Ride the Ducks of Seattle opened with a Duck and a dream.
Ride the Ducks of Seattle opened with a Duck and a dream: to provide the ultimate experience in Seattle by land and water. What started with a small group of dedicated individuals, striving for excellence in entertainment and customer service, has grown into one of the largest tour companies in Seattle and one of the most successful amphibious tour companies in the world! We’re fortunate to have a leadership team who works hard to ensure our guests enjoy their experience at Ride the Ducks and our employees feel valued.
Brian Tracey is an entrepreneur, business man and an entertainer. He has more than 25 years experience in the entertainment profession as a creator of television programming, as on-camera talent and as a television producer. Brian spent many years as a nationally known television personality, hosting shows for the Discovery Network, NBC, ABC and Lifetime Network. Many people in the northwest will remember Brian as the host of “Evening Magazine,” seen on King5 television.
After graduating from Boston University with a degree in biology, Brian traveled all over the world as a performer, musician and recording artist. Then, with the help of his brothers, he founded “Tracey Entertainment Associates.” This company owned and operated one of the largest talent agencies in New England, two recording studios and produced a regionally syndicated television show called “The Best of New England.” The show quickly became one of the highest-rated television shows ever produced in the northeast. In 1989, Brian was honored by NATAS with an Emmy for Outstanding Craft Achievement “Host.”
As founder and President/CEO of Ride the Ducks of Seattle, Brian has used his business experience and his entertainment background to turn Ride the Ducks of Seattle into one of the most successful tour businesses in the country. Today, Ride the Ducks of Seattle has 20 Ducks, 120 employees, and has welcomed over 2 million passengers! He attributes this success to his love for business, his people skills, and his ability to create an “entertainment venue,” not just a tour. In addition to its financial success, Ride the Ducks of Seattle has donated to over one thousand charitable organizations and has adopted the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Washington by giving thousands of dollars in cash and advertising to help families of seriously ill children.
Brian lives in Woodinville, Washington and has been married for more than 40 years to his wife Joanne. They have two daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.
Mikie Shepler is the General Manager of Ride the Ducks of Seattle. This demanding and all-encompassing role enables her to be involved in almost every aspect of the business from customer service to finance, maintenance management to HR and beyond for 120+ employees and counting. Her career at Ride the Ducks has spanned 16 years; in her previous role as Director of Sales, she increased sales revenue from 5% to 30% and created an exciting new division within the company to cater to high-end corporate clients like Microsoft, Starbucks, T-Mobile and others.
Not one to be confined to her office, Mikie frequently spends time in the Ride the Ducks ticket booth working alongside her customer service staff selling tickets, greeting guests and staying plugged in to the needs and challenges of her employees. She encourages her staff to provide honest feedback and regularly meets with her various leadership teams to ensure that each individual feels supported and satisfied. It is through this hands-on and “open door” approach that Mikie is able to lead a successful and energetic team.
Mikie graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She has since parlayed this enthusiasm for the public forum into involvement with Visit Seattle, the National Tour Association and most recently, on the Board of Directors for the American Bus Association. Her passion remains in the equestrian realm, where she spends much of her personal time competing in hunter jumper events with her horse, Hugo.
Director of Safety
Moti Krauthamer’s #1 goal as Director of Safety is to protect and maintain the health and wellbeing of our staff, our guests, the general public and the environment. We take safety very seriously at Ride the Ducks, and Moti is diligent in ensuring that we are holding our operations to the highest standards. One of his primary responsibilities is our rigorous training program, which includes new Captain training and continuing education, both of which are done in the classroom, on the water and on the road.
While not at work, Moti is very active in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary where he promotes safety on the water and protecting the environment. As a certified vessel examiner, he tests both recreational and charter vessels for required safety equipment and systems. Moti has also been certified by the United States Coast Guard as an instructor.
While Moti started his working career on the water as a sailing instructor at the age of 14, he ventured off into the world of television for a several decades. He covered world news for networks such as CNN, BBC and CBC. In addition to covering hard news, Moti also worked for one of the leading fashion television programs in the world covering the trends of Milan, London, Paris and New York. Moti has created several documentaries and has won numerous awards including an EMMY.
Having a 100 Ton Master’s License including a sailing endorsement, Moti can often be spotted sailing some of Seattle’s well known sailing vessels on Lake Union.
Director of Sales
In May of 2011, Tammy Guill jumped at the chance to join the amazing team at Ride the Ducks of Seattle. In her role as Director of Sales, also known as the “Quack-Master of Fun,” Tammy manages all aspects of group and FIT sales, which includes expanding the group customer base, creating strategic partnerships and developing relationships with local and international clients.
With creativity and a strong operational background, Tammy has consistently driven positive revenue growth through targeted sales efforts. Her Duck duties include newsletter content, package creation, partner relations, media outreach, revenue management, collateral design and event organization. She is dedicated to optimizing the guest experience and believes that honest personal relationships are the key to healthy business.
Tammy’s tourism background runs deep. Prior to starting her current adventure with Ride the Ducks, Tammy spent three years as the International and Domestic Travel Trade Manager for Washington State Tourism. Before joining the tourism team in 2008, Tammy was the Director of Sales at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma for seven years.
