Where Are They Now? Patrick Green

• Catching up with 2018 Kevin Lodder Scholarship recipient Patrick Green, General Manager, Tobler Marina

Patrick Green, General Manager at Tobler Marina, believes in legacies, caring for people and rapid response. In fact, for this scholarship check-in, he took action and answered within an hour after he received the request. Green, a 2018 Kevin Lodder Scholarship recipient who was recently added to the MRAA Educational Foundation Board, views himself as a student of the marine industry.

Where Are They Now? Patrick Green
Patrick Green, General Manager, Tobler Marina

Q: You have worked at three dealerships since you started in the industry as a teenager. What changes have you seen firsthand in the last 20 years?

Green: A lot of changes with the manufacturers. I’ve always heard about brands going through cycles, but it’s been cool to see it firsthand. You never know who’s coming out with the next big thing, and what brands will squander in the face of change. This goes for the dealers as well. The competitive nature of new models, new products, etc. Lots of technology is being implemented in the dealer space. This is a double-edged sword, in many cases, and can create inefficiencies when dealers succumb to the data-driven systems and lose sight of the people.

Q: You have served as GM at Tobler Marina since 2020, will you describe your typical business day?

Green: My typical day is all over the place, working on landscape projects, customer issues, boat deals, marketing and staffing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember I work with boats! We’ve added roughly 15 employees in the last two years, which is always a challenge to manage and implement new concepts.

Q: Can you reflect on the Spader Total Management 1 Workshop and how it helped you improve in your role at Tobler Marina?

Green: Spader Total Management 1 was a heavy week. I felt like a boomer trying to learn how to use the internet for the first time. After coming back to the dealership, we reviewed the best practices and I still use the 1 Dollar chip daily. Integrating the best practices, we were able to continue to fine-tune existing concepts at a deeper level. This encroached into pay plans, margins, work schedules, etc. It also helped me take the next step through 20 groups and in telling the “story” when it comes to numbers.

Q: How has it influenced your decision-making?

Green: I think anything Spader-based is going to influence decision-making. Often folks will mistakenly take the reactionary standpoint when decisions need to be made. Total Management 1 helps format what’s important at the end of the day, and it really comes down to the people. Anyone can put a bunch of numbers in a box, and say this is how it has to be, but if you don’t support the people, you’ll never get there.

Q: How did the Spader Total Management 1 Workshop and training help you when Seattle Boat Company purchases Tobler Marina late in 2023?

Green: It gave me confidence in our team and our ability to navigate change. An acquisition is never easy, and focusing on fundamentals is all you can rely on. We have changed a lot in the eight months, but those fundamentals are what help drive the ship forward.

Q: You’re a part of the Pacific Northwest marine history as Tobler Marina dates back to the late 1940s. How are you committed to using your training and passion to continue that legacy?

Green: Legacy has always been big for me. It was important for me to find a space that supported a sense of it. I found that at Tobler. Tobler has been unique, as it’s a brand that has changed hands over the years but has been able to retain its identity in the Pacific Northwest for many years. My commitment and what I preach is to live up to that brand and represent it as though it were your own. We do this through our values and people. If you can’t live up to your values, then you’ve got nothing to stand on. We train for this every day.

Where are they now? Patrick Green
Patrick Green has seen many personal and professional changes in the last five years, but says he looks forward to continuing to find the path to a sustainable career in the boating industry.

Q: In your experience, a dealership’s efficiency is a critical element in its success, so what tactics have you used from the workshop training to keep yourself and your team on task despite the persisting challenges in the industry?

Green: Support and support roles are huge. Identifying the holes when you get to “read the story” from the data. We did an exercise at our first planning activity this past fall with the new crew from Seattle Boat Company, where we broke down a deck of cards into suits. We used a few different scenarios using more people, less people, talking, no talking, etc. Activities such as this help communicate efficiency to the whole team. It’s one thing if the management team understands efficiency, it’s another thing if the whole staff can “get it.” Creating these senses of urgency is critical and has a lasting impact on the operation as a whole.

Q: What are some reasons why you’re thankful Tobler Marina presented you with the opportunity for the Kevin Lodder Scholarship?

Green: The scholarship was ironically one of the reasons I chose to work at Tobler. Reading through the lines and creating opportunities for oneself is tricky. But understanding where you sit, and how you’re going to get where you want to be, is critical for momentum in any career. It’s easy for folks to get caught up in an environment that doesn’t support training, progression and growth. Moving to Tobler opened the door for me to do those things and, ultimately, the scholarship. I always find it funny when people consider themselves experts in their situations and carry the attitude “been there, done that.” They are usually the ones who end up stagnant and missing out. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

Q: Why is it vital for marine retailers to nominate or apply for the MRAA Educational Foundation Scholarships?

Green: I’ve always heard the statement, “What if we train this person and they leave?” Well, what if we don’t train this person and they stay? The scholarships are FREE MONEY! — free education and free training. Why wouldn’t you try to take advantage of that? As an owner of a dealership, don’t you want employees who have the drive to learn more? It always surprises me when I hear of dealer principals/owners who discredit the educational opportunities that are available to their staff. So often these leaders seek control rather than opportunity. It’s vital to your own success!

Q: Business aside, what has changed for you over the last five years?

Green: I got married, had a kid and turned 35. I think the biggest change has been adapting to change and becoming a student of the marine industry. Learning more about myself and my motivations. I think prior to this I was always along for the boat ride, but now I’m looking forward to continuing to “read between the lines” and finding the path to a sustainable career in the boating industry.