Published on: 26 September 2019
To celebrate World Maritime Day (26 September 2019) and its theme for the year - Empowering Women in the Maritime Community. British Marine has been looking at the career so far of Hollie Luff Certified Marina Manager (CMM) - Business Systems Manager at Premier Marinas.
“I have been on and around the water for as long as I can remember, in fact I’m pretty sure my first steps were on deck. My family all love to sail, and having grown up around boats, water sports and the sea, my passion for the water has truly been a lifelong affair.
“Knowing even before my career began that office-life was never going to be for me, I began studying for a degree in ‘Adventure Education’ at the University of Chichester. Like most students, I supported my studies with various part-time jobs; these included becoming an instructor at a local outdoor activity centre and working as a summer seasonal at Premier Marinas, which became the very start of my career in the marine industry.
“I continued to work for Premier throughout my degree, and once I had completed higher education, I was offered my first full time role, which was to join the administration team at Port Solent Marina. As part of a small team, I got to work in several different roles not just in the office, but as part of the boatyard team, out on the marina and even completed a brief stint as lockmaster.
“In 2010 I was promoted into my first management role at Chichester Marina, and subsequently went on to hold similar management roles at three further marinas within the Premier group.
“Always looking for my next challenge in 2014 I decided to embark on gaining my CMM accreditation, which would give me a formal recognition of the skills, knowledge and experience I had gained over the years in the industry. This was later awarded to me in 2015 and I continue to maintain the annual renewal of this accreditation to this day.
“In 2016, I was invited to join Premier’s senior management team in a newly created role, ‘Business Systems Manager’, which had been created to guide the implementation and support of key business systems within the group. Despite now being based at the Head Office, I still spend plenty of time out at the marinas training and supporting colleagues on the various systems, and never miss an opportunity to get involved with events such as the Southampton International Boat Show.
“Outside of work I love to keep fit, I am a longstanding member of a local rowing club and until recently I was also the captain of a competitive woman’s netball team. But maintaining this and my career has not been without its challenges. Whilst I try not to let it impact anything I want to achieve, I have scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature in my spine. This has required several significant operations over the years, including the fitting of permanent metal rods that now run the length of my spine. Despite this, throughout my time in the industry I have always felt supported and empowered in my roles and Premier has been great in offering me opportunities to progress.
“Never content with standing still, I know there is still much more for me to learn and do. I am currently training for a rowing event that would push anyone to their very limit, and I’m sure wherever my career takes me next, it will never be very far from the water.”
Women & Leadership International is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across the UK’s marine sector with grants of up to £1000 available, read more here.