Herb Pocklington, former top executive of Chris Craft

Herb Pocklington, former top executive of Chris Craft

Paul
Paul

May 8th, 2009, 9:59 pm #1

I just got the nicest email from Mr. Pocklington, with this photo attached. Wow, THIS is a bit of history. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pocklington, who prefers to be called "Herb", at the 2009 International Motorboting Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-27. I didn't realize Herb was in the audience when I gave my presentation on the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, and I was surprised when a gentleman stood up and came forward and addressed the group, and quite honored when he complimented the program and announced he was the General Manager when all of these boats were built.

After the program we had a brief moment to talk, what a delightful way to spend an afternoon, boys with their toys and hobbies, and life long adventures. There were so many distractions.


Here is what Herb's message said about the image below:

"Paul, the graphic of the Italian 31 Commander ad is pretty bad, sorry, but I'm also including a photo of the opening of the factory, where it was built on the bank of the Tiber River near Rome. That's me welcoming the Pope's representative Cardinal Tisserant and other notables." Herb.






Here is a bit of info on Mr. Pocklington:


Born in Algonac, Michigan, Herb Pocklington has over 50 years experience in boat-building and business management. He began as a factory worker unloading boxcars at the nearby Chris-Craft Corporation. During World War II, he enlisted in the armed services, married, and completed a one- year chemical engineering army program while serving his country.
He began his business career immediately after cessation of hostilities and later served Chris Craft as a buyer, Public Relations Director, Advertising Mgr., Director of Product Planning & Styling, and as CEO of international operations, residing in Switzerland.

His overseas management experience includes service as Chairman & CEO of Chris-Craft S.A. (Switzerland) and Chris-Craft Italia. He traveled to 66 countries and established manufacturing operations in Australia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands & Uruguay.

Herb retired in 1992 as President of Hatteras International, a multinational company and the worlds largest builder of large, luxury Motor Yachts.
After retiring from business, he became Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, comprised of six former international CEOs and executives.

He has served without pay as a volunteer consultant in the former Soviet Union, assisting with reorganization of different firms in the fields of communications, ship- building and repair, import-export, business consulting, agriculture, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
And he has assisted with reorganization of one of the former Soviet Unions largest shipbuilding yards in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on the Black Sea, and has also participated in the re-structuring of Pharmacia, a large Pharmaceutical chain in the same region.

In April 2005, while embedded with of the US 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, he assisted Civil Affairs officers with democratization programs in meetings with Iraqi leaders.

Herb currently resides in Merrit Island, Florida.




I might add, Herb is a gentleman and delightful guy, willing to talk with a stranger, and having an infectious positive outlook on life.

Regards,

Paul
Last edited by FEfinaticP on May 11th, 2015, 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom Slayton
Tom Slayton

May 8th, 2009, 10:18 pm #2

Paul,

That is a great photo, what an event it must have been to attend (and preside over). I never knew the Pope was a Chris Craft fan!
Looking at the people in attendence, reminds me of the Sopranos TV series.

It would be very interesting to know more about what boats were built in Italy, I wonder if you could ask Mr. Pocklington to send you or post a list here. That 23' Commander in Spain has got to be one of the Italian boats, and now I am wondering if Heidi and Paul have an Italian built 31.

Regards,

Tom
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Paul
Paul

May 9th, 2009, 8:37 pm #3

I just got the nicest email from Mr. Pocklington, with this photo attached. Wow, THIS is a bit of history. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pocklington, who prefers to be called "Herb", at the 2009 International Motorboting Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-27. I didn't realize Herb was in the audience when I gave my presentation on the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, and I was surprised when a gentleman stood up and came forward and addressed the group, and quite honored when he complimented the program and announced he was the General Manager when all of these boats were built.

After the program we had a brief moment to talk, what a delightful way to spend an afternoon, boys with their toys and hobbies, and life long adventures. There were so many distractions.


Here is what Herb's message said about the image below:

"Paul, the graphic of the Italian 31 Commander ad is pretty bad, sorry, but I'm also including a photo of the opening of the factory, where it was built on the bank of the Tiber River near Rome. That's me welcoming the Pope's representative Cardinal Tisserant and other notables." Herb.






