MIAMI 2014: NMMA hands out awards to industry leaders

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association honored Scott M. Lewit, president and founding partner of Structural Composites and Compsys, with the 2014 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award and recognized Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer with the Charles F. Chapman Award for his career spanning more than 40 years in the recreational boating industry.

Both men received the award today at the State of the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast held at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.

The NMMA’s Accessory Manufacturers Division introduced the Freedman Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who, throughout the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

Lewit is chairman of the board of directors for Energy Florida. He is also a long-serving member of the executive steering committee for the TCC, the technical resource for the Navy Center of Excellence for Composites Manufacturing.

Lewit was a principal in developing the composites training program for the American Boat and Yacht Council in 2003. He is also co-inventor of the resin recirculation molding process and the patented PRISMA preform technology, as well as the inventor of the patent-pending co-cure strain tunable resin and gelcoat technology.

First established in 1977, the Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups that have provided consistent promotion and protection of the sport of boating and its benefits to both the recreational boating industry and the public. The award, presented each year during the Miami show, includes a $1,000 donation to a marine-oriented organization of the recipient’s choice.

Frohnhoefer, CEO and Founder of Sea Tow Services International, based in Southold, N.Y., is an avid boater with an unwavering interest in serving the public. In 1965, he started Water Thrills Inc., a marine company offering Water Skiing instruction, Red Cross Swimming instruction, sailboat and powerboat rentals.

In 1982, a change in Coast Guard regulations led to the decision that the service would no longer tow in non-emergency situations. The opportunity to combine his lifesaving skills, commitment to public service, entrepreneurial spirit and love of the water was the inspiration for Frohnhoefer to found Sea Tow in 1983.

Continuing his goal of giving back to the boating public, Frohnhoefer  founded the Sea Tow Foundation in 2007 with the goal of providing tools and education to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on the water. To date, the Sea Tow Foundation has provided more than 20,000 life jackets to the boating public via its Life Jacket Loaner program. Today, you can still find Frohnhoefer  towing boats in the waters of Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay and off the coast of Montauk.

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