Sea Tow announces company’s leadership to stay in the family


Following the death of founder Joseph Frohnhoefer Jr. last year, Sea Tow Services International has named his son, Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III as Chief Executive Officer of the company, and his daughter Kristen Frohnhoefer, as president.

Georgia Frohnhoefer, chairwoman of the company’s Board of Directors and Joe Jr.’s wife, said in a statement that the promotion recognizes the leadership roles her children have had at the company in the past, especially after Mr. Frohnhoefer’s passing at age 71.

“Joseph and Kristen spent their childhoods immersed in the Sea Tow business — Joseph out on Sea Tow boats and operations with his father, and Kristen in the office engaged in all aspects of administration with me,” Ms. Frohnhoefer said.

The two occasionally traded places, which gave them a better understanding of what is best for the company, Ms. Frohnhoefer said.

Joseph graduated from SUNY Maritime College and “virtually grew up on a boat.” He was one of the first Sea Tow deckhands and became a Sea Tow captain after earning his first U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license at 19 years old. He joined Sea Tow full-time in 2002.

As CEO, he will oversee Sea Tow’s entire business with a focus on its domestic and international external operations, including legal, franchise development, operations, and compliance, the statement read. He also maintains key relationships across the marine industry.

Kristen graduated from Dickinson College and worked as a Spanish teacher for 10 years. She spent her summers working at Sea Tow. She joined the company full-time in 2003. Her role as president requires her to be responsible for all internal operations, including the membership program, marketing, sales, communications and 24-Hour Customer Care Center operations.

She also focuses on business development and maintains key relationships across the marine industry. She also serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Sea Tow Foundation and on the Board of Marine Marketers of America.

“Captain Joe would be proud, as am I, to see his children assume control of the company he founded now more than 30 years ago as the creator of the private, non-emergency towing industry,” Ms. Frohnhoefer said.

Sea Tow was founded in 1983 to help boaters stranded in the water after the Coast Guard changed its policies about responding to non-emergency calls while Mr. Frohnhoefer was working as Bay Constable for Southold Town Police. The company has since expanded internationally and moved beyond towing stalled boats.

“It is a special testament to the strength and longevity of any family-run business when the children of the founder assume the reins and direction of the company,” Ms. Frohnhoefer said. “Working with our many Sea Tow franchises, employees and partners, we will guide Sea Tow into the future; always with Capt. Joe Jr.’s pioneering spirit in our hearts.”

Photo Caption: Joseph Frohnhoefer III and Kristen Frohnhoefer. (Credit: Courtesy photos)

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