RMK Merrill-Stevens Employee Spotlights September 2021

October 05, 2021
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RMK Merrill-Stevens Employee Spotlight: Jack Schneider, Compliance Manager

“RMK’s philosophy is to treat the customer as if they are the only boat in the yard.” – Jack Schneider

Jack Schneider saw first-hand what happens when boats are not shown the care they need and deserve. “While working for another shipyard and seeing how large yachts were being damaged, I became aware that RMK Merrill-Stevens was building a new ship lift capable of lifting vessels up to 230’,” says Jack. “I wanted to become part of that team and help RMK become a world-class shipyard.”

We recently spoke with RMK Merrill-Stevens Compliance Officer Jack Schneider for our RMK MS Employee Spotlight Series. Jack has been with RMK MS for nearly four years and oversees Compliance for both RMK MS North and RMK MS South. “I work to make sure we stay OSHA compliant, and I’m also responsible for maintaining the state, local, and federal permitting,” says Jack. Jack has held several positions with RMK MS over the past four years. “(I) started in purchasing, then Construction Project Manager for the North Yard, Vessel Project Manager at the South Yard, and most recently, I have become the Compliance Officer for both shipyards.”

Each participant of the RMK MS Employee Spotlight Series is asked about their most unusual or interesting job before joining the team. Jack has a unique and rich background in the marine industry.

“I have had a very fulfilling and interesting career in this industry over the last four decades. Highlights include building the composite superstructure for Yas, a 468’ yacht in Abu Dhabi in 2008. But the most personally satisfying project was when I worked with the Italian design group Pininfarina, building plugs for Magnum Marine. I was essentially taking the designers renderings and creating full size mock-ups, then wooden plugs. The process was very creative and when we finished the project, I was offered a job in Turin with Pininfarina, to work on prototype sports cars.”

Jack Schneider has overseen hundreds of projects both on and off the RMK MS yards. At RMK MS, Jack is most proud of the work that completed the construction of the new RMK MS North Yard. “Getting the ship lift commissioned and the yard open during the height of the pandemic was perhaps the most difficult project I have ever been involved with,” says Jack. “When I started on the North yard, we had no power and I had two 55-gallon drums as a desk,” he continues. “Ultimately, we rented a mobile office and ran a generator 24/7 for 6 months until FPL power was finally online.” Jack and the RMK MS North team overcame constant obstacles to completely transform the yard and make it not only fully operational, but one of the most advanced and updated yards in South Florida. “Our clients know us and trust us with one of their most prized possessions; that’s very satisfying,” says Jack.  

The three words Jack uses to describe RMK MS are “full keel capture.” RMK MS has the rare and highly desired ability to offer full keel capture, which protects large vessels while hauling in or out of the yard.

The 2,700MT Pearlson shiplift is the largest lift of its kind in South Florida and allows RMK MS North to haul yachts, superyachts, and even large power catamarans safely and securely.

To keep things light during our Employee Spotlight Series interviews, we also ask each employee for their favorite line from a movie. Jack mentions “You can’t handle the truth,” which is from A Few Good Men starring Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Tom Cruise. “I have used that line to interject humor when giving a captain bad news,” says Jack. “Captain, Lloyds has just condemned both of your shafts; new ones are three months out.”

RMK MS is currently hosting a career campaign that will bring several dozen new employees to the yard and the Health District here in Miami. When asked for his advice to prospective job candidates, Jack says, “Don’t get into this industry unless you have a true passion for boats.” Jack continues, saying, “The money will find you if you have a good attitude and possess a passion for anything that floats.” View available careers at RMK MS here.

Jack finished the interview by saying he is looking forward to meeting captains, crews, owners, and others at the upcoming Forth Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 27-31. RMK MS will exhibit in the Yacht Builders Tent in Booth #715 at the Bahia Mar location. We hope to see you there!

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