Association and managing partner of Raven Offshore Yacht Shipping, Gladych remembered contacting Herhold for advice when the Northwest Marine Trade Association was adding a sailing yacht association.
“Frank was always helpful and offered a kind word,” Gladych said. “And he always learned more about you personally. He knew that made relationships strong.”
Susan Engle, president of EnviroCare Solutions International, served on the MIASF with Mr. Herhold and said they accomplished several issues that have benefitted the marine community. Waterways were deepened, boating programs for kids were created, compromises were reached on manatees and boater issues, legislation was passed to keep waterfront businesses, and Homeland Security regulations were supported.
Mr. Herhold was involved in numerous associations, was commodore of Ft. Lauderdale’s 2010 Winterfest Boat Parade and was named Citizen of the Year by the city in 2007. Before coming to Ft. Lauderdale, Mr. Herhold owned Anchorage-Eau Gallie Marina with his siblings and their families in Melbourne, Fla.
Ft. Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler pointed out photos in the memorial video showing Mr. Herhold with political leaders, industry groups and during award ceremonies.
“He never once made it about himself; he was never front and center, but his ideas were,” Seiler said. “He listened, took your ideas and moved them forward. He was a lesson in leadership and humility.
“I appointed him to more boards,” Seiler laughed. “But he never criticized, condemned or complained.”
Former Mayor Jim Naugle said Mr. Herhold attended every city meeting, often coming early to prepare, and stayed until the end.
“He put in all those hours because he truly cared,” Naugle said. “He will never be replaced.”
Mr. Herhold is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; daughter Pamela (Jeff Tinianow), grandchildren Ella and Dashiell Tinianow, sister Tricia Herhold Brinkman and brother Charles (Jan) Herhold, and nieces and nephews Amy, Ann Marie, Hollister and Howard.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to MIASF Education Fund for the Frank Herhold Scholarship Fund. Please contact the MIASF for details, www.miasf.org, +1 954-524-2733.