Here is a bit of info on Mr. Pocklington:


Born in Algonac, Michigan, Herb Pocklington has over 50 years experience in boat-building and business management. He began as a factory worker unloading boxcars at the nearby Chris-Craft Corporation. During World War II, he enlisted in the armed services, married, and completed a one- year chemical engineering army program while serving his country.
He began his business career immediately after cessation of hostilities and later served Chris Craft as a buyer, Public Relations Director, Advertising Mgr., Director of Product Planning & Styling, and as CEO of international operations, residing in Switzerland.

His overseas management experience includes service as Chairman & CEO of Chris-Craft S.A. (Switzerland) and Chris-Craft Italia. He traveled to 66 countries and established manufacturing operations in Australia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands & Uruguay.

Herb retired in 1992 as President of Hatteras International, a multinational company and the worlds largest builder of large, luxury Motor Yachts.
After retiring from business, he became Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, comprised of six former international CEOs and executives.

He has served without pay as a volunteer consultant in the former Soviet Union, assisting with reorganization of different firms in the fields of communications, ship- building and repair, import-export, business consulting, agriculture, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
And he has assisted with reorganization of one of the former Soviet Unions largest shipbuilding yards in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on the Black Sea, and has also participated in the re-structuring of Pharmacia, a large Pharmaceutical chain in the same region.

In April 2005, while embedded with of the US 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, he assisted Civil Affairs officers with democratization programs in meetings with Iraqi leaders.

Herb currently resides in Merrit Island, Florida.




I might add, Herb is a gentleman and delightful guy, willing to talk with a stranger, and having an infectious positive outlook on life.

Regards,

Paul
"About the Italian ad...Look at the Italian dealer listing in the ad, and you will see that our dealer in Bologna was "Ferretti Nautica" owned by two young Ferretti brothers, one of whom is Norberto Ferretti, now CEO of the biggest collection of boat builders in the World (including Bertram among many others). (The other brother died in an accident many years ago, but Norberto and I are still friends. He treats me a little like a godfather."

Again, more information from "the man who was there". This is a fabulous resource for the Commander Community, thank you Mr. Pocklington, for sharing. We have long heard about the boats built in Italy, but really have nothing in the way of a trail to follow. The Essential Guide, while "essential", is not totally without fault as there are some omissions as with any work that comprehensive, and it really says little to nothing about the boats Chris Craft built overseas.

We hope to learn more about the era, how Italy got their gelcoat (was is formulated "over there" or was it shipped from the states", what engine maufacturers were utilized, what models were built and in what quantities, and soooo many more questions that enthusiastic inquiring Chris Craft fans strive to know !

Looking at the photos, I was wondering if there were any members of the Mafia present? They probably (also) had an appreciation for fast boats?

Regards,

Paul

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James Brunette
James Brunette

May 10th, 2009, 12:21 pm #4

I just got the nicest email from Mr. Pocklington, with this photo attached. Wow, THIS is a bit of history. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pocklington, who prefers to be called "Herb", at the 2009 International Motorboting Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-27. I didn't realize Herb was in the audience when I gave my presentation on the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, and I was surprised when a gentleman stood up and came forward and addressed the group, and quite honored when he complimented the program and announced he was the General Manager when all of these boats were built.

After the program we had a brief moment to talk, what a delightful way to spend an afternoon, boys with their toys and hobbies, and life long adventures. There were so many distractions.


Here is what Herb's message said about the image below:

"Paul, the graphic of the Italian 31 Commander ad is pretty bad, sorry, but I'm also including a photo of the opening of the factory, where it was built on the bank of the Tiber River near Rome. That's me welcoming the Pope's representative Cardinal Tisserant and other notables." Herb.






Here is a bit of info on Mr. Pocklington:


Born in Algonac, Michigan, Herb Pocklington has over 50 years experience in boat-building and business management. He began as a factory worker unloading boxcars at the nearby Chris-Craft Corporation. During World War II, he enlisted in the armed services, married, and completed a one- year chemical engineering army program while serving his country.
He began his business career immediately after cessation of hostilities and later served Chris Craft as a buyer, Public Relations Director, Advertising Mgr., Director of Product Planning & Styling, and as CEO of international operations, residing in Switzerland.

