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The Trident Marina Story

Our Lake Legacy

Like many families, we grew up on the lake—tubing and skiing behind our grandfather’s pontoon boat, fishing with our dad and grandfather, and loading the boat up with friends to spend a day on the water. We had been customers of Trident Marina—formerly Ryan Creek or Big Bridge Marina—for many years, when the opportunity came to acquire the business. In January of 2015, we took over management, and just like our memories on the lake, it was a family affair.

Our name, Trident Marina, honors our family legacy as well as the legacy of Smith Lake. The “Tri” in Trident represents our family members, two Tolbert brothers and our father. The view of the lake from above also resembles a trident. The perfectly nautical name just fit, and we are proud to bring the lake legacy to a new generation of families.


There are a lot of marinas out there, but none like ours. Our boats speak for themselves, and we back up our great product with a service department and a team that is dedicated to making your experience the best. With our local, on-water location, it’s easy for us to provide the high quality of service that we believe all of our customers deserve.


We are a one-stop-shop for all things lake life! We are the location where you can store and service boats, purchase or rent boats, buy fuel, eat delicious food, attend fun events, and more—because the lake isn’t just the lake. It’s a lifestyle.

Our Team

At Trident, we are dedicated to creating exciting memories for every customer. Our team is passionate about building relationships with marina visitors and making sure that everyone feels at home. We strive to make sure that every boat buyer has all the support they need to get out on the lake and experience lake life to its fullest. Our passion and enthusiasm for boating and dedication to our craft is evident in everything we do. We are proud to provide the highest level of service and support to our customers, whether it’s your first time on the lake or you’re a boating pro, Trident promises to make your time here with us an unforgettable experience.

Jeff Tolbert Sr.

President of Marina Operations

Jeff Tolbert is the President of Marina Operations. He has founded many aviation and medical transportation businesses during his extensive career. He is the founder of MedJet & AirMed International, both companies focusing on air medical evacuations and travel risk management. He has spearheaded companies with operations in Birmingham, Honolulu, Rochester, Cleveland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, & Jeddah.

He is also a pilot, having flown more than 3,000 medical evacuations to more than 100 countries around the world. In 2014 he sold the medical evacuation business, which allowed him to focus on economic opportunities at Smith Lake & Cullman.

Jeff, along with his sons Jason and Jeff Jr., purchased the property next to Big Bridge on Smith Lake in 2015. Jeff and his family built Trident Marina to serve the boating needs for Smith Lake and the Cullman Area.

In 2021, he served as chairman of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce. He is currently serving a 3-year term as the Chairman of the new Cullman County Tourism Bureau.

Jeff loves boating, fishing, and spending time on the lake with his family.

Jeff Tolbert Jr.

President of Sales - Owner

Jeff Jr. is the President of Sales. In addition to Marina Operations and Boat Sales at Trident, Jeff’s business experiences include working as CFO for a private Birmingham based Investment Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis for AirMed International, a Medical Evacuation Pilot, and Commercial Pilot for a Delta regional carrier.

Jeff is a graduate from the Cox School of Business at SMU and his family are members of St. Luke Episcopal Church in Birmingham.

Jeff, with his dad and brother, founded Trident Marina, knowing there is no better way to spend your summer days than on a boat with your family and friends. He is an avid boater and loves spending time on the water with his wife Eleanor and daughters Lilly, 6 and Eleanor, 3. The Tolberts live the lake lifestyle and invite you to join them!

Jason Tolbert

Operations Manager - Owner

Jason Tolbert is the Operations Manager. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role. He helps keep this place operating smoothly, and he is here to make your experience unforgettable.

An avid golfer with a deep love for boating, Jason is committed to ensuring that Trident Marina is the best that it can be—he’s passionate about boats and the lake lifestyle, providing the best possible experience for our customers.

Stephen Sasnette

Marina GM

Stephen Sasnette is the Marina General Manager. He has been in the boating business for 20 years and is passionate about building long-lasting relationships with our customers. He is dedicated to treating our customers like family and making sure their experience is stress-free and easy-going. He believes that the backbone to a great business is customer satisfaction, and he puts time and effort into ensuring each customer has a positive, memorable experience!

Heather Phillippo

Controller and Director of F&I

Heather Phillippo is the Director of F&I / Controller. She is originally from Birmingham and graduated from JSCC but found a true love for Cullman about 10 years ago.

She works closely with our customers and is committed to understanding their needs and advising them on the best solution for their situation. She wants their experience to feel effortless while she takes on all the pressure. Not only does she enjoy helping others but will use all available means to get the task done successfully. She wants to help you invest in your best lake life!

In her free time, she enjoys all things outdoors, cooking, and skating.

Roddie Morris

Smith Lake Sales Manager

Roddie Morris is the Sales Manager at our Smith Lake location. He has been around Smith Lake since 1964, but he is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Roddie has been in Sales since 1971, and his dedication to his craft is evident in everything he does.

As someone who understands the importance of building strong relationships with customers, Roddie is committed to ensuring that each person who walks through our doors has a great experience. Whether you are looking for a new boat or simply need advice on how to maintain your current vessel, Roddie is always happy to lend a helping hand.

Jeff MacQueen

Lay Lake Manager

Meet Jeff McQueen, our Lay Lake Marina location Manager. With a wealth of experience and expertise, Jeff brings a unique blend of skills to his role. Raised in Nova Scotia, he developed an early passion for restoring wood boats, and has been working on pontoon boats for over 15 years. His extensive knowledge of electrical systems has earned him a journeyman electrical license, and he has also owned and operated two successful restaurants. As a culinary specialist for Morrison Restaurants, Jeff has honed his skills in the kitchen and brings that same level of care and attention to detail to his work at the marina. But most of all, Jeff is passionate about boating and engineering, and loves nothing more than being out on the water. With his deep appreciation for the lake life, Jeff is the perfect person to help you make the most of your time our Lay Lake location.

Danielle Welborn

Customer Service Manager

Danielle Welborn is the Customer Service Manager at Trident Marina and has been a vital part of our team for over 6 years. Danielle oversees all of our front of house administrative services. She works closely with our customers to ensure that they are well taken care of and directed to where they need to be. She has lived in Cullman County her entire life and cares deeply for both our local community and Trident community. In her free time, Danielle enjoys round-track dirt racing, and is a new mother to Kyler.

This place is amazing from the owners to the staff. This is the best marina on the lake and this is a great place to buy a pontoon.

Sean W.

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