Dr. Thomas Dammrich, DBA
I have know Wanda Kenton Smith for nearly twenty years. A creative marketer, with extraordinary insights into the recreational marine industry, I worked closely with Wanda during her tenure as Chairman of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council's Diversity Committee. Wanda was among the first to sound the call that the future of recreational boating depended on the industry's ability to reach beyond its current customer base to draw in more women, and more minorities.
As Chairman of the Diversity Committee she rounded up a talented and diverse group of industry professionals to put together the industry's first educational program to help dealers, manufacturers, marinas, boating schools and others understand that reaching out to these new markets was not only good business, it was the future of the industry. A series of educational videos created under her guidance provided testamonials of marine companies who had grown their business by being inclusive of Asian, African Americans, Hispanics, and women. She spearheaded the effort to change the focus from diversity to new markets and inclusion of those under represented in boating. Her efforts to raise awareness and change thinking have been successful, even though we still have a long way to go.
Wanda has lead marketing efforts for employers and clients ranging from boat manufacturers to boat clubs. Highly respected, Wanda also founded the Marine Marketers of America and the Neptune Awards that recognize outstanding marketing in the marine industry. She must be one of the best known marketing professionals in the boating industry and contributes a marketing column regularly to Soundings Trade Only. She not only keeps up-to-date with current trends but is constantly looking over the horizon for the next trend or next big thing before others.
Wanda is a great communicator, writer, speaker and presenter. She knows marketing and she knows marine marketing and has done it all from video to print to digital. I highly recommend Wanda Kenton Smith to anyone looking for marketing expertise and vision.
Public Safety Advocate & Nonprofit Advisor
Wanda is knowledgeable, articulate and a pleasure to work with. Our project benefited from her experience, integrity, and thoughtfulness. I trust Wanda and would recommend her to anyone looking for successful results.
Hardy L. Pelt
Founding Member/ Chief Revenue Officer at Urban Edge Network, LLC.
I had the distinct privilege of working with Wanda at Kenton-Smith Advertising and Public Relations. I have never witnessed a more creative, dedicated, or detailed person, (then or now), in the marketing/PR industry! If you are looking to brand, market or drive messaging, Wanda Kenton-Smith is essential to have on your team!
Seasoned Program Director & International Trade Expert
I have had the pleasure of working side by side with Wanda in the marine industry for years. Her pleasant and positive demeanor, very savvy and marketing skills and dynamic personality all contribute to her ability to effectively facilitate connections and promote her clients' businesses. I see Wanda and her work everywhere and am convinced she's found a way to clone herself!
Aviation/Marine Editor, Robb Report
Wanda has been a 21-year columnist at Soundings Trade Only magazine. I had the pleasure of editing her marketing column for the two years that I was editor in chief. I've found her to be knowledgeable about new trends in marketing, a consummate boating industry insider, and, vital to any editor, able to meet deadlines. Beyond Soundings Trade Only, I've known Wanda for nearly 30 years in her different jobs and volunteer functions across the boating industry. She has been a consistent cheerleader for the industry through its ups and downs, while always moving ahead with her own career path. She also has a larger-than-life personality that lights up any room.
Norberto Pete Caballero (MBA)
Director of Sales Operations at INVINCIBLE BOATS
Wanda is the benchmark within the marine industries for marketing activity due to her strategic focus and tactical precision. Her professionalism, creativity and thoroughness is on full display with every campaign she leads. A great balance of leadership and being hands-on also makes her an inspiration to all. She is very well respected by colleagues and considered legendary by many.
Media Consultant at Cox Media
Wanda is a passionate Marketing professional who has an extremely high level of expertise and experience in developing Media plans and strategies, and negotiating to build client value in that regard.
Editorial Director at Bonnier Corporation
I run three brands, including the world's largest powerboat magazine, BOATING Magazine. As a result, I deal with the gamut of marketing and PR professionals from large shops to individuals and from independent companies to in-house departments. Among these Wanda Kenton-Smith stands out for the responsiveness, knowledge of the market, team building and ability to bring me, and my team, content proposals in a way that captures attention, doesn't waste our team and suits the desires of our print readerships and digital audiences. I give Wanda Kenton Smith my recommendation and offer any interested persons to reach out to me for more information about my decades-long business relationship with Wanda Kenton-Smith.
