Business owner to speak at Founders Day

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Joan Maxwell


From Staff Reports

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Joan Maxwell, co-owner of boat manufacturer Regulator Marine, will deliver N.C. Wesleyan College’s Founder’s Day address.

The celebration of the college’s 61st anniversary of its founding will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts.

In 1988, Joan and her husband, Owen, set out to build one boat. With the boat design in Owen’s head, they hired two naval architects and set up shop in an abandoned A&P Grocery Store in Edenton. That boat became their flagship boat — the 26-foot Regulator. Today they operate out of an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, and Regulator is one of the most respected brands in the boating industry.

Maxwell, Regulator president, manages every aspect of the company except design. She recruited key management from world-class manufacturing companies and transformed the business into a highly sophisticated manufacturing process. Under her leadership, Regulator received ISO 9000:2008 certification as well as the N.C. Department of Labor’s top safety award, the North Carolina Star, making Regulator the only boat company to do so.

Maxwell is immediate past chairwoman of the National Marine Manufacturers Association Board of Directors — the first woman to hold the position — and she remains on the board, serving on the organization’s executive committee. She has received the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award and the National Manufacturer Associations STEP award.

“We are excited to have Joan as our Founder’s Day keynote speaker,” said Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark. “She is highly respected for her integrity and positive leadership in the manufacturing world as well as her faith, generosity and service to her community and church.”

Maxwell grew up in Fairfield. She graduated from Mattamuskeet High School and earned a bachelor’ts degree in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.