Meet Wanda Kenton Smith, Marketer Extraordinaire

World Class Marketing Services … From A World Class Marketing Leader

For more than 35 years, Wanda Kenton Smith has remained on the cutting edge of all things marketing. She is a both a marketing strategist and proven tactician whose tireless work and efforts have positively impacted dozens of mature companies and start-ups alike through enhanced branding, greater awareness and resulting improved bottom-line sales and profitability.  From the launch and careful review of customized marketing audits, to the development and execution of marketing plans with a mix of highly targeted strategies and tactics, to the ongoing analysis of key performance indicators and metrics, she knows exactly how to research, plan, track and measure results to propel and maximize marketing ROI.


The Write Stuff


In addition to being a highly skilled marketer with decades of experience, Wanda is a degreed journalist and former editor of two national consumer magazines and three b2b trade publications. She is the well-read national marketing columnist for the boating industry’s leading b2b, Soundings Trade Only, an editorial post she has held since 1998. Her columns cover all aspects of marketing trends and breakthroughs, employing both thoughtful applications and  recommendations for readers. Over the years, she has by-lined more than 500 published news stories, feature articles and columns in dozens of print and online publications throughout the world. She has edited three books, produced hundreds of custom content posts for corporate blogs with resounding organic search results, plus has ghostwritten and produced a litany of internal and external communications, articles and executive presentations for countless business executives.

Wanda is an award-winning advertising copywriter and an internationally recognized scriptwriter and creative/video director. Her work has earned international, national and regional acclaim.

For more than a dozen years she has orchestrated and directed the turnkey design and content for websites, both large and small. She is equally adept at punching out succinct headlines, press releases, social media posts, plus custom and automated drip email campaigns. She has produced and presented highly rated marketing webinars, seminars and workshops to national audiences in multiple industries.


Ongoing Success Stories


Where Wanda has worked, success has followed.

In her earlier industry days, she served 11 years as vice president of marketing for Regal Boats. Her work encompassed all areas of domestic and global marketing and dealer support activities. She facilitated national partnership campaigns with the likes of Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and General Motors among others, along with securing product placement on multiple television shows and movie productions.  She also pitched, promoted and managed celebrity partnerships in sports and entertainment with the likes of basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, actor Burt Reynolds, entertainers Donny Osmond and John Davidson, among others.  During her tenure, she was an integral part of the senior management team that grew the company from $24 million to nearly $100 million in global sales.

For 13.5 years, Wanda served as president of Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations, a $20 million, multi-award winning agency she built that serviced more than 35 national and global accounts in the marine space as well as in multiple industries.  When the economy downshifted, she launched a more nimble business model in 2009, Kenton Smith Marketing, which she continues to operate today to support a variety of freelance clients.


For nearly four years, she served as the head of marketing at Legendary Marine, a five-dealership location which won the #1 ranked boat dealership ranking in North America by Boating Industry Magazine, two separate years during her tenure.

She spent nearly four years at the marketing helm of Freedom Boat Club, the largest and oldest boat club in the world, with 30,000+ members in 160 locations and 31 states and Canada, sporting a fleet of 1,600+ boats. As chief marketing officer, she built and managed the in-house corporate marketing team and directed the corporate-owned clubs’ marketing activities including print and digital advertising programs, media, public relations, promotions, events, Hispanic marketing outreach program, women’s and member Ambassador programs, along with facilitating and directing all marketing research initiatives.


She also directed a robust franchise marketing support program including launching national social media strategies, production of monthly marketing webinars, design and development of ongoing digital and print assets for the franchise portal, email campaign content, national charity program development and launch, national franchise conference events and presentations, and turnkey management and content responsibilities for both consumer and franchise websites.


Today, Wanda continues to actively consult and handle a variety of projects and ongoing marketing support programs for select clients. On an ongoing basis, she serves as the virtual Chief Marketing Officer overseeing all marketing strategies and initiatives for the Emerald Coast Marine Group and as the Director of Marketing for Nathaniel’s Hope, a national Christian ministry and outreach for VIP Kids and their families in 32 states.

Industry and Community Leadership


Wanda is president of Marine Marketers of America, the official voice of marketers in the marine industry. She is also the appointed chairperson of the marine industry's Recreational Boating and Leadership Council’s national New Markets (diversity) Task Force, one of six industry committees focused to grow boating. She is a member of Boating Writers International and has judged 10 national journalism/writing competitions.


She is the former president of both International Women in Boating and Marine Marketing to Women, the latter an educational company that trained thousands of retail dealers and industry manufacturers. She remains an avid alumni and supporter of Auburn University and chaired the Auburn University Journalism Alumni Advisory Council for three years.

Boaterz n Bikerz of America: Hull of a Tour


When she's not developing and launching new marketing strategies or creating exciting campaigns to support select brands, you can bet she’s finding balance in life and escaping on her beloved purple Screaming Eagle CVO Fat Boy, “Purplicious.” She is an active outdoor enthusiast and a passionate boater and biker.


In 2013, Wanda organized and promoted Boaterz n Bikerz Across America: A Hull of a Tour, an 11-day, 3,000 mile cross country motorcycle and boat adventure. Her blogs were featured daily in Soundings Trade Today and covered online, in print and TV through a variety of media.


In 2015, Wanda organized and launched The Freedom Ride, a 2000-mile adventure from SW Florida to Washington DC, sponsored by Freedom Boat Club, Hurricane Boats, Soundings Trade Only and produced by Kenton Smith Marketing.


The adventure included a historic mix of venues up the east coast, along with stops at Freedom Boat Clubs in Sarasota, St. Augustine, Savannah, Myrtle Beach and Annapolis, MD. The grand finale included participation in Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day weekend and an escorted ride from the Pentagon to the Viet Nam Memorial Wall involving 900,000 bikes.


For 2016, The Pacific Coast Rush launched in the Wild, Wild West in late July and cruised from Seattle to San Francisco, with a loop out to Big Sur. The group rode the mountains and the giant redwoods, with plenty of twists on the pacific coast highway. Sponsors included Freedom Boat Club, Regal Boats, media partner Soundings Trade Only and west coast retailer Alexander Marine.


In 2017, the Hull of a Tour 4 featured The Lobster Roll, an exciting weeklong excursion throughout four New England states that rocked and rolled through mountains, coastal byways and quaint lakes and waterways. The tour was sponsored by the three-time presenting sponsor Freedom Boat Club, four-time media sponsor Soundings Trade Only and two-time returning platinum sponsor Regal Boats. Sea Tow came aboard for the first year along with BRP/Evinrude, Moose Landing Marina, Freedom Boat Club of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and the Massachusetts Marine Trade Association.


For 2019, Wanda has organized Hull of a Tour 5, the Dragon's Roar, a five-day adventure headquartered in the Great Smoky Mountains. Event riders will have the opportunity to slay the infamous Tail of the Dragon with its 319 curves over 11 miles, along with daily thrills throughout the tri-state NC, GA and TN  region known as motorcycling mecca. The tour is powered by title sponsor Evinrude/BRP along with Sea Tow, Malibu Boats, Emerald Coast Marine Trade Only, Boogey Lights, Jim Krueger Photography, Born to Ride Magazine and Kenton Smith Marketing.


Her Story Continues to Unfold


Whether marketing, boating, motorcycling or immersing herself in leadership roles and ongoing professional development initiatives, Wanda does so with a joy and enthusiasm for living, and passion for both work and play.

For a more detailed career profile and comprehensive references, throttle over to Wanda's Linkedin Profile

For more information about Wanda or her services, email | 407.697.8055

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