This time in 2004, Captain John Ward was just coming off a long and successful 10 years in the United States Coast Guard and was ready to kick off the next chapter in his life. That March, he looked toward the future as he purchased his hometown’s Sea Tow franchise in Destin, Florida, but he had no idea just how much his life would change over the next decade and a half.
Fast forward 15 years and Capt. John is one of the most established and well-known captains throughout the wide-ranging Sea Tow network. He now owns four franchises across the Florida Panhandle and North Carolina and is a key member of Sea Tow’s Disaster Response Team, where he’s helped in recovery efforts in well-known storms all across the American south – beginning with Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina in 2004 and ’05, and most recently jumping into action following Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Capt. John even helped during the recovery efforts following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010.
It’s been a busy 15 years for Capt. John, but he’s never stopped moving forward. Since purchasing Sea Tow Destin in 2004, he’s hit major personal and career milestones nearly every year.
In 2007, he expanded his business after purchasing nearby Sea Tow Pensacola. Two years later, he was handed Franchise of the Year honors at the Sea Tow Annual Meeting in 2009. In the decade since, he’s opened two additional franchises at Lakes Norman, Wylie, Gaston and Kerr in North Carolina and has welcomed two children to his family.
Throw in multiple awards for outstanding membership growth and a busy 2017 that saw him appointed as the chairman of the towing industry’s premier trade organization, C-PORT (Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing), and it becomes clear that Capt. John has had quite the career as a tow boat operator.
Although he leads a busy life on the water, that doesn’t stop Capt. John from staying focused on what matters most. In his free time, he spends time with his wife and kids. His 6-year-old son plays tee ball and races go-karts and his 4-year-old daughter does dance. Needless to say, Capt. John is always on the move.
However, that doesn’t stop him from always keeping an eye on the future – a trait that he says has played a major role in his career development up to this point.
Today, Capt. John serves as a board member for C-PORT and remains active on the Sea Tow Disaster Response Team. He has no idea what the powers at be might throw at him next, but rest assured, whatever it may be, Capt. John will be ready.
Has Capt. John or his crew ever helped you or your loved ones? Share your story in the comments below!