Nickname “Boatanista” describes a way of life

Lisa Almeida has a motto: Inboard, Outboard, On Board, NEVER BORED. And in March of 2014, Lisa was recognized as one of Jacksonville’s “Up and Coming Entrepreneurs of the Year” at the Women in Business Awards. Lisa, was quoted as saying, “I am having the time of my life and I love it when people come to one of our events or see my boat out on the water and recognize me and start yelling and hollering for the “Boatanista”. For Lisa the nickname, “Boatanista” is a way of life.

Born and raised a Floridian, who claims to bleed salt water when she gets cut, Lisa Almeida, has enough energy to power the fleet of 18 boats she currently owns. It is a fuel that burns full throttle, ignited by her love and passion for the water. With a 25 year career in Sales and Marketing she was in perfect position to become the Owner of Freedom Boat Club, Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida.

Her career began right after graduating from Flagler College in 1980. She started as a Sales Representative with Bellsouth, has received many awards, including a four time Presidents Club winner, the highest recognition possible. She was then promoted to Sales Manager, Director of Training, Executive Leader of Competition, and finally to Director of Marketing for the nine state Bellsouth region. During her tenure, she was continually recognized for her innovative, creative problem solving, and her ability to engage an audience with her speaking skills.

In 2007 she took an early retirement from Bellsouth to make a career change. Her life passion has always been to be in, on, or around the water. Her parents were competitive water skiers, and skied in shows at Cypress Gardens. She grew up loving the water and boating. At age 23 she bought her first boat, and has always loved bringing people to the water. In 2009, Freedom Boat Club, The Alternative to Boat Ownership, hired her to manage two locations in North florida, a dream come true; what a blessing to be able to marry her passion for the water with her award-winning Sales, Marketing, and Management Skills.

With her enthusiasm, knowledge and drive, she brought the Freedom Boat Club locations that had been operating in the red to profitability in four short months. In two and half short years she had grown from a fleet of four boats, to sixteen. With that kind of success, the President asked her if she wanted to buy the business. Fast forward to September 30th, 2011, she and her partner Kevin Seelig purchased the two local franchises, which now have 47 boats in their fleet.

And this is where it gets fun. Lisa not only gets to spend her days either boating or talking about boating but meeting great people and teaching them the ropes. Best of all, Lisa gets to encourage women to get out of the back of the boat and take the helm. Then she gets to see the happy looks on their faces when they realize how easy it is and how much fun it can be.
To learn more about Lisa you can contact her at: