Susan Bonivich, OEM and dealer sales manager for Volvo Penta of the Americas, was named the 2016 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year on Thursday at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
She is the second woman at the company to earn the distinction in the last 10 years.
Presented by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Educational Foundation and Boating Industry magazine, the award is named for industry leader Darlene Briggs and is given annually to an outstanding woman who demonstrates leadership, commitment and the advancement of women in the boating business.
“Susan Bonivich represents the spirit of what is great about this industry,” Volvo Penta of the Americas president Ron Huibers said in a statement. “She develops and nurtures relationships that are time- and event-tested. Whether it is with the top builder OEMs or dealers, she is respected for her tenacity and courage to be the best business partner in the industry and an exemplary role model inside and outside of Volvo Penta.”
Bonivich began her career with Volvo Penta by working in the purchasing department in 1998. During the past 18 years she has served in a variety of capacities, moving from purchasing to dealer development and to her present role in dealer and OEM sales.
She is the OEM account manager for seven boatbuilders and Volvo Penta’s top 60 boat dealers, including the recent Top 100 No. 1 dealer, Gordy’s in Lake Geneva, Wis.
In addition to being leaders in their careers, award recipients must demonstrate their involvement in business trade organizations and a willingness to volunteer in their communities.
Bonivich has held membership in the National Association of Purchasing Managers and served as president of the Hampton Roads Purchasing Managers. Over the years she helped to raise nearly $100,000 for the American Cancer Society and served as chairwoman of the Mill Point Community Association’s Social Committee.
At Volvo Penta she led the group’s Social Committee, initiating a program for travel staff to collect hotel toiletries to donate to local homeless shelters.
“Susan has the unique distinction of being the third woman from Volvo Penta of the Americas to receive the Darlene Briggs Award. The most recent previous winner from the company was Marcia Kull, vice president of marine sales, who received the honor in 2007,” Huibers said.