HMY Yacht Sales – 40 Years and Thriving
November 1st, 1979 isn’t necessarily a day most would remember. It was a warm fall day much like you’d expect to see in South Florida, but to HMY, it is a day to commemorate. From a rented floating office staffed with a single employee, Steve Moynihan helped launch HMY Yacht Sales to bring aboard the top players in the business and translate his love of boating into the best yacht sales firm in the world.
40 years later, it is still a warm fall day and Moynihan is still at it, working daily to continue growing and guiding HMY while watching it thrive as one of the largest and most respected yacht sales organizations in the country. From that single floating houseboat and the humblest of beginnings, HMY now spans the world’s best yachting destinations with 11 sales offices, 4 service locations, and a team of nearly 100 dedicated sales, support, and service experts.
This is a company built on family values and atmosphere, made apparent by the artwork and photos adorning the walls of Steve’s main office in Palm Beach Gardens. As we celebrate a momentous anniversary, HMY is not done growing – there is still much ahead. Today, like 40 years ago, you’ll find Moynihan and his team at the office or on the docks early, continually building HMY for the future.
We caught up with two long-tenured employees- Anne Tacon, who has been the Advertising Manager for over 24 years, and Tim Derrico, who is the Director of Sales and has been with HMY for 23 years- to get a sense of how HMY has persevered and succeeded over four decades, evolving while staying true to its family-owned roots.
The Early Days
From the very beginning, and as HMY grew to a multiple-location brokerage, Steve sought out the best in the business, then trusted them to make decisions and do what was best for the client. He is a believer that if you take care of the client, the business will take care of itself.
“I started working for HMY on April 21st, 1995”, Anne said. “I was an Ad Manager when I heard that HMY was looking for an Advertising Director. By the time I got home from the interview, (founding Office Manager) Shirley called to offer me the job. I was thrilled!”
“Within about 15 months of working for HMY, I became frustrated with the ad quality we were seeing and decided enough was enough. What our clients needed just wasn’t out there. I went to Steve and told him I wanted to finish classes, buy equipment, and take our print ad design in-house. If we wanted this done right, we’d have to do it ourselves.”
Steve knew he had hired the best, and he trusted Anne to make the call. As a result, Anne may be the busiest designer in the marine industry- HMY does more marketing and advertising than any other firm in the US and strives to maintain its reputation as the industry leader in marketing. When it comes to our listings, using the best boat photography available is standard for HMY.
Tim Derrico joined HMY in 1996, after being drawn to the buzz surrounding Viking Yachts. Tim knew the dealer for South Florida was HMY. Tim said, “We met and I asked Steve what would he think if I wanted to move to HMY?” Steve said, “What took you so long?”.
At that time, HMY was growing. It had two offices, 16 sales professionals, and big plans.
Steve Moynihan, Family, & HMY Culture
From the beginning, Steve focused on people over profit, knowing if you do the right thing by your employees and clients, business will flourish. 40 years later, the same formula is being proven successful and HMY continues to be an industry leader.
Anne says, “Steve is the smartest businessman I know. Everything we can do now with social media and online records; he could do then out of his memory. He is all about family and I feel that is a major factor to our long-term success. Steve wants his employees to stay with him as well as customers”.
“Aside from his family values, Steve’s just a guy with honesty and integrity. We are dedicated to our customers and ensure they are happy. Steve’s a long-term yacht broker- he stands with clients before, during, and after the sale. That’s what you learn to do when you work at this company.”
Tim felt the impact from the moment he joined HMY. Already a seasoned broker with a proven track record, Tim said “My skills and book of business both jumped drastically. I learned a better way to do it from Steve. He is a smart, astute businessman. He just loves to sell boats. That’s all he wants to do. His influence is huge- we’ve all learned from him. He’s a hard-working guy who simply loves the boat business. He’ll be working until he’s wheeled out of there. He has no intention of retiring.”
At HMY, Tim says, “We are committed to selling boats and taking care of clients. Our clients all have their own expertise. This is ours. Simple as that. Clients’ needs come first”.
This focus comes from Steve, since day one, Anne says. “Steve can tell you every boat he has ever sold, who he sold it to, when he sold it, and all the details of the boat. It’s uncanny.”
The family atmosphere is what attracts customers and employees to HMY. Loyalty and respect for one another cannot be replaced by profits or margins. This is the kind of place that employees stay for 20+ years, building long-term relationships with clients.
The Next 40 Years
The big reason for HMY sustained success is that there’s no resting on laurels. There is no cruise control. There is a constant question of “How can we improve and what can we do better?” The best companies adapt. The others are no longer in business.
When it comes to the future, HMY leadership is dedicated to having the best of the best in the industry and giving them the tools to succeed. We are all doing what we love. When our people thrive, the company thrives, the customers thrive. This is just as Steve intended from the start.
Tim shares how recruiting talented employees has shifted over the years, but the constant measure has been a strong work ethic and a desire to go above and beyond. He says, “Our team is stocked with smart, adventurous brokers who are unafraid to try new paths. In the past we had some incredible sales team members come from being captains or mechanics. Now we are seeing more MBA’s and business-minded young sales talent. We are always looking for that competitive edge, that ‘it’ factor that promises to deliver the service our clients deserve. We’re looking past ourselves and making sure the pipeline is strong with talented people who love boating as much as we do. Our clients are in good hands.”
Steve Moynihan and the entire HMY team would like to thank every employee and client of the past 40 years.
To our customers: Thank you for placing your trust and confidence in us. We are proud of the long-term relationships we’ve built over decades of good business, and we look forward to taking care of every customer who walks through our doors.
To our employees: Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and belief in our mission of excellence. We have built something truly great, together.
Here’s to 40 more years of thriving!