Numerous awards were handed out Wednesday during a luncheon at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
The Jerry Marine Journalism Award was presented to Norm Schultz, who writes Soundings Trade Only's semiweekly "Dealer Outlook" blog. The award was created in memory of Jerry Martin, the MRAA's first director of development and the association's publicist for many years.
"Receiving the Jerry Martin Journalism Award has very special meaning for me because Jerry and I both came out of Johnson Outboards and his contributions to MRAA and the industry were truly remarkable," Schultz said. "He was a generous counselor and a friend to me."
Barbara Woodard, from Woodard Marine in Bomoseen, Vt., received the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year award. She and her husband, Robert, have been working together in the business for more than 40 years.
The Briggs award was established in memory of Darlene Briggs, of Wayzata Marine in Minnesota. It is presented annually to an outstanding woman who is actively involved in the marine industry at any level. The award recognizes long and devoted service, untiring commitment and the advancement of women in the industry.
Woodard Marine sells Bayliner, Regal, Sweetwater, Aquapatio, Sanpan, Hurricane, Lund, Boston Whaler, Moomba, Yamaha Waverunners, Mercury, Honda, Shorelander, Shoremaster, Shorestation and Hewitt. The dealership also offers a full service department and services Lake Bomoseen, Lake Dunmore, Lake St. Catherine, Lake Hortonia, Lake Champlain and Lake George.
BRP was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Marine Retailers Association of America.
The annual award, launched in 1980, is presented to the marine manufacturer or supplier that best exemplifies outstanding support of its dealers through expert business practices, programs and products.
"We are delighted to receive this honor," said Yves Leduc, vice president and general manager of North America division, in a statement. "Along with consistent brand-building initiatives, we have strived to provide our dealers with effective wholesale and retail programs despite the recent industry downturn. This award validates that these programs were well-received and have helped our network gain strength due to our efforts."
U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, received the Legislative Award, which is given to a lawmaker who has worked in some way to advance the recreational boating industry. Voinovich, who is retiring, has been a strong supporter of the industry and the Great Lakes as mayor of Cleveland, governor of Ohio and later as a senator.