Suzi DuRant, the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s South Carolina executive director, received a Lifetime Achievement award last week during the American Boating Congress.
After a career with the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., where DuRant got her start in advocacy, and managing marinas in the Chesapeake with her husband, Nelson, DuRant moved to Charleston, S.C., where she and her husband started a marine business in 1997.
Almost immediately, DuRant immersed herself as a volunteer with the South Carolina Marine Association, chairing the boat show committee and serving on the board. In 2006 DuRant went from volunteer to paid staff as executive director of the SCMA.
She led the industry in South Carolina, assuming control of the Clean Marina program to keep it viable when state agencies decided they could not manage it any longer.
She has lobbied the South Carolina legislature on behalf of recreational boating on issues ranging from taxation to dredging.
DuRant represents the industry on the state’s Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Task Force and oversees industry participation in the South Carolina Water Safety Coalition.
For many years she produced the Charleston In-Water Boat Show with an all-volunteer staff and has worked to restore the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, advocating in the South Carolina legislature and serving on the board of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association.
“Suzi makes sure that NMMA remains highly involved in industry issues throughout the state of South Carolina and has created strong advocates for recreational boating among South Carolina’s members of Congress, the state legislature and state agencies,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. “Her unwavering work has created long-lasting positive changes for the state of South Carolina and the boating industry at large, and we thank her for her commitment.”