After a decade of serving in governmental roles including a term as a Kentucky State Senator, Chris Girdler has returned to his houseboating roots as Trifeca Houseboats’ new Executive Vice President. Trifecta is the result of a merger between Stardust Cruisers, Sumerset Houseboats and Thoroughbred Houseboats—three distinct brands that are now built under one roof in Monticello, Ky.
Before his time in the political world, Girdler worked as an executive in the industry for five years. As the grandson of Sumerset founder Jim Sharpe, he has been around houseboating since childhood, developing a love for this lifestyle and learning about the industry at his grandfather’s side.
Jim Sharpe shares, “Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience along with a passion that quite simply cannot be duplicated anywhere in the houseboating world. I’m excited to see the great things he and the company will do to in moving the houseboat industry forward.”
“We are thrilled that Chris has joined our company and the passion he has for this industry is evident anytime one speaks to him about it,” adds Trifecta President & CEO, Jerry Harden. “Chris brings with him an extensive background, knowledge and experience of the product, as well as an unparalleled work ethic and desire to provide the best customer service…We look forward to working with Chris and we have already received a great response from his reentry into the industry.”
“Being a third generation houseboat builder is something that I take a lot of pride in and I’m very grateful that Trifecta has given me the opportunity to be a part of their team,” Girdler confides. “I guess one could call it a ‘labor of love,’ because the houseboat business is very near and dear to my heart. The sights, sounds, and smells of a houseboat factory make me feel right at home…I’ve always had a saying, ‘We manufacture houseboats, but we build relationships,’ and that is a philosophy I plan to continue."