Vincent Valdes, President and CEO
Vincent Valdes is responsible for strategic
planning, product development, marketing, and
Vince Valdes is the son of Richard Valdes,
the original founder of Columbia Yachts, who
built the company into an industry-dominating
firm. Vince Valdes' upbringing developed a
passion for sailing and boat building. His
father's enthusiasm allowed him to develop
his knowledge of the art of boat building and
business management from a very early age.
As Vince Valdes grew up, he worked with his
father in his various boat-building firms at
boat shows, running product demonstrations,
and teaching new owners the ways of their purchase.
Sailing and boat building are integral to Vince Valdes' life story.
During his youth, he was rigger/commissioner for Lancer Yachts (another
of Richard Valdes' successful sailboat ventures). Later, he worked with Mediterranean Yachts teaching
clients piloting and seamanship skills.
Mr. Valdes regularly serves as a skipper or
crewmember on a variety of cruising and racing
sailboats, and most recently sailed the 2001
Trans Pacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to
Honolulu aboard "Bull," winning first
in class and first overall.
He has completed "bow to stern" restorations on three
of his own sailboats, two of which were Columbia 5.5 meters. He
is an active member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
Vince Valdes felt that a strong background
in finance and the careful planning and assessment
skills that accompany the finance profession
would be crucial to any future personal business
venture. With this in mind, he honed his skills
during the past 10 years in the structured
finance industry at Bankers Trust, Deutsche
Bank, and most recently at KPMG.
Mr. Valdes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree
from University of California at Los Angeles.
Richard "Dick" Valdes, Principal
Valdes was the founding investor in
the Columbia Yacht Corporation, bringing unparalleled
experience and skills to the company. He was
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mediterranean
Yacht Corporation. Mediterranean Yachts
manufactured a line of luxury sport fishers until his retirement in 2008.
Two 38 models and a 54 model ranging in price from $250,000 to $1,000,000. These boats were sold factory direct to the consumer and shipped to more than 22 countries.
Dick Valdes founded the original
Columbia Yachts in 1958, and built the company
into the worlds largest fiberglass sailboat
manufacturer by the late 1960s. He sold the
company to Whittaker (listed on the NYSE) at
that time, but retained his position as President
of Columbia Yacht Corporation and was instrumental
in the development of the Whittaker Marine
Group, which ultimately included Bertram Yachts,
Trojan Yachts, Riva (Italy), Desco Marine (Florida),
Kettenburg (San Diego), and Balboa Marine (Newport
Beach). Total sales of the Whittaker Marine
Group reached between $250 to $300 million
in the early 1970s during Valdes tenure.
In 1974, following his departure from Whitaker
Marine Group, Dick Valdes established the Lancer
Yacht Corporation, which manufactured a line
of sailing yachts and high-speed motorsailers
ranging in size from 25 to 65 (14
models). Lancer Yachts was sold to Bally (listed
on the NYSE) in 1983.
Dick Valdes has established a reputation for market
intuition, timeless designs and best of breed engineering/production
practices. Under his direction, Columbia developed and perfected
the one-piece unitized fiberglass interior production method for
large sailboats and pioneered the use of balsa sandwich construction
in large boats. Dick Valdes engineering and production methods
allow him to build vessels of superior quality that can be sold
at a lesser cost to the consumer than the competition.
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