Owner/Founder Marilyn DeMartini, Inc. DBA PR Power, FIT Lauderdale, Vitality Living
Wanda Kenton Smith is one of the most organized, clear and communicative professionals I know. Her longterm experience in various facets of marketing gives her a broad range of skills and a mindset that adapts to whatever the client needs. Chances are she has done something similar for another client in another instance that provides the background and expertise to execute the new task or project in record time. Her "rolodex"--both physical and digital--is huge and her relationships position her to easily and quickly get feedback, cooperation or needed tools from her many fans.
If you want to get a marketing or writing job done well, Wanda Kenton Smith should be your first call.
Owner/GM at Regal & Nautique of Orlando
Wanda is creative and has outstanding writing skills . I have used her for several projects and highly recommend her. She is knowledgeable and persistent in finishing the task at hand.
Sales Manager at Soundings Trade Only
Since I consider myself a life student of marketing, I consider Wanda a life teacher.
Her approach to marketing and advertising combines equal parts of art and science, and the resulting creative strategies are based on the bedrock of quantitative and qualitative research.
Her resume is packed full of successful case applications of her marketing prowess, and she is tirelessly dedicated to both her clients, and the future health and wellness of marine industry.
If you want your company’s brand to grow with the times, you want to talk to Wanda.
Wanda was an ENTUSIASTIC and innovative market strategist for us. She was instrumental in bringing the professionalism of our company to a new level and our brand awareness to a new high.
International Film PR, Marketing and Distribution Specialist
Wanda is not only one of the most proficient and professional people in her field, she does everything with an extra touch of class and compassion. She always follows through on her word and produces results that either meet or exceed the client's goals. It's always a pleasure working with Wanda and I look forward to it each time.
I highly recommend getting in touch with her and considering her outstanding capabilities to bring your business to the next level.
Business Development Specialist
"I worked for and with Wanda for roughly two years and could not have had a better employer/ mentor. Her invaluable coaching and insights helped guide me in the industry.
Wanda is extremely versed in all levels of marketing and PR, she driven and extremely organized. She clearly understands today's media world, the strategies of networking and fostering those relationships in order to provide solutions for her clients. Additionally, she's persistent without being abrasive and gets results. Her years in the business lend credibility to her work and I would recommend Wanda without hesitation."
General Manager of Southeast Marine Sales and Service
I have worked with Wanda over the past 20 years. She is incredible when it comes to delivering exactly what you asked for. The process she uses is extraordinary and delivers the results you need for any marketing campaign. I highly recommend Wanda.
President & CEO at Regal Boats
Wanda is an exceptional marketing executive. She accomplished some amazing things as Director of Marketing at Regal Boats. In addition to her superb marketing skills, she is great person of high integrity.
VP Marketing, Business Development, Product, Strategic Partnerships, New Program Development, Strategy.
Wanda provided PR services to a client company that we both helped launch, My-Villages. Over the four months that we worked together, she helped put the company on the map in the marine industry. She knows the PR, media, and publicity business cold, and is superbly connected throughout the marine industry. She a great business communicator, personal communicator, and just plain fun to work with. If I have the chance to work with Wanda again, I will jump at the opportunity.
President at Asgard Consulting, Inc.
Wanda and I have worked together on a variety of projects over the past two decades. Wanda has an extremely diversified catalog of talents and jumps right in to tackle anything that is presented to her. She has a great deal of enthusiasm that is infectious and makes you want to work with her.
Group Publisher, Cruising World, Sailing World and the NOOD Regattas
I've worked with Wanda on a variety of projects over the years and can recommend her as a high energy, creative marketing and public relations pro. We've worked together on programs and projects for Hunter Marine, Mainship, Sail America and Marine Marketers of America among others.
Her approach is always strategic and well thought out. She's got incredible drive -- once she focuses on the goal she doesn't let up until she delivers the goods. You can always count on Wanda to get the job done and get it right - on time and on budget.
