President, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service
Boating and skiing, community service and contributions to his profession, entrepreneurism and family business – Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Service third-generation President Chris Shepler comes by all of his passions naturally.
The son of Bill Shepler and grandson of Cap Shepler – founder of Shepler’s Ferry – succeeded his father in the leadership of the family business, and follows in Bill’s footsteps with many of his avocations as well as literally being “at the helm” of the family enterprise. He is a licensed “Master of the Great Lakes” pilot through the United States Coast Guard.
Chris is a 1980 graduate of Harbor Springs High School and attended Ohio Wesleyan University studying economics, and the University of Rhode Island majoring in geography and marine affairs.
Chris is a very community minded individual and serves time on many local and national civic organizations. This includes the boards of directors for the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, the St. Ignace Visitor’s Bureau and the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is a former director of the National Tour Association, National Tourism Foundation, Ontario Motorcoach Association, American Bus Association, and Circle Michigan. In May of 2014, Chris was appointed to the Board of Directors of Citizens National Bank.
Chris counts boating and skiing as his favorite pastimes and has been a very successful downhill ski coach. Chris was the Harbor Springs High School ski coach from 1989-1996 and was named the State Ski Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Athletic Association in 1996, the same year that his high school boys team won the state championship. Chris was also a member of the Central United States Ski Association from 1992-1994 where he coached Junior Olympic skiers in Winter Park, CO, Lake Placid, NY and Mount Snow, VT.
Chris crewed in America’s Cup from 1985-1987 on the “Heart of America Challenge” in Perth, Australia, representing the Chicago Yacht Club. In 1990 he was the navigator on the “Network Express” cigarette boat which was a fundraising challenge for the nonprofit organization Child Help USA.