As the old adage goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For two of the newest Sea Tow franchise owners, that saying couldn’t ring truer.
Sea Tow Southern Connecticut’s Capt. John Bilski and Sea Tow Freeport, NY Capt. Dave Nockler share a similar background after the duo worked a combined 40-plus years in corporate America. Formerly an insurance wholesaler and a financial collateral manager, respectively, Captains John and Dave had both grown tired of sitting behind a desk for 10-plus hours-per-day.
Within the last several months, both men traded their desk chairs for the helm of a Sea Tow boat. Spending every day out on the water, both men have a love for boating, fishing and helping others.
“I’ve always been on the water – salt water is in my DNA – so when the opportunity to take the reins at my local Sea Tow franchise came along, I just couldn’t pass it up,” Capt. John said. “It’s been so rewarding being out here every day helping people and just having the opportunity to work on the water rather than being glued to a desk chair.”
In his free time, Capt. John extends this love of service by volunteering with people with disabilities, coaching Little League and even donating blood and bone marrow.
“I truly believe in the importance of giving back,” he said. “Laying down on a bed for eight hours to donate bone marrow or volunteering in the community is something I happily do to help improve the lives of others.”
Capt. Dave echoes these sentiments. In less than two months after taking over Sea Tow Freeport, he’s found that his favorite part isn’t just being on the water, but rather being the one that’s always there when his fellow boaters need it most.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to help people,” Capt. Dave said. “It makes me happy, bringing them safely back to port, helping them jumpstart their boat or whatever else the job may entail. It’s so rewarding in that way.”
As they work up to their first anniversary running Northeast United States franchises, both Capt. Dave and Capt. John look to build upon the legacy laid by their predecessors.
Both men strive to bolster already-impressive membership numbers, Capt. John said he plans to introduce new programs, such as “Sea Tow Family Day,” where local boaters will be invited to spend a day mingling and getting to know the local police marine unit, Coast Guard and other families who share that same love for the water.
“I have kids and pets of my own, so I know how much boating and family go hand-in-hand,” Capt. John remarked. “I want to ensure families are able to take full advantage of that by practicing safe boating and getting to know the people they’ll see out on the water every day.”
In Freeport, Capt. Dave has plans to team up with marinas, fuel docks, boat dealers and others within the local marine community to ensure Sea Tow remains the name and brand that everyone wants to hear.
With Capt. Dave and Capt. John in charge, the future is bright for the Freeport and Southern Connecticut franchises.
“I think that if you love something and truly have a passion for it, you’re going to succeed,” Capt. Dave said. “I love the water and I love this business. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”