Triton Networking visits the offices of placement agency and charter marketing company Neptune Group Yachting. Founded by industry veteran DJ Parker, Neptune has new services for entry-level crew. Read more here and make plans to join us on the first Wednesday in September (Sept. 5) at Neptune on 17th Street. Until then, learn more about the company from Parker.
Q. Tell us about Neptune Group Yachting.
Neptune Group Yachting is recognized as a boutique company where we focus on the quality of our service. From a single charter broker, the company has grown over the years into three distinct divisions: a crew placement division, charter marketing division and a charter brokerage division.
Throughout this growth, we’ve remained focused on our commitment to providing the highest levels of service. To this day, we strive not only to meet, but to exceed, our clients’ expectations.
Q. Tell us more about your placement division. That’s sort of new, isn’t it?
Yes and no. Although Neptune Crew is relatively new, we have been assisting crew in their job search for over 20 years. Following the success of DayWork123.com, we decided to come off the sidelines and leverage that asset with our highly experienced crew placement agents to become more heavily involved in this segment of the industry.
Q. So what’s your approach to crew placement?
We started by looking at what’s out there to see what was missing. Our crew placement website makes it very simple for crew to register, and candidates can add or edit their entries any time. We have photos available to everyone, including lifestyle pictures, as well as a video option. And it can be confidential if the candidate prefers.
We also hold ourselves accountable to meeting every single crew member who wants to work with us. We insist on meeting the person before putting them up for a job. It’s about transparency and integrity to our clients and crew.
Q. You have a new service for entry-level crew. Tell us about that.
We started our CV Service last spring. This service is especially welcomed by entry-level crew, and for a nominal fee we’ll help them create an effective CV, format it and make sure the grammar is perfect. A box of personalized business cards is also included. The idea is service.
Q. Many placement agencies don’t spend a lot of time with entry-level crew, knowing that yachts won’t pay a placement fee for green crew. Why do this?
At Neptune Group, we’ve always taken a long view of yachting, so whatever is good for the industry is good for us. We invest considerable resources in entry-level crew because we understand that a steady flow of new crew is vital to the health of our industry.
So even though there isn’t an immediate return, we invest heavily in new crew because we understand these crew are the future. If we are successful, perhaps these crew will remember the extra effort Neptune Group made on their behalf when they become captains and heads of departments.
Q. You have an extensive background in yachting. Tell us about yourself.
In the late 1970s, I left a successful career with the federal government in Washington, D.C., and relocated to the Caribbean where I fine-tuned my sailing skills and was introduced to yacht charter vacations. For over a decade, I worked my way up to captain and developed a well established charter business doing record charters — 30-35 weekly charters a year with myself and a chef. Also during this time, I did two trans-Atlantic crossings and cruised up and down the Caribbean.
I returned to the U.S. in 1991 and, after a summer in Maine refitting a yacht, moved to Florida where I was offered a job as a charter broker in training. After working for a couple of well established international charter companies, I founded Neptune Group Yachting, which was successful from the start.
I’m also involved with several industry groups, including the American Charter Yacht Association (former president), the Caribbean Yacht Brokers Association (former board member), the International Yacht Brokers Association (licensed sales broker), MYBA Worldwide Yacht Brokers Association (member), and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (former board member).
I have proudly served the marine industry for over 35 years in one capacity or another from deckhand, cook, captain and yacht owner to charter broker, advocate, and business owner.
Triton Networking with Neptune Group Yachting is on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 6-8 p.m. at 1003 S.E. 17th St., Suite 200 (33316). No RSVP necessary. Just bring a smile and some business cards. You never know who you’ll meet.