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NMRA Presents Annual Awards

Former Edson CEO Will Keene (Left) and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.

Former Edson CEO Will Keene (Left) and ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy were recognized for their contributions to the marine industry.

The National Marine Representatives Association this week recognized the recipients of its 2022 Mel Barr and Old Pro awards.

The awards, originally scheduled to be presented during the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference on Tuesday, were presented virtually after the show was canceled due to Hurricane Ian, according to a statement.

The Mel Barr Award, an accolade established to honor an individual’s industry contributions, was presented to Will Keene, who recently retired after 33 years at Edson Corp. Keene joined the family business in 1979 and became head of West Coast sales, working with sailboat builders to install Edson steering systems before eventually working his way to CEO.

Due to growing concern around environmental impact of effluent discharge in U.S. harbors, Keene helped Edson develop a pump-out boat that led to the company becoming a leader in wastewater pump-out equipment. He also promoted the first Clean Marina Award that grew into an industry-wide Clean Marina Program.

The NMRA Old Pro Award, which recognizes a NMRA member who actively contributes to the association and the marine representative profession as a whole, was presented to ComMar Sales president Tim Conroy.

Conroy, who has more than 30 years with the ComMar Sales organization, helped launch the Marine Electronics Journal in 1998 as director of the National Marine Electronics Association. He is the longest-serving NMEA director and currently holds the position of vice president. He has also served on various committees and on the boards of NMMA and NMRA.

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