Brunswick Corp. and Mercury Marine were named the overall winners in Soundings Trade Only’s annual Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards. Publisher Michele Goldsmith and editor-in-chief Jeff Moser made the announcement following yesterday’s Soundings Trade Only Leadership Summit.
The awards program honors forward-thinking companies across a variety of categories that are transforming the future of the marine industry through new initiatives, processes, technologies, directions and more, from large global companies to small startups.
“Each year, these awards inspire the judges and the industry, as we learn from many companies that are pushing progress through their evolving business models, product development, use of technology and partnerships, and more,” Goldsmith said in a statement. “This year in particular, the quality of the submissions was outstanding, and we applaud the winners for the many ways in which they are leading the marine industry into the future.”
Remarking on the judges’ selection of Brunswick, Moser cited the company’s “keen ability to empower its workforce, with the goal of taking a shared, forward-looking approach to the marine industry. The company has made smart acquisitions, released headline-grabbing new products, received multiple awards for workplace diversity and initiatives, and expanded its innovation centers and Freedom Boat Club without losing sight of its core mission — getting more people on the water.”
Although the judges saw Mercury’s 600-hp, V-12 Mercury Verado outboard as a game-changer, Moser said that “our decision to honor Merc goes well beyond its product line and extends into its green practices, namely, the company’s pledge to derive half of its energy consumption from renewable sources by the end of the decade, and a work culture [wherein] 50 percent of its manufacturing assembly employees are women.”
The full list of Most Innovative Marine Companies Award winners (in alphabetical order):
• Brunswick Corp.
• Correct Craft
• Fell Marine
• Mercury Marine
• Pettit Marine Paint
• Siren Marine
• Suzuki Marine U.S.A.
• Volvo Penta
Honorable mentions were awarded to Allsalt Marine, Dometic, Icom America and Roswell Marine. The order of the winners will be announced in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.
In addition to Moser and Goldsmith, the judging panel included Soundings Trade Only staff editor Joe Healy; Bill Sisson, vice president and editorial director of the Active Interest Media Marine Group; Gary DeSanctis, president of the AIM Marine Group; Ron Huibers, past president and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas; and George Armendariz, former CEO of the Americas for Groupe Beneteau.
“I think I speak for the entire judging panel when I say how impressed we were with all of the entries,” Moser said. “With technology and innovation taking the lead, the coming change to the marine industry will be significant. I’m excited to see what the future brings and what new and established players do to stay competitive.”