TRENTON — It was not an easy Thanksgiving this year at The Hinckley Co.
Jim McManus, the company’s president and CEO since June 1, 2007, died on Monday, Nov. 24, at the age of 52. The cause, according to Hinckley, was cancer.
McManus joined Hinckley in June 2007 for what he often said was his dream job. The dream turned nightmarish in 2008 with the worldwide economic collapse that virtually eliminated the demand for custom-built boats.
McManus saw the company through its darkest times when, in 2008-2009, it was forced to lay off more than 100 employees and the workforce at its Trenton boat shop shrank to fewer than 50. As the economic crisis passed, he led the company’s resurgence.
Currently, according to Vice President for Sales Philip Bennett, Hinckley employs more than 400 people in Hancock County alone, with dozens more on the company’s payroll at its headquarters in Portsmouth, R.I., and in service yards along the East Coast.
McManus was instrumental in attracting new investment in Hinckley, which was acquired by Scout Partners LLC at the end of 2010. With new capital available, McManus led the company development and launching of a series of five highly successful new models, including the Bermuda 50, the first new sailboat design produced by Hinckley in more than a decade.
McManus also played a role in Scout’s 2013 acquisition of Hunt Yachts, a builder of high-performance powerboats also based in Portsmouth, R.I., and now a sister company to Hinckley.
A native New Englander, McManus a graduated from Yale University and Harvard Business School. He worked in corporate finance at Lehman Brothers and, later, management consulting with McKinsey & Co.
According to Bloomberg Business, from 1994 to 2003, McManus held a variety of management positions at the Aramark Corp., where he served successively as president of three operating divisions, including the Business Services Group. From 2003 until joining Hinckley, he served as president and CEO of the Zoots Corp.
McManus was an avid boater who loved to spend weekends aboard his Hinckley Talaria 44. Just two years ago he had the boat repowered and refurbished at the company’s Trenton plant.
McManus had homes in Charlestown and Hyannis, Mass. He is survived by his wife, three children, his parents, sisters and a legion of friends and colleagues.