Tammy brings many desirable strengths to the table. She is a powerful multi-tasker, positivity engager, undaunted optimist, world traveler, choco-holic and she has an amazing singing voice! A bonus on Duck tours! At Ride the Ducks, Tammy helps groups positively connect with their employees, families, tour guests, convention attendees and co-workers through an interactive experience on board the Ducks. “It doesn’t feel like work if you love what you do,” says Tammy.
Guest Services Manager
Tiffany Taylor has been providing exceptional guest service for Ride the Ducks since June 2008. Starting as a ticket booth team member, she was promoted to Guest Services Manager in October 2009. At Ride the Ducks, Tiffany oversees daily operations, including managing up to 50 employees per day, scheduling tour times and departures, increasing ticket and merchandise sales, and ensuring all safety requirements are met. As an employee supervisor, she creates an environment built around teamwork, leads by example and can motivate and communicate well with all her co-workers.
Tiffany has spent much of her professional life in the restaurant and guest services industry. In previous jobs, Tiff has worked at hotels, restaurants and billiard rooms–doing everything from hosting, to managing, and even becoming a billiard expert, house pro, and tournament player. Tiffany is a respected and valued member of the Ride the Ducks team. While away from work, she dedicates her life to her husband, family, and dog named Dexter.
Director of Maintenance
JC might have been named Director of Maintenance in July of 2019, but his history at Ride the Ducks of Seattle goes back so much further. Starting as a Mechanic in 2012, JC became a Junior Lead Mechanic after only a year. Due to his hard work and dedication he was named a Senior Lead Mechanic in 2014 until receiving his most recent promotion.
His role at Ride the Ducks is to ensure that our fleet is fully-operational to meet the needs of our business. During the off-season, he is an integral part of completing our United State Coast Guard COIs and annual DOT inspections. He directly manages our full-time mechanics to ensure that workloads are balanced and preventative maintenance is completed on schedule.
Born and raised in Louisiana, JC moved to the Seattle area in 2003 for his dad’s job in the military. In fact, his dad is a huge part of why he loves cars! They’ve been working on them together since JC was a child. Vehicles like slammed cars and lifted trucks are what he enjoys customizing outside of the Ducks. He’s also been a delivery driver, worked for Ford as a maintenance tech, detailed cars and even renovated houses.
We don’t like to brag, but we *are* the reason JC and his girlfriend got together. They met at a company party the year he started and it’s been love ever since. If he’s not at work, then he’s spending time with her and his 8-year-old daughter, working on cars, or outdoors living the country life.
Marketing and Sales Coordinator
On Julie’s first day at Ride the Ducks in August 2018, she coined her Tour-Guide-Alter-Ego as “The Amazing Ritz Quacker” and has lived up to the nickname ever since. She has basically loved Duck Tours since her birth in Boston and if you forget, don’t worry – Julie will make sure you know she’s from the east coast! Oddly, she graduated from the same school as our CEO (Boston University)– albeit many years later and with a degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations.
In her role as Marketing and Sales Coordinator, she has her busy hands in many things. Her extensive background in marketing varies from clothing companies to higher education, so wearing many hats behind the scenes is part of her jam. From our social media to the website and making sure that all of our large parties enjoy their trip, her role is integral to making things happen in the office for all of our guests and team members. Her favorite work includes writing blogs, especially when she gets to be “punny,” but she also loves coding the website, taking photos of Seattle and creating beautiful graphic designs.
Ride the Ducks loves that Julie was bitten early and often by the travel bug. She’s been to 6 of the 7 continents and knows she’ll make it to Antarctica… some day! Julie has lived and worked in abroad South Korea and Spain making her well-versed in multicultural relations as well. She especially loves working in tourism because it allows her to show the great city of Seattle to people from near and far.
In her spare time, you’ll find her whipping up new dishes, baking treats… and then definitely eating every last bite! She also loves reading books, hiking, speaking new languages and considers herself the office fashionista.
Assistant Operations Manager
Michael started as Ride the Ducks’ Assistant Operations Manager in June 2019. A Montana native, he attended the University of Montana in Missoula and acquired his B.A. in Management Information Systems. Little did he know this would also be his first introduction to the world of transportation! While attending school, he earned his Commercial Driver’s License and began driving for the University’s transportation services as their Lead Driver.
Upon graduating, he joined the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist. While enlisted he spent most of his time onboard the destroyer USS Mustin (“Toujours L’Audace” – “Always Be Bold”) based in Yokosuka, Japan. There he enjoyed sightseeing and making many port visits to neighboring countries and Southeast Asia.
After his time in the service, Michael relocated to Seattle to study Filmmaking and Producing. He received his MFA and began working, once-again, in transportation; this time with King County Metro to develop a video and web based training program. When Michael saw the opportunity to combine his experience in transportation on land and operations on water, he got onboard with Ride the Ducks.
When he’s not in the nest, Michael enjoys golfing, motorcycling, printmaking, and eating all the great food Seattle has to offer.