jeff

A well-known figure in the marine industry from his work as the head of sales and marketing for Hering Propellers in Marysville, Wash., Jeff Johnston starts work at Dave's Custom Boats today. As he was at Hering, Johnston will be involved in the sales and marketing side of the custom catamaran and V-bottom builder in El Cajon, Calif. His formal title with the company has not been announced.

"As a senior at San Diego State University, I worked at DCB," said Johnston. "So in a way it feels like coming home. I can't wait to start working with (company founder) Dave Hemmingson, Tony Chiaramonte and the rest of the crew."

The move comes as a surprise to most marine industry observers, as earlier this month Johnston planned to be working for Cigarette Racing Team in Opa-locka, Fla. For "personal and family" reasons, Johnston said he has decided to stay put on the West Coast.

"This was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life," he said. "Skip Braver (Cigarette's owner and chief executive officer and owner) offered me an incredible opportunity, and I couldn't be more grateful and thankful enough for that. I have the utmost respect for Skip and the product his company builds. Cigarette is iconic. Everyone knows that. And Skip has been amazing and understanding throughout the process.

"But for personal and family reasons I decided that I need to stay on the West Coast," he continued. "And I am lucky, so lucky, to have an option from another company that builds incredible products. DCB is the established leader on the West Coast, and to go back to work for a company that I used to sweep the floors for during college is a dream."