University Speaker Bios
Ian Atkins has been Group General Manager of YachtWorld/Boats.com since July, 2007, having joined the business just after it was created in early 2000. Initially, Ian led the group’s International Division, and managed the start-up and development of the company’s operations outside North America. Simultaneously, Ian was instrumental in formulating overall strategic direction along with the company founders.
Atkins is a high profile marine industry veteran and has spent over 30 years in the recreational marine industry including seven years as CEO of Europe’s largest boat retailing group and three years as CEO a UK sailboat manufacturer. Atkins is also a committed yacht racer with several national and world championship campaigns behind him.
YachtWorld University image Jessica Muffett, Founding Publisher, architected and designed YachtWorld.com for the Cobalt Group in 1995 before semi-retiring as Publisher Emeritus in 2006. In the early years, Jessica signed up the first 600 yacht brokers, constantly growing and refining the site and service to meet the needs of brokers and buyers around the country. The creation of BoatWizard and SoldBoats.com were natural evolutions.
Jessica co-owned Elliott Bay Yachting Center (timeshare leasing) and Elliott Bay Yacht Sales (a yacht brokerage and new boat dealer for Ericson, J-Boats and Princess) from 1980-1990, and was on the board of the Northwest Marine Trade Association. A former off-shore sailor and devoted fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Jessica remains a consultant for YachtWorld in Seattle and works on special projects.
Joe Lingerfelt has worked at YachtWorld.com for 9 years, and serves as the Customer Service Manager and Technical Support Manager for YachtWorld and Boats.com. Prior to YachtWorld.com, Joe worked was the customer service manager for food.com. He is born and raised in Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He has spent extensive time living and teaching in and still enjoys traveling to Japan.
John Burnham is the Editorial Director for YachtWorld.com and Boats.com, and is also the editor of YachtWorld.com magazine. He served as chief editor of Sailing World magazine (formerly Yacht Racing & Cruising) from 1983 to 2005, and as chief editor of Cruising World magazine from 2006 to 2009. John learned to sail early and has raced sailboats offshore and inshore on both coasts and in Europe, winning national championships in the Bullseye and Shields class and international championships in the International One-Design class. He and his wife live in Middletown, Rhode Island, and, through an intensive course in social media, they are keeping up with their three daughters currently studying in schools from Burlington to New Orleans and Rennes, France.
Jason White is our Director of Business Development. He joins us with over 25 years in the recreational marine industry, the last 15 in marine magazine publishing. His most recent position was Publisher, Scuba Diving Magazine, where he led the transition from print only to print and Internet. Before that he was Publisher of Cruising World Magazine as well as Associate Publisher of Sailing World and Power Cruising Magazine. Prior to a career in print, he was with Lewmar Marine. He lives in Stonington, CT with his wife and two teenage boys.
John Stewart is the Brand Manager for YachtWorld.com. After joining YachtWorld.com and Boats.com in 2005 as a Boats.com Dealer Account Specialist, John has grown within the business, holding several positions including YachtWorld.com National Sales Manager and YachtWorld.com Sr. Sales Manager. John grew up in the Seattle area and studied marketing at Central Washington University.
Michael is a Pacific Northwest native graduating from Bishop O’Dea High School and the University of Puget Sound. He has spent the last six years developing, marketing and selling online business applications. Most recently Michael worked for the Cobalt Group and is a recent addition to the YachtWorld team. He enjoys soccer, kayaking, hiking and spending time with his nephews. He is a Regional Sales Manager representing New England and Eastern Canada.
As Director of Information Technology at YachtWorld.com/Boats.com, Damir is responsible for aligning the information technology vision with business strategy and provides direction in all technology-related issues. He currently manages an IT team of 25 employees, which comprises a product, a development and a systems team. He oversees all technology assets and product development. Damir is a strong proponent of open source software and open standards and is proud that all YachtWorld/Boats servers run the free open source Linux operating system.
Before joining the company, Damir worked for several Internet startups in Germany. In 2000, after his move to Vancouver, he joined The Electric Mail Company as Senior Systems Administrator. In October 2003, he joined boats.com Inc. as Systems Architect. After the acquisition of boats.com Inc., Damir was promoted to Operations Manager for YachtWorld/boats in February 2005. In March 2007, Damir was promoted to his current position of Director of IT.