Port Personality: Leigh Diemert
What in life prepared you for this job at The Wharf?
I started my career working on yachts and eventually earned my 100-GRT Master Captain’s license when I was just 20. I feel like my leadership as a captain prepared me to head an amazing team here at The Wharf, and my boating experience makes me well-equipped to run a world-class facility.
What’s new and exciting at The Wharf marina and waterfront district?
The Wharf Marina itself is new and exciting! The marina was just completed this past April. It’s a brand-new facility with amenities to match, including a club house, fuel dock with high-speed diesel, a dock shop and more!
What is the number one attraction you recommend for first-time visitors to the Washington, DC, area?
It may be too obvious of a choice, but definitely the monuments on the National Mall, especially during cherry blossom season. You can’t go wrong with any of the Smithsonian Museums either – but my favorite is Air and Space. Leigh Diemert General Manager The Wharf Marina Washington, DC What traits do you think every marina manager should possess? In this industry, adaptability is key, because every day has new challenges. I also think effective leaders know how to be assertive and kind simultaneously.
If you didn’t work at a marina, what would your dream job be?
A chef! I love to cook; it brings out my creative side. It also gives me so much joy when my family tries a new dish that I prepare, and they enjoy it. I just love how food gathers everyone together.
If you could own any type of boat or watercraft, what would it be?
Midnight Express. I love fishing and going FAST. So, they’re the perfect combo!
What is your favorite marine animal and why?
Blue sharks. They are highly migratory and can be found off the coast of every continent, except Antarctica. Unfortunately, they’re the most fished shark species, so we should do more to protect them. What are the advantages or challenges to being a woman in the marina business? In the travel field, we often see women in secondary roles, like stewardess, housekeeping, etc. As a young woman in this industry, it was a little intimidating for me to approach a yacht captain and ask questions about how I can be a captain one day. But I thank God every day that I did and that my captain was receptive — never questioning my ability because of my gender. However, not every man in this industry has believed in me as much as my first captain did. I’ve had my competency questioned countless times, and still feel like I have to work overtime to prove myself to my male colleagues. Ultimately, it’s made me better at my job. I’m confident that more women will occupy roles within the maritime industry as awareness increases.
What book do you believe every boater should read?
U.S.C.G. Safe Boating Regs