Project Manager/Safety Director
I have had the opportunity to work with Wanda on several of our companies advertising and public relations projects. She is highly committed and very passionate about her work and has always provided Marinas International with a professional product. It’s a real pleasure working with Wanda and I look forward to do it again
Regional publisher at St. Petersburg Times, Retire
Wanda, a natural leader, is creative, intuitive, responsible and works easily with diverse personalities.
Editor, On The Fly
I have long admired Wanda's marketing successes for her companies -- strategies, campaigns, deliverables. I had an opportunity to work closely with Wanda when she founded Marine Marketers of America. So, behind her long list of accomplishments, I know this: She sees the way ahead. She initiates. She collaborates. She leads. She stays on course.
Working in Business Licensing
Worked with Wanda promoting a new company here in the states. She was able to get us the exposure that we wanted and was helpful in getting me interviewed on a world wide radio program. She is a pleasure to work with and goes above and beyond to help you reach your goals.
Marine Industry Consulting | Project Dev & Mgmt | Mktg & PR | Writing & Editing | Small-Business Startups | 5K+
I've known and worked with Wanda for more years than either of us would care to admit, at various times, I for her, she for me, and as colleagues. Wanda is one of the most knowledgable and talented people I know when it comes to marine marketing and advertising. Few can match her practical know-how in program development, creative management, cost-effective media selection, public relations, and event planning. I highly recommend Wanda to anyone who needs to get a first-class, professional job done on a reasonable budget.
The World's Greatest Vacations
The passion, profressionalism, knowledge and niceness, is second to none.
As we were developing the SailTime business we had the significant challenge of educating an industry and marketplace of a new concept and idea. We hired Wanda and her team to help up launch SAILTIME in the US, which included strategy consulting, branding, creative, media buying, PR, collateral and web content support.
We were extremely pleased with the work and the results of the efforts put forth in these areas until we brought this work in house. Wanda has a deep knowledge of the marine industry and the players involved and would be an asset if and when you ever need these services.
Columnist, Active Interest Media (Soundings Publications)
In a world filled with leaders and followers, doers and procrastinators, wave creators and wake riders, Wanda Kenton Smith has been a marketing leader, doer and wave creator for the 20+ years that I have had the pleasure to work with her or read her long-running marketing column in Soundings.
Years before it became fashionable, Wanda was at the forefront of the push to encourage the boating industry to look beyond middle-aged white males and seriously consider women as a market that deserved to be served. More recently, she has almost single-handedly created and nurtured along Marine Marketers of America, a non-profit designed to bring together the many disparate practitioners of this craft in the marine industry. Creative to a fault, Wanda is the person to see if you want to get your message out and about.
Sr. Communications Executive and Media Trainer
Wanda Kenton Smith is a true champion for her clients and an authentic public relations guru with her finger always on the pulse of her clients' most important audiences. I had the privilege of working for from Nov. 97 - Aug. 00 at Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations.
On a daily basis I witnessed the strategic way she applied her enourmously creative mind to make a difference in her clients' business -- the fuel that keeps this lady's motor running. And unlike many of the undisciplined aritsts of our day, Wanda's advertising and marketing creativity is as functional as it is aesthetically pleasing. She ensures it's so with a supremely strategic approach to media buys and public relations placements. I wholeheartedly recommend her as the communications professional that can help you acheive your most mission-critical business goals.
Senior Vice President, Gill North America Inc
Wanda did a great job for Gill in the area of PR . Very organized and thoughtful approach.
Senior Level Publishing Professional
Wanda's media buying strength is impressive. She understands the importance of research-based decisions and strategic positioning of brands. She knows that campaigns will fall flat if media buys aren't given the proper research and study. Wanda see's "beyond the brand," and examines media proposals closely for their ability to deliver both core audience and new markets in the most cost-effective means available. But she does more than that. Wanda looks past cost-per-thousands, and uses her imagination rarely seen in media buying. She's always searching for a unique "spin" that enhances media and builds long-term partnerships between client and media.
In the 10+ years I've worked with Wanda, she always impresses me with her search for new ideas. She works closely with media to offer unique directions in media that showcases her clients message and breaks through today's media clutter. Wanda is a credit to her trade, and a valued team member for any client she represents.
