YachtWorld founder honors marine advocates through new foundation
February 16, 2012
Filed under News
SEATTLE – Launched in 1995, YachtWorld.com has become an online hub for brokered boat sales, and today YachtWorld.com Founder Jessica Muffett is leveraging that popularity by creating recognition for organizations devoted to preserving marine environments.
Established in 2011 as the nonprofit arm of Dominion Enterprises’ YachtWorld.com, the YachtWorld Foundation will annually select one beneficiary nonprofit organization as well as individual YachtWorld Heroes who promote awareness and protection of marine environments.
The YachtWorld Foundation aids awareness of both the beneficiary organization and the individual heroes by promoting their causes on many of Dominion’s properties, including YachtWorld.com, which receives more than 2.5 million visitors each month, Muffett said.
“We want to promote these marvelous companies and people using our bandwidth, so to speak,” Muffett said. “With so many different eyeballs coming to our sites, we are using what we have.”
In its inaugural year, the foundation chose the International SeaKeepers Society as its beneficiary. SeaKeepers provides funding and assists the scientific community in working to protect the world’s oceans.
During the process of soliciting nominations for the beneficiary, Muffett said the number of inspiring and worthy candidates influenced her to create YachtWorld Heroes, which honors one person in each of the four categories: Defending our Ocean; Joy of Boating Crusader; Marine Industry Professionals Changing the World; and a fourth category for individuals who do not fit in the previous three.
SeaKeepers along with YachtWorld Heroes Alex Braden of Encompass – The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust; Mark Schrader of Around the Americas; John Weller and Debra Frenkel of the Freedom Waters; as well as the United States Coast Guard will be honored at a ceremony during the Miami International Boat Show.
The foundation recently launched its website – YachtWorldFoundation.com – where it shares the story behind each honoree. In its first year, Muffett solicited many of the nominations from her friends in the marine industry, but going forward, she hopes visitors to the website will nominate their own organization or individual.
“Whether you are a business group, builder, association or a boat owner, we encourage everyone to submit a nomination for their hero,” Muffett said. “It is a collective thing, not just a YachtWorld venture.”
Today, Muffett said the foundation is still in a fluid state. She likes the various categories it honors but is not opposed to adding more. Muffett also said she plans to form a board of directors so both Dominion and those outside the company can help grow the foundation and further its mission.
“Nothing is better than working with a group of volunteers who have so much hope, passion and belief in their work,” she said. “Volunteers often have thankless days, and this recognition possibly freshened their sails.”