With seven offices globally, Hill Robinson offers services from yacht management to new-construction project oversight to charter. Its Fort Lauderdale-based charter-management team has expanded, to include an experienced charter broker. Dee Kraley, whose charter knowledge dates back more than 20 years, is now part of the charter-management team.
Kraley’s career in yachting is similar to many, yet also different. While she worked as crew at one point, she didn’t take the job straight out of school. Rather, she worked as a commodity broker for Merrill Lynch for a decade. In 1989, Kraley was in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Hugo, re-establishing the company’s presence there. A chance meeting aboard a yacht convinced her to leave land for a while. “A while” turned out to be seven years. Starting on a 60-foot (18-meter) motoryacht based in Turkey, she then took on work as a chief stewardess for a variety of charter yachts. The largest such yacht was about 200 feet (61 meters), based in the South of France.
In 1996, Kraley met Bob Saxon, then the head of Bob Saxon & Associates, a prominent charter firm. She was still working aboard yachts, but Saxon convinced her to return to shore. She did just that, working in charter management for Saxon in Fort Lauderdale. When Saxon sold his company in 2002, Kraley continued in the charter-yacht industry, working with different firms.
Barrett Wright, Hill Robinson USA’s president, says, “Her extensive experience and immense industry knowledge is invaluable for the growth of Hill Robinson on the U.S. charter market.”
Besides having a passion for the water, Kraley is an animal lover. She still lives in Fort Lauderdale, with a rescue dog and cat. She thoroughly enjoys horse riding, too, further competing in show-jumping events.