Most business owners have to go well beyond staying afloat in order to succeed. But for Tyler Leeper (MBA ’08), staying afloat—and helping people do so every summer—is precisely the point.
“We’re in the quality of life industry, we’re not in the outdoor sports industry,” he says. “It’s important to understand what you’re actually selling. And it’s not always what you think it is.”
That’s part of what Leeper has learned along the way as Madison Boats has grown from a staff of eight and a fleet of about 30 boats at one site to a staff of 83 and approximately 500 boats at three sites. His overarching goal of creating and serving the community took on added importance in the past two summers as people seeking safe outdoor recreation during the pandemic found respite on Lake Wingra, Lake Mendota, and Lake Monona.