Executive Director at Water Sports Foundation
Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Wanda Kenton Smith on two occasions - the first as a provider and the second as a client! We both remained in the marine industry staying in touch for more than twenty years until opportunity knocked in 2019. Since August of 2020, Wanda's firm has served as the public relations provider for a U.S. Coast Guard non-profit outreach grant and I've learned, again, that Wanda has special talents, not usually found in most individuals. She has an inexplicable ability to see projects in a more universal and global way.
Our most recent project started as just a tiny idea and now more than two years later, we’re at the exciting onset of a massive outreach launch. During this time, Wanda’s ever-expanding vison for the project continually amazed the team and over the past few weeks our little project began to look more and more extraordinary each day. I applaud Wanda’s persistence for perfection – it’s certainly made a difference for the Water Sports Foundation!
Senior Reporter and Social Media Manager at Soundings Trade Only
I have interviewed Wanda several times to include her expertise and unique point-of-view on the boating industry in articles I have written. She is always skilled at both giving me what I need for my article and for giving the boating industry a boost -- something that helps her clients, whether directly or indirectly. I have written stories based on press releases she has sent my way, because she has the news sense and experience to know what will hook a reporter.
She is always professional and engaging, while also being candid and down-to-earth. She is easily accessible -- a crucial asset for success in PR. Whenever I need to reach one of her clients, Wanda is always able to set it up easily and quickly, with little or no work on my part.
Wanda writes a regular column in Soundings Trade Only, a publication I write regularly for, and is an incredibly skilled writer, using insight that can only be obtained by somebody who has been immersed in and passionate about the boating industry for so long.
Owner, Mount Dora Boating Center
Wanda created our brand new newsletter "The Beacon" complete with signature masthead graphic design that got rave reviews for our customers.
Editor at DIY Boat Owner
Wanda is a tremendous strategic marketer and a terrific colleague.
We have worked together at the Marine Marketers of America, a professional development organization that she founded, and I have watched as she has conceptualized and organized events that drew hundreds of people -- and kept them smiling and interested.
As a marketer, she can see around corners. Decades in the business have proved she can read the winds and adapt in a hurry, a trait I have seen firsthand. I have collaborated with her on advertising accounts, where she has provided her clients with insightful and highly informed representation. Her decisions have cost me business at times -- but they were the right calls for her clients, the calls I would have made.
Wanda is also a pleasure to work with. She is organized, efficient and creative -- a consummate pro.
Senior Executive-Business Development-Sales/Marketing
Wanda is a dynamo, plain and simple. She is always energetic, creative, and a pleasure to partner with on industry initiatives.
President - WaveLink Marketing
Wanda has worked for Sail America, the national trade association for the sailing industry, since 1998 on a variety of projects including the nationally acclaimed Discover Sailing program, PR, educational newsletters, annual reports, advertising campaigns and regular member communications.
Wanda has been a pleasure to work with. She really knows her stuff and is a very efficient worker. In addition, Wanda has been active on various Sail America committees and has volunteered countless hours. I am currently working with Wanda on a couple of projects and recommend her highly for any marketing or communications-related work.
Director, Field Development Operations at Rodan + Fields Dermatologists
Wanda delivered for my project exactly what we needed to reach our potential customer base. The collaboration on ideas and creativity made our project not only strategic but fun! She pushed the envelope with creativity and disruptive advertising pieces. Our customers positively responded to our campaign.
Wanda is also some one who is flexible to work with in all aspects of the business. She is very detailed and has the clients' needs always first in her mind. She is an expert in aspirational advertising!
I highly recommend her for consulting within Marketing and Advertising whether you are a small start-up business or a large corporation.
Dennis B. Smith
Owner at Restoration 1 of Orlando, LLC
Wanda and her organization did some excellent marketing and advertising work for our company. Very professional and shed light of different ways to market and advertise our products and as a result we had some very successfull advertising campaigns that were very well received in our industry. Great person to work with, was very responsive to our needs and always willing to go the extra mile to make our programs work and work right.
