MINNEAPOLIS — Lynette Santomenna of Race City Marine, Mooresville, N.C., and Michael Przybyla of Rivett’s Marine, Old Forge, N.Y., were recently selected as recipients of 2013 Kevin Lodder Scholarships. The scholarships were presented by MRAA Educational Foundation Board Member Matt Lodder of Lodder’s Marine on Wednesday, Nov. 20 during the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo Awards Luncheon.
The Kevin Lodder Scholarship Fund, which was founded in memory of Kevin Lodder of Lodder’s Marine in Fairfield, Ohio, provides a full scholarship to attend a week-long Spader Business Management Total Management 1 Workshop to an employee of a Marine Retailers Association of the Americas retail member.
“The strength and number of applications the MRAA Educational Foundation received for the Kevin Lodder Scholarship this year was incredible,” said Liz Walz, the foundation’s Executive Director. “As a result, the board of directors voted to hand out two scholarships, thus doubling the impact of this year’s scholarship program.”
The first of the recipients helped her husband launch a boat dealership operation five years ago, while juggling a full-time job at an area law firm. It involved many late nights at the kitchen table building a website and marketing platform, and weekends helping customers at the shop and at boating events in their local community. The two of them have been building the business from the ground up, and now Lynette Santomenna has given notice at the law firm so she can join the business full-time. She is excited to put what she learns at the Spader Total Management 1 Workshop to work to grow their dealership.
The second recipient, Michael Przybyla, has lived the boating lifestyle since he was a young kid, spending summers at his family’s camp on the lake. His marine industry career began as an area dockhand, and he quickly grew to love the marina. He applied that passion and became the Service Manager after only six years, and in one year, he will complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. His goal is to one day own the business.
“There is more to owning a marina than the transfer of ownership,” he wrote in his scholarship application. “Taking the reigns of a company that has been in business for 108 years is a stewardship. It’s maintaining loyal customers who have been coming to you for generations after generations, while continuing to build relationships with new ones. I believe that the opportunity to attend Spader’s workshop will significantly help me to achieve my goal of effectively leading this organization.”
The Total Management Workshop details skills that will increase profits, stability and growth for the dealership. Attendees leave the workshop with a clear set of principles, processes and tools to take their company to new levels of performance and profitability.
Any employee of an MRAA dealership member is eligible to apply for the Kevin Lodder Scholarship, which is valued at nearly $3,800. The scholarship includes the registration fee for the workshop ($2,995) and a travel allowance of $800.