SWFMIA PRESS RELEASE – Jopie Helsen named “Member of the Year”

FORT MYERS, FL — Jopie Helsen, owner of the Sailor’s Wharf in St. Petersburg, FL was named “Member of the Year” by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association at its recent annual dinner.

“Jopie has been an outstanding advocate of the marine industry for many years and has played a huge role in the growth of our association in the Tampa Bay Region,” said SWFMIA President Hans Wilson. “In particular, his role in protecting the interests of recreational boating in the development of St. Petersburg’s Master Plan for their downtown waterfront is a classic example of what drive and determination can achieve. The marine industry is very fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Jopie is to the boating lifestyle.”

The inscription on the award reads:
“Lead Me, Follow Me, or Get Out of My Way”, General George S. Patton
(Or, was it Jopie Helsen?) Many people have great ideas and good intentions, but few have the focus and drive it takes to carry through. Fortunately for the Marine Industry, Jopie Helsen is one of those few. His success as a world-class racing sailor, a boat manufacturer, and since 1978, owner of St. Petersburg’s The Sailor’s Wharf Yacht Yard is well known. Jopie’s leadership and energy has been the catalyst in the growth of the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association in the Tampa Bay Area. He has worked tirelessly to educate business and government leaders on the economic impact of recreational boating, the need to responsibly manage Southwest Florida’s magnificent waterfront, and the importance of promoting the boating lifestyle to residents and visitors. Husband, Father, Business Owner, Marine Industry Veteran, and Friend.

Thanks Jopie for all you do.