President at Grow Boating, Inc. (dba Discover Boating)
Chief Marketing Officer at NMMA
Wanda is a well respected marketing consultant with the ability to assist in several different disciplines. Wanda has helped our association in several capacities and has always gone the extra mile. Wanda has over the years donated signifiicant time and resources for the good of the numerous industry initiatives. She's a valuable resource and certainly someone that I would recommend.
Strategic marketing guru and top-notch relationship builder.
Expert at driving innovation within organizations.
Wanda was not only a an extremely creative and saavy businesswoman, but also one of the nicest and most ethical individuals I've had the chance to work with. If you have the chance to work with her, I couldn't recommend it more--she's great!
Courtney Redd Chalmers
Director of Marketing at Dominion Marine Media
Wanda is one of the most dynamic marketing professionals I have had the pleasure of working with in the marine industry. Her experience and energy is highly sought after, and it's easy to see why after meeting her just once. Wanda's ability to lead seminars and forums with the keenest eye to the industry's hot topics make for a receptive audience and an entertaining learning experience. Wanda encourages professional networking and brainstorming at each of her events, and as a participant, you feel as though you are making a difference in the industry. I highly recommend Wanda as a marketing and public relations professional and an integral player in the marine industry.
MarineMax Fishing Lifestyle Marketing Manager
I have worked with Wanda for at least 20 years in various capacities. I had the pleasure of having Wanda as a client when she was the head of marketing at Regal Boats. Her extensive marketing talents helped propel Regal to a world leader in pleasure boats. Most recently I worked for Wanda for the past 5 years at Kenton Smith Advertising and Public Relations. She is an excellent motivator and extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of marketing and public relations. Her media savvy helped myriad clients benefit from orchestrated display advertising buys and schedules with value added programs from the various publications.
Although Wanda has a strong background in traditional marketing strategies and tactics, she is a creative thinker and is not afraid to get out of the box, learning new of extending brands through the Internet and forging new relations with online and multimedia outlets. Wanda has applied the skills and techniques she learned in the marine marketplace to many other markets including healthcare, manufacturing, service providers, business to business, etc.
In addition, Wanda is an exceptionally prolific writer providing copious copy writing for magazine articles, brochures, display advertising, press releases and scripts for broadcast and multimedia.
Most importantly, Wanda is passionate; about her clients and their success, her employees and their careers, her family and their happiness. Her passion for her clients, coupled with her organizational skills and unbridled energy, keeps Wanda focused on the task at hand, allowing for exceptional results, on time and within budget.
Working with Wanda over the past 20 years has been an important part of my personal marketing education, knowledge and growth.
Owner, Singleton Marine Group
Our company relied on her for the launch of our new Name and several new stores. She help put us on the map. Very easy to work with and she know her stuff.
CEO and President of Lighthouse Consulting Group, Inc.
Wanda brought an important outside perspective, credibility and deep experience to the client's branding and marketing conversation. Her findings and recommendations gave the group real direction, which we've implemented with measurable success.
Wanda comes highly recommended. During my time at Kenton Smith I learned many details about advertising & the marine industry. A great leader, Wanda is keenly tuned into her client's needs with a razor sharp business sense. She is fun, talented and determined.
Manager, Global Marketing Westport HD
My search for a Marine Public Relations firm ended once I met Wanda and her team. She is not only knowledgeable but extremely well connected in the Marine Industry. She works hard and is extremely passionate about her work. I believe that she is one of the few that can say she truly loves her work. I hope to maintain a long-term professional relationship with her and can count her among one of my industry friends.
Marketing Director at Wolny & Slanda, PLC
Wanda Kenton Smith is a industry marketing veteran with an exceptional background in public relations and advertising. I had the pleasure of working with Wanda for seven years at Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations, a leading agency with global, national and regional clients. Under her leadership, the agency earned international and domestic awards and accolades for creative advertising and public relations excellence. I think Wanda is a powerful, dynamic personality who always gives her clients the benefits of her distinctive expertise in marketing, public relations and advertising. I've always admired Wanda's ability to network extensively within the marine industry as well, even taking a leading role in founding a new organization: Marine Marketers of America. With her contacts and creativity, Wanda brings a very strong portfolio to work for all of her clients.
