WASHINGTON — The inaugural Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award was given to Maverick Boats president Scott Deal on Tuesday at the American Boating Congress.
Deal received the award for tireless efforts in fishing and saltwater advocacy, said National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich, who announced the award during a lunch at the Renaissance Hotel.
“Get involved. You’ll get more out of it than you put into it,” Deal told industry members as he accepted the award.
Center for Sportfishing Policy president Jeff Angers gave the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award, which is named for the chairman and CEO of Grady-White Boats.
“Eddie is a friend, a competitor and a partner with everyone in this room,” Angers said. “He is also a visionary leader who has impacted marine conservation in a way that few others have.”
2015 award winner and American Fish and Tackle Co. president Bill Shedd gave the award — an antique sextant — to Shimano American Corp. president and CEO Dave Pfeiffer.
“Like the man for whom this award is named, our honoree has wanted to share his passion for fishing with others and ensure recreational fishing exists for future generations,” Angers said. “His has been the leadership role in important battles for access to America’s public fishery resources.”
“The thing that was instilled in me was keep only what you need, respect the resources and take care of them,” Pfeiffer said as he accepted the award, saying that he was very humbled.
John Giglio, CEO of lunch sponsor Freedom Boat Club, addressed the group after the awards were presented.
“We are a very large contributor to the marine ecosystem, and it’s partnerships with customers like you that help make that happen,” Giglio said. “We specialize in several different groups of people that we introduce to boating or keep in boating.”
The boat club introduces lots of newcomers to boating, but also keeps lapsed and aging boaters in the recreation once they’ve decided against boat ownership, Giglio said.
The company, which continues to grow as the oldest boat club in the nation, also is placing a large focus on the Hispanic community, he said, adding: “We feel that’s a huge opportunity.”