Michelle Hitchcock from MDL Marinas Ltd is the first woman in the world to be accredited as a Certified Marina Professional (CMP).

MDL Marinas’ Michelle Hitchcock has become the first woman to be presented with the Certified Marina Professional (CMP) certificate.

The award is given by the Global Marina Institute (GMI), and is designed to recognise the skills and experience of those working in the marina sector, but not directly managing marinas.

Hitchcock was given the certificate at the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference in Amsterdam, which was held on 17-19 November 2016.

She has been working at MDL Marinas Ltd since 1999 in a variety of roles but is now the company’s head of business development.

Hitchcock is responsible for the firm’s training development and delivery, the monitoring of customer service and quality and overseeing all operational aspects of business systems throughout the group’s 100+ marinas located across the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

Upon receiving her certification, the sailor for over 20 years commented: “I am honoured and proud to be awarded my CMP accreditation by the GMI. This is a major highlight of my career, made more special as the presentation was in front of an audience of my peers at the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference.”

Can Akaltan was also presented with his Certified Marina Manager (CMM) certificate during the conference.

Akaltan is general manager at Cesme Marina in Izmir, Turkey.

Building on his successful career as a yacht captain, he joined Cesme Marina as the marina manager and has since been promoted to the position of general manager.

Akaltan remarked: “I feel privileged to be awarded the only internationally recognised certificate in the marina industry for marina professionals. It is also a great pleasure to become part of a very special group of industry pioneers.”

The chairman of the GMI, John Hogan, said he hoped the presentation of the Certified Marina Professional certificate to Hitchcock would open doors.

“It is good to have our first female CMP, particularly as she is from Europe, to add to those marina professionals already certified in Australia and Asia,” he stated.

“I am hopeful that Michelle will pave the way for others who work in the industry to look to CMP as a way of developing and recognising their talents. It is also good to see another CMM recognised in Turkey,” he added.

The GMI has awarded 130 active CMMs and CMPs across the globe and looks to continue this growth into 2017.

British Marine contributes to this by running a series of GMI marina management courses in locations across the UK and Europe.

Pippa Wilson

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