Having relatively recently given up his “day job”, after two decades as manager at the very successful 5 Gold Anchor marina Saint-Quay-Portrieux, you might be forgiven for thinking that Jean-Michel Gaigné would be taking it easy, stepping on to his boat and heading off into the sunset.
This is far from the truth, however. Currently, a typical week might involve being invited to give a marina management presentation at a nautical conference in Brittany, before catching the afternoon TGV to Paris for more work commitments. He is then on the first train out of Paris the next morning for a regional meeting on waste management in Concarneau, prior to local council meetings back home. The following day, a position as Chairman on the bank’s “Sea affairs working commission” obliges him to undertake a three-hour drive to north Brittany.
Jean-Michel maintains a staggering number of roles across the boating sector and beyond. A member of the local council and VP of the regional syndicate in charge of waste management, he is also very active in his local bank.
For the last 15 years, he has been an active member of the Marinas Group within ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations), travelling biannually across the world to learn, share and address the main issues affecting the marina industry. An example of the results of this work was the publication of a paper stating that the concession period must be long enough for operators to invest and pay off the investments.
He also has a long commitment with the Blue Flag, as a member of the international Jury, being one of the pioneers in launching accreditation in France, some 35 years ago. This commitment implies a yearly meeting in Copenhagen with other members from the UN World Tourism Organization, UNESCO, the European water quality agency, the European network for accessible tourism, the International Life Saving Federation etc., to review applications sent by different national Blue Flag operators and to debate particular cases. As marina expert within the Jury, Jean-Michel’s roles is to contribute with observations regarding marina criteria.
Jean-Michel is also a long-standing member of The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) Council in the UK, helping him to maintain the link between British marina professionals and those from overseas. With TYHA he is also a member of the Global Marina Institute (GMI) Advisory board, offering all-important training and certification within marina management. His role there is in reviewing the Intermediate and Advanced marina managers courses, and planning training sessions.
Were this not enough, Jean-Michel fills in his spare minutes as a consultant with GMBA (Global Marine Business Advisors), helping developing businesses and advising on operations, management, and marketing. The group comprises members from across the globe, creating a nexus of international expertise.
Naturally, many years and a vast experience on an international level, developing expertise across the spectrum of marina-related matters, make Jean-Michel Gaigné one of the industry’s most well-respected authorities on marina management. We are very lucky at TransEurope Marinas to have him as our President!