Randy Repass is founder of West Marine, Inc. and chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Repass graduated from Duke University with a BSEE in 1966 and began his career in engineering and marketing with Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1973, he founded Semiconductor Engineering Associates, specializing in programming of computer-controlled testers for complex integrated circuits. Earnings from this business provided the initial financing for West Marine.
In 1968, Mr. Repass founded West Coast Ropes, later to be renamed West Marine, a mail order purveyor of quality three-strand rope. The first retail store was opened in Palo Alto, CA in 1975.
Mr. Repass also has served as commodore of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, as a director and President of Sail America, the US sailing industry association, and as a director of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Mr. Repass' sailing background includes frostbite sailing, dinghy racing in FJ's and lasers, club racing, coastal cruising in New England, the Northwest and Mexico and several ocean races to Mexico and Hawaii. He has also cruised extensively with family in the Northwest aboard a traditional New England Lobster Yacht and in the South Pacific aboard a performance passage making sailboat. As Co-chair of Action Pajaro Valley he was active in collaborative planning for the area. For many years he has been and remains active in marine conservation for the benefit of the marine environment and fishers.