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Honorable Mention: SureShade

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SureShade, the Philadelphia-based manufacturer of marine-grade telescoping shade systems, is the definition of a little company that could. Husband and wife Ron and Dana Russikoff unveiled their first prototype at IBEX in 2007 and launched the company shortly after.

The judges decided that SureShade deserved an honorable mention for several reasons. Not only did its “shade on demand” solve a problem that had been highlighted by scientists for years — protecting skin from exposure to the sun — but it did so with a retractable, streamlined package that did not clutter a boat’s cockpit.

SureShade also helped create the Sun Safe Boating campaign in 2016 as a founding partner.

From humble beginnings, when customers were found through word of mouth, SureShade now enjoys a brisk aftermarket business and is working directly with boatbuilders so the manual and automatic shades can be installed on the latest models.

SureShade products are now available as factory options on more than 125 boats, including models from Sea Ray and Monterey. Some builders, such as Scout and Hinckley, incorporate the shades as standard equipment. Hinckley’s new Picnic Boat 40 frames the SureShade in a mahogany box.

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What the judges liked most about this company is that it continues to be creative with what could have been a single idea. SureShade this year introduced the MTX pull-out shade for smaller boats. It also launched the ATF-SG Silent Glide shade. With its modified gearbox for the motor, the ATF-SG now reduces noise levels by 85 percent. We believe that SureShade will continue to expand its OEM client base, outfitting smaller and larger boats as the product range expands.

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.

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