ORLANDO, Fla. – Rallee Chupich, co-owner, Gordy’s Lakefront Marine Inc., Fontana, Wis., was named the 2013 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year during a luncheon Nov. 20 at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. The honor is given annually to an outstanding woman in the marine industry.
A 30-plus year veteran of the boat business, Chupich has served in a wide variety of roles at the dealership, from ski instructor and service manager to owner and COO of Gordy’s Boat House, its restaurant and bar. Additionally, she has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce, the Fontana Park Commission, and the Geneva Lake Conservancy.
"As a business, community and industry leader, as well as mother, wife, teacher and athlete, Chupich truly embodies the spirit with which the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award was created,” says Liz Walz, Executive Director, MRAA Educational Foundation. “Her passion for the marine business, the boating lifestyle and Gordy’s in particular is immediately apparent to all who meet her.”
The recipient of the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award demonstrates leadership and commitment to the boating business. Recipients also must show a willingness to volunteer their time and effort in their communities and social organizations.
This award was established in 1987 in honor of Darlene Briggs of Wayzata Marine, who exemplified these qualities, serving as the first retail marine saleswoman in Minnesota and the first female member of her state marine trades association. It is sponsored by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.
At the event, Boating Industry’s national sales director, Kathy Johnson, introduced the 2012 Darlene Briggs Award Winner, Debbie Meigs of Cobalt Boats, who presented the award.
Past recipients include: Jewell "Julie” Crowe of Crowe Marine; Barbara Woodard of Woodard Marine; Nancy Smith of Colorado Boat Center; Ann Baldree of Marine Products Corp.; Marcia Kull of Volvo Penta; Joan Maxwell of Regulator Marine Inc.; Kris Carroll of Grady-White Boats, Inc.; Lynn Fiorenzano of Silver Spring Marine; and Maureen Dickson of Cap Sante Marine.