His overseas management experience includes service as Chairman & CEO of Chris-Craft S.A. (Switzerland) and Chris-Craft Italia. He traveled to 66 countries and established manufacturing operations in Australia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands & Uruguay.

Herb retired in 1992 as President of Hatteras International, a multinational company and the worlds largest builder of large, luxury Motor Yachts.
After retiring from business, he became Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, comprised of six former international CEOs and executives.

He has served without pay as a volunteer consultant in the former Soviet Union, assisting with reorganization of different firms in the fields of communications, ship- building and repair, import-export, business consulting, agriculture, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
And he has assisted with reorganization of one of the former Soviet Unions largest shipbuilding yards in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on the Black Sea, and has also participated in the re-structuring of Pharmacia, a large Pharmaceutical chain in the same region.

In April 2005, while embedded with of the US 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, he assisted Civil Affairs officers with democratization programs in meetings with Iraqi leaders.

Herb currently resides in Merrit Island, Florida.




I might add, Herb is a gentleman and delightful guy, willing to talk with a stranger, and having an infectious positive outlook on life.

Regards,

Paul
The translation includes comments about "the fiberglass structure of the 31' Commander, obtained from moulds made ready with the greatest care".

It also notes that "if a 31' Commander was a little too lavish for you, don't forget about the spacious 28' Premium Catalina as a fast and modern fiberglass boat. Speeds of 57 km/h with two V-8 from 200 Hp, or on request you can get two diesels."

It would have been interesting to be an Italian businessman picking up a magazine and seeing an American boat being built in his country. The option of domestically built diesels would also be a selling point for anyone wondering about the service required for an Amerian motor. I wonder how long it took for the enduring quality of these boats to become known, allowing sales to ramp up. Interesting times back then. The world sure was a different place, some for the better, some not so better.

JB
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Paul
Paul

May 11th, 2009, 1:06 am #5

"About the Italian ad...Look at the Italian dealer listing in the ad, and you will see that our dealer in Bologna was "Ferretti Nautica" owned by two young Ferretti brothers, one of whom is Norberto Ferretti, now CEO of the biggest collection of boat builders in the World (including Bertram among many others). (The other brother died in an accident many years ago, but Norberto and I are still friends. He treats me a little like a godfather."

Again, more information from "the man who was there". This is a fabulous resource for the Commander Community, thank you Mr. Pocklington, for sharing. We have long heard about the boats built in Italy, but really have nothing in the way of a trail to follow. The Essential Guide, while "essential", is not totally without fault as there are some omissions as with any work that comprehensive, and it really says little to nothing about the boats Chris Craft built overseas.

We hope to learn more about the era, how Italy got their gelcoat (was is formulated "over there" or was it shipped from the states", what engine maufacturers were utilized, what models were built and in what quantities, and soooo many more questions that enthusiastic inquiring Chris Craft fans strive to know !

Looking at the photos, I was wondering if there were any members of the Mafia present? They probably (also) had an appreciation for fast boats?

Regards,

Paul
Here is a MS word document Herb sent me, I converted it to a PDF, and then to a JPG so it could be displayed here, and it is cool! Check it out!

In addition to the image, here are a few words from Herb:

"As the oldest living senior executive at Chris-Craft, I asked the oldest living member of Chris Smith's family (my good friend and former neighbor Smith "Bub" Merrill) to send me some pictures of duck decoys certified by Harsen Smith as genuine Chris. (Bub's Mom was Chris Smith's daughter.

Several, you will note, have smooth Commander lines and freeboard, and semi deep-vee forward sections for silent trolling for fish.

92-year old Bub Merrill is a survivor the Bataan Death March and several terrible years in a Japanese POW camp. He was presumed dead by many people and the Village really celebrated when he was freed and sent back for extended hospitalization and eventual return to Algonac and marriage to his high-school sweetheart.

