The prestigious Boat Builder Award celebrates and rewards outstanding business achievements of individuals and teams across key areas in the worldwide superyacht industry and is held during the METSTRADE show, the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems.
The category Rising Star celebrates those aged 35 or under who have been making a growing impact on any aspect of their business and are therefore pioneers in the yachting industry.
Especially at the end of 2019, where Dominator Yachts celebrates its 20thanniversary and announced the kick-off of the 42M Tri-Deck Ilumen project during the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, all the Dominator management team celebrates this important achievement. Few yacht builders have been successful at turning dreams and design concepts into reality. With the Ilumen series Dominator Yachts has transformed from being a respected motor yacht brand to one of the premier marques in the small-but-competitive custom mini-superyacht segment. Noticeably different from any other player in the industry: several different nations and several strong women, one of them another young Austrian, Sophie Hotz, who is responsible for Marketing and Angela’s sparring partner, set the tone.
When Angela Pernsteiner introduces herself outside of the marine industry, people usually look strange at her for being such an “unusual package”: young, female, grown up in Mühlviertel, the Austrian countryside world-renowned for granite stone, studied business below minimum time foreseen in the curriculum, carried out research in Neuroeconomics, founded companies in Liechtenstein, builds technically complex yachts in Italy, negotiates hard with Arabs and Russian, argues in sneakers and dusty jeans with electricians and carpenters and parties in high heels with evenings gowns on luxurious lifestyle events.
During her childhood and youth there was no school year, where she was not best-in-class. Her perseverance and perfectionism continuously increased, which was a blessing and curse at the same time. Very often she met with disappointed by her environment because she demanded too high standards not only from herself but also subconsciously from everyone around her. “Angela’s iron butt and her bull head are tough as the granite in Mühlviertel” is something she heard often.
However, only due to this perseverance she was able to finish her studies in Accounting, Finance, Controlling and Strategic Management as first person ever under minimum curriculum time with summa cum laude in Austria. Further academic and professional stations included University of Harvard, Singapore, Liechtenstein and St. Gallen, where she worked at the Chair of Accounting and Auditing amongst others, Ernst & Young Vienna or the Financial Advisory Firm FAS AG in Stuttgart. Together with her doctorate supervisor she founded the Neuro-Accounting Center and conducted research with functional magnetic resonance imaging, analyzing decision making of experts and novices in brain scanners. The more exotic and untypical something sounds; the more Angela feels attracted to it.
At Dominator Yachts, quite a lot has happened over the last 20 years and having more than 160 tailor-made yachts in the water. The core management team at Dominator Yachts is particularly proud about the last three years, where the yachting industry was revolutionized with the Dominator Ilumen series.
Dominator Yachts was not only the first shipyard in the world who developed a virtual reality experience that allowed the owner to walk through the Ilumen before she was built, but with its innovative design, style, comfort and livability as well as technological innovations, and performance, the 28M Ilumen series perfectly responds to the changed demands of owners, who nowadays want more space, light, comfort, safety, trip range while at the same time aiming at less fuel consumption, overhead and maintenance costs, less crew on board and a low draft to reach adventurous places and undiscovered bays.
The challenge for Angela and all her team was to tie a knot between very different, contrasting worlds and ideas, which was achieved thanks to an intense and tireless collaboration of highly skilled and experienced yachting individuals: Merging sleek and aggressive exterior design that one can usually only find on planing yachts with a semi-displacement hull, combining Dominator’s yacht-building tradition with extensive innovation and technology, providing a fully bespoke philosophy with not only decoration-options but offering individual choices such as propulsion system, personalized cruising speed or structural re-engineering of technical and interior spaces in a semi-custom series, integrating an interior volume of 30M on a pleasure craft registered under 24M or joining an unprecedented ceiling height of 2,18M with a stable and robust hull and a low draft to name only a few.
“#BeBold and ‘Combine Extremes for Unique Results’ were not coincidental or random choices for the motto of the 20-year anniversary of Dominator Yachts. “Personally, I consider myself as a ‘Product of two Extremes’ because my parents are so contradictory like nothing else: My father is a full-blooded entrepreneur in different industries and my biggest critic, who always throws me into ice-cold water since I was little ‘because that’s the best way to learn swimming’ or asked me if I feel sick when I didn’t bring exam results with full score back home. My mother, president of the Austrian Catholic Women, is engaged in social charity projects fighting for minorities like refugees, women or politically prosecuted people all over the world, repeats every day that I am not born to be a hamster in a running wheel (laughs). It is very likely that I love this crazy, unpredictable yachting industry exactly for this reason – because contradictions are deeply engrained in my DNA.”,says Angela and smiles.
The 42M Project MY Peppermint is aimed to be another example of pushing boundaries and creating something that the market has not seen. A category-buster, which can reach 19.5 kn like the 28M semi-displacement hull with a transoceanic range, engineered by the best Italian engineers and tested in the famous Austrian tank test of Vienna, world-renowned for military vessels and cruising ships. The presentation of this new project was celebrated in style with the well-known Austrian wine maker Kracher and the schnapps distillery Reisetbauer – both globally awarded lifestyle brands with international outreach distinguished by an Austrian down-to-earthness as Dominator Yachts likes to describe themselves equally.
Especially due to the Rising Star Award Angela will bear even more responsibility to differentiate her products and make her way in the male-dominated shark tank of the yachting industry, which also comes with the commitment to serve as a role model for young women. Since childhood, her academic and business mentors were exclusively male, that’s where her occasional rationality and coldness probably stem from. However, as she is convinced that in the long run only diversity will lead to success, she is combining her “Mühlviertler iron butt and granite head” with the right portion of Austrian warmness. It comes with no surprise that her inner circle describes Angela undoubtedly as “Love in the Heart, Snow in the Eyes, Peppermint in the Blood!”.