Kris came to Defender in 2007 after operating her own marine retail business for eight years on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, home to America’s Cup lore.
She is a Product Manager specializing in the purchase and marketing of electronics for Defender, which means she has to stay current in that ever-changing world where complex, high-tech lines are constantly being introduced to make it easier to navigate, communicate and land that elusive big one.
Kris’ long and detailed experience in boating and the marine industry provides Defender customers with a broad range of the latest in electronics. And her years of wrangling with manufacturers over price and quality means she can help Defender offer those sophisticated electronics at fair prices.
"I’ve been boating since I was born," Kris said. Her family had a summer place on the Bay and some of her earliest boating memories are from her time in a classic 16’ Thompson lapstrake runabout with a 40 hp outboard.
She and her husband, Bob, have owned 27-foot and 32-foot Bayliners, a 38-foot double-cabin Pearson powerboat ‐ "my dreamboat" ‐ and now spend as much time as possible on their 34-foot Pearson Sportfish. They also do all their own maintenance work, make their own winter covers and do other customizing to their needs and comforts.
"These days we mostly take cruises around Narragansett Bay, or hang out in Brenton Cove in Newport and entertain friends," she said. "We share the helm; I take it out and my husband takes it in." Their rescue dog, Charlie Brown, is always with them and has his own inflatable named "Chips Ahoy", used mainly to get him to shore when mooring.
Bob is an engineer and inventor, which led him to design and build a radar arch for one of their boats. That led to more radar arches for others and eventually to Kris’ marine store, where she captured her niche with engine parts, while still stocking the full gamut of products to compete in the very competitive marine retail market.
Bob and Kris also co-invented a multi-vehicle collision avoidance system, which was granted a patent that was recently issued, spawned from Kris’ 45‐mile commute to Defender every day.