The United Yacht Sales Team

Peter Schmidt

Captain of the Ship

Peter Schmidt, CEO and majority owner of United Yacht Sales, has been a Yacht Broker since 1978. He started in New England and, at one time, was a partner at Northrop and Johnson. Peter moved to Florida in 1994 where he continued working as a yacht broker for other major firms until 2002, when he started United Yacht Sales.

Peter still remains at the helm, managing the day-to-day operations of the company along with a full time staff of 8 employees. The company has grown significantly over the past 12 years and has become the largest independently owned yacht brokerage firm in the country with over 125 brokers in 18 offices in 16 states and Canada.

Although Peter is almost 70, he still enjoys working hard but does have time to travel, golf, and, of course, cruise on his 36’ Island Packet Downeast Cruiser. Keep an eye out for him on the waterways as he and his co-captain, Anne, complete their Great Loop trip over the next few years.

Audrey Bird

Manager of Sales and Marketing Development

Audrey has been around boating and the water her entire life. She is the daughter of the founder and CEO of United Yacht Sales, so this company is in her blood. From an early age, Audrey has always been walking the docks, running around the various offices and attending boat shows. She has fished in numerous tournaments, sailed the Caribbean and simply enjoyed the offerings of the South Florida lifestyle.

Audrey attended college at Florida State University and The University of Tampa where she earned her degree in Advertising and PR with a minor in Marketing. After graduating, Audrey moved to Boston for a change of scenery where she worked for Affiliated Managers Group, a global asset management company, as an Executive Assistant to a Senior Vice President. Audrey moved back down to South Florida in 2012 to work for United Yacht Sales.

“AMG taught me how to work…hard. The invaluable work ethic I learned there, along with the corporate formalities, prepared me for this position. I love stepping outside the box and coming up with creative ideas and executing them from start to finish.”

Kim Holling

Listings Department Manager

Kim has been helping brokers and managing the Listings Department since 2005. Born and raised in Cape Town South Africa and the youngest of 4 children, most of my weekends were spent at the yacht club, sailing or racing. Shortly after I turned 18, Kim and family set sail on their Compass 47 (designed by Angelo Lavranos) to the United States. They spent a year on the water making their way to South America and up the Caribbean Islands, Bahamas and then finally coming to our destination, Ft. Lauderdale, in the spring of 1985. It was a fantastic trip, one she will never forget.

Kim then teamed up with her husband at the time and they both worked on an 85’ motoryacht that travelled up the East Coast of the United States to Maine. They then decided to settle down in Jensen Beach, a nice quiet town and raise 2 girls. Kim joined United Yacht Sales in January 2005 in the Listings Department and has watched the company grow from 40 Brokers to over 125 brokers. Kims’ goal is to retire after she leaves UYS… (lol). In her free time and on the weekends, she enjoys going to the beach, boating, and fishing.

Kathy Hochenberger

Closings Agent

After having twin girls, Ana and Alex, in 2000, Kathy decided leave the corporate world behind. In 2001, her husband Jim decided 20 years with the NY State Police (12 as an undercover narcotics agent) was enough, obtained his 100 Ton Captain’s License and retired. Not looking back, they sold their home, packed up the twins, their black lab named Puppy, three cats and said so long to their family and friends and everything they knew. It was farewell to Long Island, NY the place where Kathy and Jim both grew up and lived for 33 and 42 years respectively.

Kathy and her husband had a great time running operations for the Lady Stuart, a 65’ Party Fishing Vessel out of Jensen Beach, FL. Since then, Kathy has obtained her 220 Insurance License and spent some time working at State Farm as a Customer Service Representative. In 2006, realizing that Risk Management was not challenging enough, Kathy accepted an offer to be a General Manager for a highly successful Florida Real Estate Brokerage. In late 2007, with the economy plummeting and the real estate market becoming unfriendly to the inexperienced, an angel and top ranked realtor, also known as Anne Schmidt, informed Kathy of a position at United Yacht Sales. Initially, Kathy was the Broker Liaison, Boat Show Coordinator and Administrative Assistant to Peter Schmidt. Due to Peter’s leadership, his unique business model and his eye for productive brokers, United Yacht Sales grew and the need arose for another Closing Agent. Kathy gladly jumped in with both feet.

In 2012, Kathy and fellow closing agent, Rachel Gates , added Coast Guard Documentation and Florida boat titling and registration to their resumes. Over the years, Kathy and Rachel have closed thousands of transactions and continue to learn more and more with every closing. Just like fingerprints, no two closings are the same and with each one comes a new challenge and growth experience!

Rachel Gates

Head Closings Agent

Rachel Gates is the Head Closing Agent for United Yacht Sales. Buying or selling a boat, no matter the size, can be a stressful and confusing process. Rachel and Kathy are here to help guide you thru the process and make it as seamless as possible.

Rachel grew up in Manlius NY, a small suburb outside of Syracuse, NY. After spending a wonderful vacation in Florida during the month of January, she and her future husband decided they had had enough of the cold brutal winters and, six months later, they packed up their stuff and headed south on their 40 foot Silverton motor yacht. The trip took 18 days, through all kinds of weather, but they finally arrived in Fort Lauderdale where her future husband went to work for the then Derektor- Gunnel Shipyard. Rachel went to work in the financial sector, passing the General Securities Exam and General Securities Principal exam and eventually working for two successful investment bankers, overseeing the day-to-day operations of their office.

About ten years later, Rachel’s husband was given the opportunity to work for the Hinckley Yacht Company in Stuart, FL. So, once again, they packed up their stuff and headed north this time. Rachel continued to work with the two investment bankers until March 2004, when she found an opportunity to work with Peter at United Yacht Sales. Utilizing the skills she learned working in the financial sector, she applied them to her position at United Yacht Sales. Rachel has seen the company flourish from 30 brokers when she started, to United Yacht Sales becoming one of the largest yacht brokerage firms in the country.

Stephen Kaufman

Director of I.T. and Website Design

Stephen has been into computers since the Commodore 64. His Grandmother had the foresight to get him into Cobol, Fortran, Quick Basic, C++ and other programming classes early on as a young child, and also bought him his first computer. While other kids were playing games on Atari and Nintendo, Stephen was programming and playing his own games on the computer. Since the first moment he sat at a computer, he has been hooked!

Technology has changed a lot since then. After serving 4 years in the U.S. Army, he decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science simply because he enjoyed helping people with their computer problems and the social interaction that came along with it. His journeys brought him and his wife Kristen from Chicago to South Florida where he landed with United Yacht Sales in 2008. After 15 years in the IT Support, Server Administration, and Cisco Networking fields, Stephen decided to shift gears and learn Web development. Studying at home, he taught himself HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, AJAX, JSON, PHP, and MySQLi because he believes the Internet will continue to grow, becoming the decisive way people shop for goods and services. 

Stephen will continue, as always, to support the United Yacht Sales’ Brokers and Staff in all related IT functions as well as keeping them up to date on all present and future technologies!