Born into a military family, Tom Kicklighter relocated frequently from Annapolis to Paris France, Camp Pendleton, CA, Quantico, VA and back to Annapolis. He became interested in the marine industry during his junior year at Annapolis High School. After attending both private and public schools, Tom started working at various marinas around Baltimore, Washington DC, the Eastern Shore and Annapolis. His marine experience literally started from the bottom up – sanding, painting, cleaning and gradually progressed into the technical aspects of marine repair: electrical, mechanical, electronics and underwater maintenance.Tom established his first local marine service business in 1981 which was located at Bert Jabin Yacht Yard. He then moved onto a new venture in 1990 opening “Diversified Marine Services and Annapolis Diving Contractors”. In early 2009, Diversified Marine had become so big that he decided to sell “Annapolis Diving Contractors” to focus 100% on his thriving business.
The business grew steadily with a new sales record and expanded service offering each year. In 2016, Tom decided it was time to step back. After much discussion and deliberation, the business was sold to Rob Sola in January of 2017. Prior to leading Diversified Marine Services, Rob had 16 years of experience between Baltimore Aircoil Company and American Sugar Refining (Domino Sugar). From Design Engineer to Global Vice President, he developed his skills across a wide variety of roles in Engineering, Operations, Marketing and Information Technology. Rob’s greatest strengths are in Process Improvement, Team Building and Strategy Development. Growing up on Long Island NY, he learned how to sail on Lasers and Sonars and has enjoyed boating ever since. Rob jumped at the opportunity to work in the marine industry and has doubled the size of Diversified Marine in just 2 years. He lives with his wife Christine and two young children in Annapolis and looks forward to raising the bar further for outstanding service to local boat owners!
Tom continues to support the Diversified Marine Services team with his unparalleled enthusiasm, experience and knowledge of the marine industry.
In 2018, Diversified Marine Service and Meridian Marine Services decided to merge. Meridian Marine was only a few years old but boasted an extensive background in boat building prior to its formation in 2015 by Matt Jones and Mike Welsh. Jones and Welsh worked together for Diversified Marine Services for many years before branching off to form Meridian Marine Services. Meridian Marine and Diversified Marine have always had a strong working relationship and since Rob Sola took ownership of Diversified Marine in January 2017, Jones, Welsh and Sola agreed to bring the groups back together and operate as a single company. The resulting team is bigger, stronger and provides the most comprehensive in-house yacht service offering in the Annapolis area.