MIAMI 2019: Innovation, Freedman and Customer Satisfaction

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MIAMI — John Thommen, founder and CEO of Ocean Marketing, received the Alan J. Freedman Award at this morning’s Innovation Breakfast at the Miami International Boat Show. NMMA president Thom Dammrich praised Thommen’s “dedication” to the marine industry.

“John’s unwavering commitment to marketing and providing instruction on the proper use of marine products to dealers, retailers and end users has resulted in better safe-boating practices and is a testament to his lasting mark on the industry,” Dammrich said at the breakfast.

Thommen founded Ocean Marketing, in 1981 in Guilford, Conn. The company has become one of the premier marine sales agencies in the United States, according to a statement. Thommen also is the founder and owner of Ocean Accessories, which manufactures, imports and distributes marine products. Ocean Accessories markets throughout North America and 22 foreign countries. It has warehouses in Guilford and in Kent, England.

Thommen served on the board of the National Marine Distributors Association for eight years. He is also past director of the National Marine Representatives Association, and a past president of the U.S. Marine Safety Association. He also has worked on various NMMA show committees.

Eighteen boats and products also received innovation awards at the breakfast. The awards, judged by Boating Writers International, recognize consumer products introduced at the show.

According to a statement, the BWI judges evaluated 66 products across 26 categories. The judges ultimately selected 18 winners, with one honorable mention. The judging committee was co-chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and Alan Wendt. Other judges include Alan Jones, Kim Koditek, Frank Lanier, Pat Rains, Greta Schanen and Ben Stein.

Here are the winners:

  • Boat Care and Maintenance: Padxpress, Valen SAS
  • Center Console/Walkaround Fishing Boats: Blackfin 332CC
  • Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software: Aurora, SIOnyx (honorable mention: Sail-Sense, Spinlock USA)
  • Consumer Safety Equipment: Galaxy-INFL8, Shakespeare Electronics
  • Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: Cobalt A29
  • Deck Boats: Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport
  • Deck Equipment: ComfortGrip, Edson International
  • Docking and Fendering Equipment: Dry-Dock Seapen, Solstice Watersports/Seapen
  • Electric Motor/Battery Powered Propulsion/Hybrids: Deep Blue 100i, Torqeedo
  • Environmental Award: Untangled Collection Baffin, Costa
  • Fishing Equipment, Gear and Tackle: SeaTrace 3000, FT-TEC USA Corp.
  • Inboard Engines: 2.3L EcoBoost, Indmar Marine
  • Jet Boats: 275 series featuring DRiVE, Yamaha WaterCraft
  • Outboard Engines: Integrated Outboard Propulsion, Volvo Penta
  • Personal Watercraft: FISH PRO 155, Sea-Doo
  • Propulsion Equipment and Parts: MicroTuners, Nautique Boat Co.
  • Towboats: MasterCraft X24
  • Watersports Equipment: WakeBooster Wake Enhancer, Yamaha WaterCraft

The NMMA also recognized 54 boat and engine manufacturers with Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index Awards. “Award recipients achieved an independently measured standard of excellence of 90 percent or higher in customer satisfaction over the past program year,” said the NMMA. “Participating manufacturers must survey all new-boat buyers during this period. For this reporting period, the program surveyed 155,418 customers.”

This statement contains a list of all the winners. 


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