By Don Kohlmann
Pacific Asian Enterprises, Inc., has lost a beloved member of our Nordhavn team. Sales representative Barbara Lippert passed away last Thursday, February 12, after a long battle with lung cancer. She joined our sales staff at Seattle-based Nordhavn Yachts Northwest in May of 2008. She was a long time veteran and revered member of the marine industry in Seattle. I met her in the 1980s while she was on the sales staff of “Yachtlease”. In the intervening years she worked with several other dealerships, and a yacht leasing agency. She also helped to pioneer “Boatscope”, an early concept for posting yacht listing presentations online.
At a company that boasts 17 male boat brokers, Barbara, with a fun personality, sardonic wit and vast boating knowledge, managed to win the boys over and work herself right in to the Nordhavn salesman culture. She was quick to make any visiting PAE staff member feel welcome, which usually included a driving tour of the Seattle area.
She loved her work in the marine industry, but she also loved being involved with food and the food service industry. She was actively involved in the catering business from her earlier days in Southern California, Lake Tahoe, and later Seattle. She delighted in recounting the lineage of Seattle’s notable restaurants. That love of food did not wane much, and those of us who worked with her were the beneficiaries, when treats of various sorts appeared in the office, as if by magic.
Along with her full-time pursuits in the marine industry, she was also very active in the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association, where she served as President, interim show director, a member of the ethics committee, and on the board of directors. She had an ingrained propensity to help people. Here at Nordhavn she always wanted to do the best for her clients, as well as any other Nordhavn owners. Her help took on many forms. Those seeking to brighten their day, needed only make their way up the steps to the office where they would be met with a big smile, as raspy laugh, and a wry observation on life.
Barbara was pre-deceased by her former husband and longtime partner last year. Her sister-in-law and closest living relative suggested that those who wish to do something in remembrance of Barbara may choose to make a contribution in her name to the American Cancer Society.
Barbara lived her life in a thoughtful, caring way, steeped in humor. She was always quick to send a card, good wishes or words of appreciation to a friend – and she had many friends. As Molly Holden, of Pacific Maritime Title said simply, “there will never be another.”
Don Kohlmann is the sales manager at Nordhavn Yachts Northwest.