Meet The Team – Gemlux

MEET THE TEAM

Erle Bridgewater

Chairman

Erle Bridgewater bought GEM products as an investment opportunity back in 1980. He has done everything from performing most of the tasks in small business including product selection, sales, accountant and janitor to that of a more traditional executive. He now enjoys the role of Chairman and coach. He also enjoys travelling - particularly the challenge of meeting local people for whom English is not their first language. He much prefers the challenge of going somewhere, renting a car, and going on his own rather than having a guide.

Matt Bridgewater

CEO

Since his first day on the job back in 1994, Matt has worked tirelessly to improve the boating experience for the end user. With the help of his GEM team members, and many of Gemlux's customers, Matt is very proud to have developed dozens of products that are patented in the U.S, European Union, China, and Taiwan. Matt always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude, and you will never see him happier than when he is on his boat. His love for the industry started when he was just a kid, growing up in Florida. He would ride bikes with his buddies and all their fishing gear to the St. Johns River. They would fill the buckets with them and rush back to his backyard pond to set them free.

Cole Coker

VP

Cole has been with GEM over 17 years and grew up in the Jacksonville area. The reason he came to work at GEM from a steel company was to be able to fish more. Ironically, because we are always so busy it hasn't worked out. Over the years he has helped to build and maintain a certain culture at GEM, which has made work enjoyable. He has come to know many of the people in the industry as friends over the years. When he’s not on the road, you can find him surf fishing, or traveling with his wife and two children.

Barry Hall

General Manager

Barry has always had a love for water, so working in the marine industry was a natural fit for him. He attended the University of Florida where he earned both his MBA and undergraduate degree. Barry has 20 years experience working in Finance, Strategy, and Information Technology. In his spare time, Barry enjoys travelling and spending time at the beach or pool with his family.

Monica Bridgewater

HR & Finance

Monica has been working with her family at Gem since 1998. She has had many roles at Gem through the years including inside sales, marketing, HR and finance. Currently she is on the finance side working with Human Resources, benefits and payroll processes. It brings her a lot of joy creating a culture that our family strives on which is “Family First”. “All of GEM”s employees are an extension of our family and coming to work is like leaving one home for another,” she says. She enjoys fishing, swimming and anything outdoors.

Mayelyn Blackerby

Quality Control Engineer

Working at GEM for the past 9 years is never dull for Mayleyn. She gets to find problems and the best part is that she has to find a way to fix them. Her role demands to think outside the box constantly, which allows for fun and days at the office. Originally from Havana Cuba, Mayelyn came to the states in 2003. She loves all things outdoors, including hiking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding.

Jason Sarnowski

Lead Design Engineer

Jason has been on the GEM team for 13 years, coming onboard with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He has invented numerous patents, most notably, the outrigger mount, pull up cleat, friction hinge, and adjustable drain. He loves to create innovative solutions for everyday boating problems. In his spare time, you can find him playing tabletop games and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Ash Gravely

Lead Engineer

New to GEM in 2018, Ash has a unique background that includes, a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University, Master’s in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business school at UNC-Chapel Hill, a Professional Engineering License, and a Naval Sea Systems Command certification in Propeller Inspection. He grew up fishing in the Outerbanks of NC.

Marcus Perry

Key Account Manager

This will be Marcus’s 10th year at GEM. He has built wonderful relationships with the boat builders over the years, many of whom he considers friends now, in order to make boating better. When not at GEM, He is an outdoor lover and enjoys hunting, fishing and playing sports with his wife and three children.

Brian Ferrell

Key Account Manager

Brian was born and raised in Jacksonville FL, surrounded by water, so making a career in the boating and fishing industry an easy concept. Brian has worked in the marine industry for over 10 years. Brian joined the GEM family 6 years ago, where he continues to build relationships and friendships with his customers. Brian loves the opportunity to be able to travel across the nation to his customers and see the amazing new concepts the industry is producing. When not working, Brian loves to spend time with his wife Kristen and son.

Lauren Alleva

Director of Marketing

Lauren has been working in marketing for over 15 years, coming on board with GEM in early 2018. With a personal passion for boating, she enjoys providing relatable content for GEM’s customers. Hailed as the social media queen around here, she loves documenting all the fun things that we do at GEM. When she’s not knee deep on Instagram, she is working on maintaining GEM’s new website & email campaigns. Originally from New England, she enjoys doing all the outdoor things with her husband and two children year-round.

Rob Blackerby

Director of IT

Helping to develop and implement the applications, systems, infrastructure, and processes that we use at GEM is what Rob enjoys most. The business is constantly evolving which brings new challenges and experiences. However, the people and atmosphere are what makes it really great, no wonder he has been here for over 16 years! Beyond GEM, he likes working on projects around the house, traveling, playing golf, and spending time with family and friends.

