IMBC 2011: Indiana marina honored

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Hammond Marina in Indiana received this year's National Marina Day Marina of the Year award. The award was announced at the International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

"The deciding factor on choosing Hammond Marina was their creative means to advertise their event and really reach out to the entire community, as well as their initiative in getting proclamations," said Wendy Larimer, coordinator of National Marina Day for the Association of Marina Industries, in a statement.

"The events they held ensured that their visitors were introduced to the marina lifestyle and water recreation," she added. "Hammond has been a longstanding participant in National Marina Day, recognizing the value of the day to their marina, as well as the industry, in giving a positive light to what marinas do every day."

The marina began its celebration a day early with a live radio broadcast from its facility. The broadcast was advertised weeks in advance and banners announcing National Marina Day were hung on light posts throughout the town. The intent was to reach out to residents and invite them in unusual ways.

The celebration included a mayor's ribbon cutting at the marina's new yacht club, a boater appreciation breakfast, children's games, environmental and safety exhibits, boat displays and rides, a VIP reception and a party for the community that included fireworks.

In addition, the marina was responsible for obtaining a proclamation from the governor of Indiana and the mayor of Hammond proclaiming June 12 as National Marina Day. Built in 1991, Hammond Marina is a 918-slip marina on Lake Michigan.

In other news from IMBC, the Association of Marina Industries honored industry veteran and International Marina Institute co-founder Neil Ross with a scholarship in his name.

The AMI will give the scholarship to a marina manager who is working toward the Certified Marina Manager designation through the institute - the AMI's training subsidiary. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2012.

"We want to honor Neil and the many contributions he has made over the years to IMI's efforts as we educate our industry leaders," AMI president and chairman Jim Frye said in a statement. "We can think of no better way to highlight his efforts than to attach his name to a scholarship that will continue to evoke his influence for years to come."

Ross began working with marinas in the 1970s while he was on the faculty at the University of Rhode Island's Sea Grant program. He developed classes for marina operators who were facing increasing challenges as the industry moved from mom-and-pop marinas to corporate-run, full-service facilities. By 1986, he had helped to found the IMI to formally manage educational programs, conduct research and produce publications.

Ross became president of the IMI in 1986. He retired in 1993 while retaining a lifetime directorship and membership. He now works as a consultant to the marina industry, providing guidance to a new group of industry professionals.

On Friday at the IMBC, Marina Dock Age named Bridge Marina, a 90-slip marina in Lake Hopatcong, N.J., its 2010 small marina of the year and Seven Points Marina, a 941-slip marina on Raystown Lake in Hesston, Pa., its 2010 big marina of the year.

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