Read the book "Ghost Soldiers" and you will understand why you can't get him to talk about it."


Hey that's an interesting decoy with the fin and the windshield!







As a sidenote about the Bataan Death March comment: A few years ago my company developed and built the Veterans Administration Headquarters in San Diego, and we had the US Marine Corps band at open house. One of the gents who attended this event was on a scooter, wearing a hat that said "I survived the Bataan Death March". I sure was proud to be able to "do something" through architecture to give deference and respect to all veterans. Paul
Last edited by FEfinaticP on May 11th, 2009, 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul
Paul

May 11th, 2009, 1:23 am #6

I just got the nicest email from Mr. Pocklington, with this photo attached. Wow, THIS is a bit of history. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pocklington, who prefers to be called "Herb", at the 2009 International Motorboting Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-27. I didn't realize Herb was in the audience when I gave my presentation on the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, and I was surprised when a gentleman stood up and came forward and addressed the group, and quite honored when he complimented the program and announced he was the General Manager when all of these boats were built.

After the program we had a brief moment to talk, what a delightful way to spend an afternoon, boys with their toys and hobbies, and life long adventures. There were so many distractions.


Here is what Herb's message said about the image below:

"Paul, the graphic of the Italian 31 Commander ad is pretty bad, sorry, but I'm also including a photo of the opening of the factory, where it was built on the bank of the Tiber River near Rome. That's me welcoming the Pope's representative Cardinal Tisserant and other notables." Herb.






Here is a bit of info on Mr. Pocklington:


Born in Algonac, Michigan, Herb Pocklington has over 50 years experience in boat-building and business management. He began as a factory worker unloading boxcars at the nearby Chris-Craft Corporation. During World War II, he enlisted in the armed services, married, and completed a one- year chemical engineering army program while serving his country.
He began his business career immediately after cessation of hostilities and later served Chris Craft as a buyer, Public Relations Director, Advertising Mgr., Director of Product Planning & Styling, and as CEO of international operations, residing in Switzerland.

His overseas management experience includes service as Chairman & CEO of Chris-Craft S.A. (Switzerland) and Chris-Craft Italia. He traveled to 66 countries and established manufacturing operations in Australia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands & Uruguay.

Herb retired in 1992 as President of Hatteras International, a multinational company and the worlds largest builder of large, luxury Motor Yachts.
After retiring from business, he became Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, comprised of six former international CEOs and executives.

He has served without pay as a volunteer consultant in the former Soviet Union, assisting with reorganization of different firms in the fields of communications, ship- building and repair, import-export, business consulting, agriculture, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
And he has assisted with reorganization of one of the former Soviet Unions largest shipbuilding yards in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on the Black Sea, and has also participated in the re-structuring of Pharmacia, a large Pharmaceutical chain in the same region.

In April 2005, while embedded with of the US 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, he assisted Civil Affairs officers with democratization programs in meetings with Iraqi leaders.

Herb currently resides in Merrit Island, Florida.




I might add, Herb is a gentleman and delightful guy, willing to talk with a stranger, and having an infectious positive outlook on life.

Regards,

Paul
The bottom of the previous post has a brief outline of Herb's bio, here's more! (a LOT more!)

Herb commented that the attached CV shows what he did after he "failed retirement". He also noted he was injured in Baghdad, not exactly a vacation spot during the time.



The home town Algonac boy, who started unloading boxcars at Chris Craft certainly stood out and got noticed ! It will be fascinating to learn more about his perspective (from the top) on Chris Craft back in the days when our Commanders were built.

Regards,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

May 11th, 2009, 2:38 pm #7

Here is a MS word document Herb sent me, I converted it to a PDF, and then to a JPG so it could be displayed here, and it is cool! Check it out!

In addition to the image, here are a few words from Herb:

"As the oldest living senior executive at Chris-Craft, I asked the oldest living member of Chris Smith's family (my good friend and former neighbor Smith "Bub" Merrill) to send me some pictures of duck decoys certified by Harsen Smith as genuine Chris. (Bub's Mom was Chris Smith's daughter.

Several, you will note, have smooth Commander lines and freeboard, and semi deep-vee forward sections for silent trolling for fish.

