Chip Lane stands in front of hair and sun care products on a mock retail store shelf.

Suncare sales’ shining light

Sealane Marketing Founder and CEO Chip Lane (BSAc '75) has collaborated with leading retailers in the suncare category for over 40 years.


Growing up in Ormond Beach, Chip Lane (BSAc ’75) spent his formative years working in various jobs in local hotels. He was one of the first employees of Hawaiian Tropic, which started in Ormond Beach. In 1971, Lane convinced Publix to carry both suncare products and other-beach related products such as inflatables in their beach stores.

Lane initially enrolled at the University of Florida as a real estate major. He struggled with his first basic accounting class. Inspired to take on a challenge, he switched his major to accounting, which has helped his career as a manager and business owner.


Fresh out of college, Lane initially accepted employment at Ernst and Ernst’s Orlando office. However, his love for the beach and tourism led him back to Ormond Beach. During that time, he was the Controller for one of the largest suncare companies in the U.S. He then started his own distribution company called Coastal Sales, selling apparel and various suncare brands throughout Florida.

Florida tourism was struggling in the 1970’s, so Lane sold Coastal Sales and took a role with Nova Sales, which was the largest food broker in Florida. The experience at Nova gave him a first-hand experience of how to manage headquarter and retail sales for various general merchandise and health & beauty care products which Lane would use to start his own business in 1985.

As CEO, Lane leads Sealane Marketing, which has grown to be one the of nation’s top suncare brokers including brands such as Banana Boat, Coppertone, Neutrogena, Sun Bum and, of course, Hawaiian Tropic. In addition, Sealane is the broker for other non-food categories including apparel, beach and pool products, cosmetics and hair care. Sealane sells to the headquarters of CVS, Harris Teeter, Publix, Winn Dixie and Walgreens.

Sealane’s sales approach has always been data-driven, which Lane’s accounting background is the foundation of his analytical approach. Sealane works with accounts to determine brand and item selections based upon that retailer’s consumer demographics. Then Sealane will construct multiple versions of the proposed planograms for an “easy-to-shop” shelf placement which will maximize the sales for that retailer. Sealane’s focus is always to maximize the sales for that retailer.

“We want to make it easy for the consumer to make a quick purchase at the shelf,” Lane said. “When it comes to these decisions, less is more. It needs to be simple for the consumer to find and purchase the product.”

Lane also founded Retail Detail Merchandising (RDM), Sealane’s sister company which provides customized retail services for clients throughout the East Coast of the U.S. In 2024, RDM expanded into the California and Las Vegas markets.

While Sealane’s efforts are based upon selling to the retailer’s headquarters, RDM works in retail stores with product placement and on-shelf maintenance.


Despite suncare now being a $1.5 billion industry in the U.S., Sealane’s commissions were only $750 at the end of the first year in business.

“I was a one-man show for 7 years,” Lane said. “Sales calls, administrative work, you name it, I did it.”

Since then, Sealane has grown their team, but purposefully kept it small. Today, Sealane has twenty full-time associates while RDM employs twenty full-time associates and two hundred part-time associates. With their small teams, Sealane’s relationship-focused philosophy drives continued success at both RDM and Sealane.

In 1942, Lane’s father, Charlie Lane, was hired as a bag boy at Publix and would eventually work his way up the ladder into a leadership position.

Lane shared, “My clothes may be orange and blue, but my blood is Publix green.”


Despite over four decades in the industry, Lane still enjoys the daily challenges of his work.

“Suncare and beach products make you feel young,” Lane shared. “It reminds me of when I was a kid growing up Ormond Beach.”

Lane plans to retire soon and intends to pass the ownership of both RDM and Sealane to the associates. He is looking forward to the day he can step out of the office and into the sun (with sunscreen on, of course), enjoying traveling and putting his sommelier skills to work along side his wife of 40 years and fellow Gator, Mary, who acquired a Master of Arts PE in 1978.

Lane and Mary both serve on the UF Foundation, and Lane is an active member of the Business Advisory Council for the Warrington College of Business.