Smooth Cruising: A perfect partnership is at helm of Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville |

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Smooth Cruising: A perfect partnership is at helm of Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville
Smooth Cruising: A perfect partnership is at helm    of Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville

     For a myriad of reasons, business partnerships can be problematic. Getting two people to effectively run a company together, through differences in style, strengths, and weaknesses, is more the exception than the rule.

     Who gets the final say? Whose priorities take precedent?

      But when it works, when the partners are able to utilize their unique skill sets and keep their egos in check, the result can be as sweet as Ben & Jerry Ice Cream.

      When Lisa Almeida and Kevin Seelig discussed forming a partnership to purchase a franchise of Freedom Boat Club in 2011, they never dreamed the business would have grown this large, this fast.

      “We think we have a perfect partnership,” Almeida said. “We respect each other, listen to each other and trust each other, and I have a high respect for Kevin’s skills”

        When Almeida and Seelig purchased the Jacksonville franchise of Freedom Boat Club six years ago, the franchise had only 11 boats, 110 members, and a troubled history.

       With Seelig handling finance and operations and Almeida sales and marketing, the two went to work quickly to upright the ship.

        In short order, dock staff was hired and trained, new boats were ordered and various special events held to bring people to Julington Creek Marina, where the franchise is based. In 2011, the second location now  added 5 more boats in St. Augustine.

      Almeida and Seelig put an emphasis on customer service, taking such extraordinary steps as occasionally washing members cars while they were out on the water. Almeida, taking on the alter-ego of Lisa the Boatanista, became a local media celebrity, appearing regularly on Jacksonville radio and television.

     The club steadily added more members and new boats. It now serves 600+ members, who can choose among 64 boats.

      “I couldn’t imagine a better partner than Lisa,” Seelig said. “She is knowledgeable, passionate and tireless. And even though she is strongly opinionated, she is willing to listen to me and not always demand her way.”

      The results have not gone unnoticed.

      Both Almeida and Seelig have won various honors in recent years. Almeida recently was named the Women’s Up and Coming Entrepreneur of the Year in Jacksonville and Seelig was honored as by Boat Industry Magazine as one of the 40 Under-40 in the marine industry.

     The Jacksonville franchise of Freedom Boat Club has also earned national honors for its success.


About Freedom Boat Club

Freedom Boat Club is the world’s largest members-only boating club. It is a simple alternative to boat ownership. Freedom Boat Club has locations locally at Julington Creek Marina in Jacksonville and Camachee Cove Marina in St. Augustine. Members have unlimited access to the home club’s fleet and can reserve a boat using a member-friendly online reservation system. Member privileges are also available at any of the 135 Freedom Boat Club franchises throughout the United States and Canada. Each provides a fleet of boats that come with less stress and a lower price tag than owning a single boat. Freedom Boat Club offers a variety of membership plans.  For more information, visit

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