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Soundings Trade Only celebrates 40th anniversary with gala at IBEX

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Soundings Trade Only yesterday revealed the names of the companies on its top 10 list and four honorable mentions for its Most Innovative Marine Company Awards during a 40 anniversary gala at the Tampa Museum of Art. The event was attended by more than 300 executives from different industry segments.

“The entries in the second year of our innovation awards were stronger than last year, probably because innovation seems to be happening at a faster pace across the industry,” Michael Verdon, editor-in-chief of Soundings Trade Only, said during the event.

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Verdon said the winner would be revealed at the National Marine Manufacturers Association industry breakfast on Tuesday, but he named the companies on the short list. He added that the final order of the companies would be revealed in the November issue of the magazine. The list included: Scout Boats, Correct Craft, Brunswick/Mercury, Malibu, Groupe Beneteau, MarineMax, Volvo Penta of the Americas, Garmin, Adaptive Surface Technologies, Taco Metals, Lippert/TaylorMade and Seattle Boatworks.

A check for $7,000 was presented to the American Boat and Yacht Council Foundation for its workforce development initiative. The money came from the entry fees for the awards program.

The career of NMMA president Thom Dammrich was recounted during the gala in images projected on video screens. Dammrich took the stage and talked about his 20 years leading the NMMA, saying it was an “incredible run,” recounting many events that defined the industry. Soundings Trade Only publisher Michele Goldsmith and Gary DeSanctis, president of the Active Interest Media Marine Group, presented Dammrich with a “retirement” robe with “Marine Industry Icon” embroidered on the back.

Goldsmith said the magazine flourished during its first 40 years and plans to be around for another 40 years. She thanked the event sponsors, as well as the readers and advertisers in the audience who have made the magazine successful.

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