November 2, 2021 – Manhattan Beach, CA-based De Forest Search recently placed Kevin Williams as vice president of North American marketing at National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “We have been so happy with the team, the process and the quality candidates from De Forest Search,” said Kate Plush, vice president of HR at National Marine Manufacturers Association. “They are so conscientious about keeping us up to date on all activity and we love the weekly update calls.”
“We could not be more excited to have Kevin as part of the team—he brings deep marketing experience to NMMA from major brands and agencies where he’s led initiatives that shape and build brand strategies, help brands better connect with consumers, and ultimately grow business,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president marketing and communications and chief brand officer. “As we work to welcome the next generation of boaters, who are more diverse than ever before, Kevin’s experience and leadership in multicultural marketing and diversity and inclusion will help recreational boating meet the ever-evolving needs of our consumers and position us for the future.”
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Mr. Williams brings more than 25 years of marketing experience to NMMA. Most recently, he co-founded Fortitude Interactive Inc., a marketing technology consulting firm focused on brand strategy, content development and syndication, as well as intellectual property in the digital, social, and mobile age. Prior to launching Fortitude, he was head of multicultural marketing and diversity and inclusion initiatives for BMW of North America LLC., where he facilitated multicultural marketing strategies and initiatives designed to reach, engage and motivate diverse consumers for BMW, MINI Cooper and BMW Motorrad brands. Mr. Williams’ resume includes marketing roles with GlobalHue Advertising, Merge Consumer Marketing, SWAY Marketing Group and Coca-Cola.
Mr. Williams will translate his experience to the outdoor recreational boating space and bring his leadership expertise and experience building multi-dimensional media models to National Marine Manufacturers Association as they continue to expand their multi-cultural consumer market. In this new role created in support of the NMMA’s strategic plan to expand the market for recreational boating, Mr. Williams will oversee the industry’s Discover Boating campaign and the integration of the Discover Boating brand with boat shows. This includes all of NMMA’s paid media, digital marketing, consumer-facing content and social media, and creative as the association works to invite the next generation to the boating lifestyle.
“I’m honored to have been chosen by NMMA to lead the development of innovative marketing strategies and campaigns designed to reach, engage, excite and introduce the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts to the boating lifestyle,” said Mr. Williams. “I look forward to working closely with our NMMA team, members, exhibitors, and the recreational boating industry to bring strategic and exciting Discover Boating initiatives to market.”
The National Marine Manufacturers Association is dedicated to advocating for and promoting the strength of marine manufacturing, the sales and service networks of its members, and the boating lifestyle. It is the nation’s leading trade association representing boat, marine engine, and accessory manufacturers.
De Forest Search is dedicated to recruiting top professionals for positions ranging from manager through the executive vice president level. While the firm is widely known in the toy and entertainment sectors for filling marketing, licensing, branding, sales, and design positions, it has grown to include many other industries and types of positions. The recruitment team has served clients ranging from small privately held companies to Fortune 200 companies.
De Forest Search recruited Ron Johnson as the global head of consumer products at Riot Games. Executive recruiters Cheryl Wright and Suzan Rude led the assignment. “Ron brings outstanding expertise and passion for building franchises and we are thrilled to welcome him to Riot,” Jarred Kennedy, global head, IP Businesses at Riot Games, told License Global. “Players and fans are asking for more ways to engage with the characters and worlds of the League of Legends Universe, and Ron is the perfect leader to help us identify and deliver product experiences that will delight fans worldwide.”
Jill De Forest founded De Forest Search over 25 years ago. Under her leadership, the firm has grown into a nationally recognized recruitment firm and has been successful placing thousands of mid-management through senior executive roles in almost every major city in the U.S. in a variety of industries including lifestyle consumer products and experiences, web and app based SaaS direct to consumer products and services, and industrial manufacturing.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media