The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas said today that it has selected Don Galey, president of Galey’s Marine Supply in Bakersfield, Calif., as the recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Don Galey’s name has been synonymous with leadership in the marine industry, beyond just the dealership level, for decades,” Matt Gruhn, president of the MRAA, said in a statement. “Don has been a leader for the MRAA, for the boat brands and other partners he represents, for his community, and for his dealer colleagues across North America. He epitomizes the type of individual MRAA seeks to recognize with this Lifetime Achievement Award, and it’s an honor for us to be able to hold him up and celebrate his numerous incredible contributions to our industry.”
The award will be presented at an awards celebration on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
Galey, who was noted by several colleagues as one of the most respected marine dealers, led the evolution of several major milestones in the industry, including the creation of the MRAA, the launch of Spader Business Management / MRAA 20 Groups and the introduction of floorplan financing for marine dealers.
He served as a board member and chairman of both the MRAA and the Southern California Marine Dealer Association. He sat on numerous manufacturers’ advisory boards, and he found time to chair local organizations, including the Better Business Bureau, Bakersfield College Alumni Association and Ducks Unlimited.
At 81, Galey still works alongside his son and grandsons on a daily basis. He remains a member of a Spader 20 Group, stays connected with lifelong friends in the industry and still gives back to his community. He is the chairman of Union Cemetery, the oldest operating cemetery in California.
“Wow! What an honor,” Galey said. “Time passes so quickly. It seems like just yesterday when I graduated from college and bought the business from my parents. I have many fond memories of the original six dealers working to create MRAA and the hurdles that we had to overcome. It makes me very proud to see the incredible growth fueled by Matt and his crew. Thank you to MRAA, the dealers, and manufacturers that add their passion to the recreational boating industry. MRAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award will hold a special place in my heart.”