Owner at Fire Works Media
Working with Wanda on the Discover Sailing program was one of the most elating and gratifying creative sessions in my 20 year career. Others in the fields of Production Planning, Scripting and Directing could truly take inspiration from her intuition and creative workflows. During the post-production of the 'award-winning' Discover Sailing campaign, it was apparent that Wanda possesses a natural talent for, not only preparing for every contingency, but instilling all around her with confidence and enthusiasm. Every aspect of this job from planning, scripting, field production, detailed shot acquisition, support materials and final assembly of the video - to print ads, DVD packaging and distribution, web promotion and everything in between - was seamlessly unfurled like a glorious spinnaker at the International Rolex Regatta. Working with Wanda Kenton Smith is so much fun that you won't even notice until after the job is delivered just how much attention to detail had been artfully paid during the process. I unreservedly and proudly recommend Wanda for any project you may need expertly executed on time and on budget - and I selfishly hope that I may have the grand pleasure of working with Wanda on that project. She is the best and when you work with Wanda...you give her your best!
Barbara Jean Walsh
Lining up new guests for ProBoat Radio is an ongoing challenge, and several times Wanda came forward with not just suggestions but with the contacts I needed and served as the link to make those shows happen. No surprise, they were some of the most successful ones we have aired to date.
Experienced entrepreneur / top-level executive
with exceptionally broad business skill set.
Wanda provided excellent services matched to our company's situation and needs. At the time we engaged Kenton-Smith, the American Sailing Association was in a growth mode and without the resources to afford a typical, full service PR firm. Wanda's company took the time to understand our top priorities and tailor an affordable solution that addressed our needs. Her firm met all deadlines and expectations, and I would recommend her services highly!
In addition, Wanda was a featured speaker at ASA's two, bi-coastal national conferences. Her presentation on marketing ideas for small businesses geared to the owners of our sailing schools ranked at the top of all presentations in a post conference scoring by attendees--a major endorsement of the quality she provides.
Expert at working! - Consults local and national companies to develop, design and restructure business creating
It is a delight to work with Wanda, she is professional, insightful, and personable. She balances her excellent sense of detail and organization with an open-minded ability to be part of a diverse team. She knows her market and is extremely thorough. With her wonderful rapport with the customers and internal staff she consistently went above and beyond in terms of schedule and quality. I would welcome the opportunity to have her on one of my teams again.
Video television producer writer
I worked for Wanda for three years. During that time I was impressed with her knowledge of the marine industry, marketing and PR. Her confidence and leadership of our team was based on that solid foundation and the strategies she had in place for her clients that we served. Most of all, I learned from her that customer service meant meeting the needs of the client on time, professionally, and to always exceed expectations. I was always amazed at the great relationships and friendships she had amongst her clients and industry peers, which is a testament to her warmth and engaging personality.
Kendra Smith Houghton, CWP
Special Events Officer at Anne Arundel Medical Center
I had the pleasure of working with Wanda for a major marine industry corporate event. It is without hesitation that I can recommend her to any company that is looking for a dynamic, innovative marketing and PR professional. Her corporate event planning knowledge was " key" to her client's successful event. As savvy and knowledgeable as Wanda is, she is also by far one of the nicest people I have ever met and worked with and I look forward to more opportunities to work with her!
VP - Marketing at Mainline Information Systems
I worked for Wanda after graduating from college, and she helped me correlate and measure how marketing/public relations/communications lead to sales and revenue. She knows what she is doing. She is creative which results in products/campaigns that stand-out from the crowd. And, she’s fun to work with!
Juris Doctorate Candidate at University of Florida
Fredric G. Levin College of Law
Wanda has the quality of leadership and it shows in the way her firm executes. Hand in hand with this is her ability to motivate. These qualities are apparent as her designers and directors' work reflects her communications. Wanda also is conscientious of her clients, encouraging open communication between her and them and using their feedback to facilitate and create an excellent product.
Owner of OceanLines LLC, a creative arts and management agency
As a journalist, I needed help with getting introduced to, and getting to know a couple of companies represented by Wanda and her team. She did a fantastic job for me, and I think as a result, for her clients. I got what I needed and the companies got some great coverage in my publication. I would love to work with her again.