Based in Hollywood, Fla., Performance Boat Center of South Florida has hired Mitch Van Gent as its new general manager. The 30-year-old Michigan native previously worked for seven years at Skater Powerboats in various capacities, though he spent most of his time at the Douglas, Mich., company in the rigging department. Van Gent left Skater two years ago.
Straight out of Michigan, Van Gent, his wife, Kaylee, and their three daughters now call South Florida home.
Performance Boat Center co-owners Brett Manire and Mark Waddington, who are based at the flagship full-service powerboat dealership in Osage Beach, Mo., interviewed Van Gent extensively before offering him the position. They even had him join them at the recent record-setting Cigarette Owners Rendezvous they hosted with their staff on Lake of the Ozarks. During the weekend, Van Gent toured each department at the dealership and was familiarized with its processes and procedures.
“Mark and I looked long and hard to find the right person and we met with several candidates for the job,” said Manire. “We were very impressed with Mitch and his down-to-earth, patient and relaxed demeanor. Mitch is going to be our go-to guy in South Florida and we are very, very excited about it.
“We bought the store in South Florida last May and it’s really good for Performance Boat Center to have a home there,” he continued. “But we want our customers there to have the same high-quality experience they have at our Midwest location. Mitch is a Midwestern guy and he brings the same kind of Midwestern, family-oriented values we apply here in Missouri to South Florida.”
Van Gent, his wife, Kaylee, and their three daughters—four-year-old Lacey May, three-year-old Taylor Rae and 1-1/2-year-old Gracelynn Ruth—have already relocated to South Florida.
“I met with Mark and Brett and came down here before I committed to anything,” he said. “We needed to know if we could see ourselves moving our family here. We decided we could and we made the move.
“We have a great group of knowledgeable, collaborative people who can accomplish anything together,” he said. “All of the employees here are committed and have a passion for the industry. I just want to collaborate, maximize all of our knowledge and skills and move this ship forward.”