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Commentary: A Fond Farewell To An Essential Teammate

Invicta watch fans know Ryan Johnson, speedonthewater.com’s former national advertising manager, from the talk-show format television program hawking the affordable timepieces. For those folks, he is simply “Invicta Ryan,” the dashing and charming dude who co-hosts the show.

But my speedonthewater.com colleague Jason Johnson and I know him as a kind and thoughtful family man, a devoted father to his two daughters and one of the building blocks of this website.

We first met the Minnesota-based Johnson, not to be confused with California-based Johnson who is the co-publisher of this website, when we all worked for Powerboat magazine. He came aboard to sell print advertising, but like everyone at Powerboat he ended up wearing many hats, from boat-wrangler to hand-model, the latter of which he actually was before we met him.

Flanked by speedonthewater.com photographer Pete Boden (left) and co-publisher Jason Johnson during the 2019 Speed On The Water Miami Boat Show Party, Ryan Johnson helped build the daily news site into what it is today. Photo by Brian Radtke copyright MediaOne7.

Captivated by the go-fast boating world the moment he arrived at Powerboat, Johnson was a natural to help build advertising revenue a few years after we launched the site in 2009. He knew the marketplace and had good contacts from his Powerboat magazine days. His industry reputation was iron-clad. People liked him.

Equally important, he had a full-time gig with Invicta, because advertising sales for speedonthewater.com was not a full-time job.

Regardless, Johnson was essential in developing the revenue side of the business. As he did at Powerboat magazine, he handled whatever was needed to keep things running smoothly. And that ranged from creating budget-tiered advertising proposals and invoicing to fetching water for dockside coolers and representing our media brand at events.

To borrow from the baseball world, Johnson was a utility player, and one of unending positivity and good cheer. But he was and is more than that to this company. Johnson was and always will be our dear friend. He is family.

Per today’s news story, Shelby Mattingly is stepping into Johnson’s role. We needed more time than he has to devote and someone more deeply connected at the participant and consumer levels in the go-fast boating world. But Johnson still will be involved with special promotions and marketing initiatives for speedonthewater.com as they arise.

Thank you, Ryan Johnson, for all of the time and energy you invested in making our business—literally the only one of its kind in the powerboating world—a success. For 10-plus years, you were exactly the man we needed.

Take a bow.

Related story: Shelby Mattingly Joining The Speedonthewater.Com Team