Brian Sutton

Production Manager

After college Brian moved to Lake Norman North Carolina to begin a career in professional motorsports. He retired after 16 years of designing, building, and racing race cars in America's most competitive venues; NASCAR and NHRA. The Jacksonville area has always been “home” for him so when the opportunity presented itself to move back he didn't hesitate. He also grew up fishing in the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal, and at his family cabin in Canada. He has two children with his wife Ashley.

Garrett Scott

Purchasing and Inventory Control Manager

Garrett is a lifelong resident of Northeast Florida. He is a graduate of the University of North Florida and Florida Coastal School of Law. He joined GEM as Purchasing and Inventory Control Manager in 2018. In addition to his native English, Garrett speaks French and German, and since joining GEM, has taken on learning Chinese. At GEM, Garrett especially enjoys building and maintaining relationships with our overseas partners. Garrett resides with his wife, and their two dogs. Together, they enjoy traveling, exploring, and reading a good book.

Chris Martin

Inside Sales Manager

Chris started in outside sales over 23 years ago. Once he came off the road, he took over the inside sales position leading a great team that makes sure the builders get what they need when they need it. He enjoys coming to work every day because the people here make a difference, and after 23 years he still feels like he does. Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Chris enjoys surfing with his kids.

Ron Gibson

Special Projects Manager

Ron was fortunate to grow up on the coast of Florida with access to the water. He began his career as a mate on a local charter boat and hasn't looked back since Fishing has introduced him to some of the greatest people and places from North Carolina to the southern Bahamas. He and his wife have three kids who enjoy family vacations and cruises. His passion for the outdoors keeps him busy chasing tarpon in the summer and turkeys in the spring.

Hunter Hancock

Key Account Manager

Hunter grew up and went to college in South Georgia. He started working in the marine industry in high school. He's had several roles including R&D, marketing coordinator, engine and rigging supplier for OEM’s, and retail boat sales. He enjoys building relationships with people, troubleshooting issues, and solving problems. In his free time, he loves being on the water, fishing, hunting, and riding motorcycles.

Lucas Crowley

Account Manager

Growing up fishing in Palm Valley, FL, Lucas has been around boats his entire life, so being able to talk with customers about the products they’re interested in, and different applications our products are used for is really enjoyable. Prior to GEM, Lucas played football at North Carolina, and when the opportunity came to work here at GEM, he jumped on it.

Tyler Chambers

Account Manager

An avid fisherman, Tyler loves selling GEM products because he personally believes in them. He loves helping solve problems and getting to know people every day in his role. Outside of GEM he loves to fish the flats, golf and take wildlife photography.

Nick Vanderlinde

Junior Engineer

Nick has a B.S.M.E Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He grew up spending summers wakeboarding on the lake. He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, and hiking as well.

Elliot Vainer

Draftsman

A fresh addition to GEM in 2019, Elliot has a passion for innovative manufacturing. Fond of marine craft, aviation, and travel, Elliot is also a fluent Russian speaker. When he's not supporting GEM's design team, you can find him building models, seeking new challenges, and spending time with his pets.

Austin Selden

Draftsman

Growing up freshwater fishing, Austin is another great fit for our Gemlux team. He has many years of drafting and design experience in various industries, including shipbuilding. On the weekends he likes to cook and spend time with his dog, Captain. 


Jerry Gutzke

Inside Sales

Most know him as “GEMLUX Jerry,” around here. If you have a fishing or boating question, he is your guy. He loves his role here at GEM because every day is a new challenge. You can find him outdoors when he isn’t answering all of our questions at the office. He enjoys fishing, hunting and watching football with his wife and kids.

Kristin Woodard

Inside Sales

Kristin is a Jacksonville native and feels so blessed to call NE Florida “home". She enjoys working at Gem with the inside sales team and helping to provide the customer service that GEM is so well known for. She has a love for the water, especially the beach and spends as much time there as possible. She also enjoys cooking, photography and spending time with her family of 6.

Micaela Sumner

Inside Sales

Micaela relocated from Nashville, GA to be part of our team as she fell in love with the family atmosphere that Gemlux provides. She has a background in the hospitality industry and knows how to take care of her customers. She loves to travel, cook, watch sports, and hopes to move even closer to the beach now that she resides in Jacksonville. 

Hunter Osborne

Inside Sales

Hunter was born and raised in Palm Valley, FL, and grew up fishing inshore and offshore in the area. He enjoys fishing photography & videography on the side as he loves seeing people get hooked on the sport. He enjoys traveling and meeting new people.

Sally & Booty

Team Mascots

The Bridgewater lab sisters love to visit the GEM office, especially the breakroom. When they aren’t sniffing out snacks in our offices, you can find them lounging on the docks at their house, waiting for the next boat ride.