Jack Coppola’s passion for the superyacht industry has been apparent in all his career endeavors, whether as a chief steward/butler aboard yachts like M/Y Odin, his detailing service Worth A Wash, or as CEO and founder of Coppola Concierge. Now, he’s fresh from launching several WhatsApp groups that link yachties around the world.
“I didn't like going through crew agencies because they are expensive. So I decided to start connecting with people via Instagram."
As the group curator for the last six or so years, he’s collected quite a group, and he’s now debuting a subscription service where crew can subscribe to one of their six suitable channels: interior, galley, deck, captains, engineers, and their VIP-Vetted Crew team. This network has grown from 200 in October 2021 to 1,500 in October 2022.
There are added resources as well, including job postings with a strict silent-policy rule (meaning that posted jobs include direct contact information, which leads each user out of the group and directly to the person in need). This “not only helps with continuity, but also will not be junked up by multiple responses,” Coppola says.
How Coppola Concierge Stands Out
The multi-faceted entrepreneur was inspired to create these groups when he needed crew for a yacht he was chartering. “I didn't like going through crew agencies because they are expensive. So I decided to start connecting with people via Instagram, which gave me an opportunity to see how they presented themselves and their experience level. It was also helpful to meet new yachties that were working on building up their resumé,” he says.
This network has grown from 200 in October 2021 to 1,500 in October 2022.
To start, Coppola posted a lot about the groups on his @Yacht.Concierge Instagram page, as well as through LinkedIn and Facebook. It was important to him that he get the word out so yachties who wanted to find a community could do so, with direct access to jobs. “The bigger the network became, the better for everyone involved. Even new yachties benefitted from getting references for crew jobs requesting 'green' crew,” he says. “It was a good way to connect people of all skillsets in the industry to help each other out and to continue working in the industry.”
The chats fill up with resources, whether it be sourcing items, asking for advice, etc. There, crew can connect and share their experiences, Coppola says. For example, the galley group shares recipes and information about places to source items all over the world. “Sometimes people ask questions like, ‘We are in St. Thomas, does someone know a good purveyor?’ and someone around the world will share the contact they use,” he says, calling it “pretty instant and remarkable.”
Surpassing the Experimental Phase
Even though it’s going strong with a 1,300-strong increase in a year’s time, Coppola didn’t necessarily think it would take off.
For example, the galley group shares recipes and information about places to source items all over the world. “Sometimes people ask questions like, ‘We are in St. Thomas, does someone know a good purveyor?’ and someone around the world will share the contact they use.”
“This transition has been part of restructuring the groups is to take on a more professional approach. When I began the groups, it was an experiment,” he says. “Now that I see it has worked, I wanted to restructure the groups to offer better resources and less noise. Going subscription-based means that the crewmembers who are involved value the advice/jobs that are shared. They agree and abide by the stricter rules to keep the chatter to a minimum so the group chat is an asset instead of an annoyance, as we know some group chats can become,” he says frankly.
Coppola calls the process slow going, and that people are still requesting that he continue posting jobs in the chat. “But I have to stress that they become a member in order to get their jobs filled,” he says. “This does take time and I know that good things do take time.” As the groups continue to fill up to a larger capacity, Coppola believes the community will reap the benefits as they share this resource with yachties worldwide.
Already, the former chief steward has some ideas for what’s next. “In the future, when the groups grow larger, I will hopefully be able to share more support and advice on exit strategies, contracts, and resources for CVs to help the yachties market themselves and better their entrepreneurial skills,” Coppola says.
To join one of the niche groups, go to the website, and within each section, you can either join one group for $3/month or have the option to join all for $18/month. There is no contract, so you can evaluate whether you want to continue the service on a monthly basis. An upcoming VIP-vetted group is in the process, but has yet to be launched.