Meet Charlie McConkey: A 2023 Tiara Yachts Student Sponsorship Recipient

January 08, 2024

Tom Slikkers with Tiara-GLIBBS Sponsorship recipients

Holland, Mich. (January 9, 2024) – Tiara Yachts is rooted in uplifting and encouraging future generations of boat builders. To promote growth in the industry, each year Tiara Yachts partners with the Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) in Cedarville, Michigan, to award two sponsorships to graduates. 

The Sponsorship Awards are given to students attending GLBBS and who are interested in gaining real-life, real-world experience in addition to their education. Recipients receive $15,000 in scholarship funding and upon graduation, are required to work for Tiara Yachts for one year, receiving pay and benefits. 

“We are proud to partner with the Great Lakes Boat Building School and help the future generation of boat builders gain practical, real-world experience in the industry,” said Tom Slikkers, CEO and President of Tiara Yachts. “For nearly 50 years, our company has been committed to producing the best boats possible for our customers. Investing in future generations of boat builders is just one of the many ways we aim to deliver on that promise.”

In 2023, Tiara Yachts welcomed Charlie McConkey as one of their 2023 sponsorship recipients. Since receiving the sponsorship, Charlie has been able to get hands-on experience and discover what his strengths and passions are in the boat building process.

McConkey originally worked in the automotive industry installing and troubleshooting aftermarket electronics. When anything marine or boat related came up, McConkey was the first one to tackle the work.

“Most people in my previous job didn’t enjoy wiring the boats, but I was always intrigued by it and eager to solve the problem,” said McConkey. “When I realized how much I enjoyed working on boats, I started researching boat building as a possible career. I found the Great Lakes Boat Building School and haven’t looked back since.”

“I have gained incredible experience while at Tiara Yachts,” McConkey continued. “I spent a lot of time around marinas and boats when I was younger and being able to take that core memory and passion and turn it into a career is rewarding. I hope to continue advancing my experience and learning new techniques that Tiara has developed over the years.”

Following his time with Tiara Yachts, McConkey hopes to continue his education and profession as a boat builder and help continue the legacy of Tiara in delivering luxury yachts for their customers.

“Tiara Yachts has developed some of the greatest and highest quality boat builders in the world,” McConkey concluded. “I’m honored to be able to work alongside and learn from them.”

To learn more about the GLBBS and to apply for the 2024-2025 Tiara Yachts Student Sponsorship Award, please visit