92-year old Bub Merrill is a survivor the Bataan Death March and several terrible years in a Japanese POW camp. He was presumed dead by many people and the Village really celebrated when he was freed and sent back for extended hospitalization and eventual return to Algonac and marriage to his high-school sweetheart.

Read the book "Ghost Soldiers" and you will understand why you can't get him to talk about it."


Hey that's an interesting decoy with the fin and the windshield!







As a sidenote about the Bataan Death March comment: A few years ago my company developed and built the Veterans Administration Headquarters in San Diego, and we had the US Marine Corps band at open house. One of the gents who attended this event was on a scooter, wearing a hat that said "I survived the Bataan Death March". I sure was proud to be able to "do something" through architecture to give deference and respect to all veterans. Paul
Thanks to Herb for sending in the images, here's a close up at Chris Smith's hand work! Hmmm, sorta looks like tha back of a Chris Craft Cobra without the fin?



Regards,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

May 11th, 2009, 10:53 pm #8

I just got the nicest email from Mr. Pocklington, with this photo attached. Wow, THIS is a bit of history. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pocklington, who prefers to be called "Herb", at the 2009 International Motorboting Symposium held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-27. I didn't realize Herb was in the audience when I gave my presentation on the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, and I was surprised when a gentleman stood up and came forward and addressed the group, and quite honored when he complimented the program and announced he was the General Manager when all of these boats were built.

After the program we had a brief moment to talk, what a delightful way to spend an afternoon, boys with their toys and hobbies, and life long adventures. There were so many distractions.


Here is what Herb's message said about the image below:

"Paul, the graphic of the Italian 31 Commander ad is pretty bad, sorry, but I'm also including a photo of the opening of the factory, where it was built on the bank of the Tiber River near Rome. That's me welcoming the Pope's representative Cardinal Tisserant and other notables." Herb.






Here is a bit of info on Mr. Pocklington:


Born in Algonac, Michigan, Herb Pocklington has over 50 years experience in boat-building and business management. He began as a factory worker unloading boxcars at the nearby Chris-Craft Corporation. During World War II, he enlisted in the armed services, married, and completed a one- year chemical engineering army program while serving his country.
He began his business career immediately after cessation of hostilities and later served Chris Craft as a buyer, Public Relations Director, Advertising Mgr., Director of Product Planning & Styling, and as CEO of international operations, residing in Switzerland.

His overseas management experience includes service as Chairman & CEO of Chris-Craft S.A. (Switzerland) and Chris-Craft Italia. He traveled to 66 countries and established manufacturing operations in Australia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands & Uruguay.

Herb retired in 1992 as President of Hatteras International, a multinational company and the worlds largest builder of large, luxury Motor Yachts.
After retiring from business, he became Chairman of the INTERPLANA Consulting Group, comprised of six former international CEOs and executives.

He has served without pay as a volunteer consultant in the former Soviet Union, assisting with reorganization of different firms in the fields of communications, ship- building and repair, import-export, business consulting, agriculture, finance, and pharmaceuticals.
And he has assisted with reorganization of one of the former Soviet Unions largest shipbuilding yards in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on the Black Sea, and has also participated in the re-structuring of Pharmacia, a large Pharmaceutical chain in the same region.

In April 2005, while embedded with of the US 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, he assisted Civil Affairs officers with democratization programs in meetings with Iraqi leaders.

Herb currently resides in Merrit Island, Florida.




I might add, Herb is a gentleman and delightful guy, willing to talk with a stranger, and having an infectious positive outlook on life.

Regards,

Paul
Just in from Herb, the French marketing twist, Commander style!



Regards,

Paul
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thibaud
thibaud

May 12th, 2009, 9:18 pm #9

... should you wait until then

Very interesting topic by the way.

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Joined: January 8th, 2008, 8:31 pm

May 13th, 2009, 1:58 am #10

Just in from Herb, the French marketing twist, Commander style!



Regards,

Paul
Although I don't think Chris Craft did it, I love that huge mast at the beginning of the cabin top on the 60 Commander.
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