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ABC recognizes award winners

By By Jonathan Sweet

Several companies were honored for the contribution to the boating industry at this week’s American Boating Congress.

ABC is the industry’s legislative conference, bringing together recreational boating industry leaders to formulate public policy and present a unified front on issues that impact marine businesses.

Maverick Boats CEO Scott Deal and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris were co-recipients of the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award. The Eddie Smith award is presented by the Center for Coastal Conservation to recognize support of the industry and conservation efforts.

Morris and Deal were co-chairs of The Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, which produced the “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” report issued at this year’s Miami International Boat Show.

The report lays out the industry’s plan for preserving access to saltwater fisheries in an effort to guide public policy decisions, including reauthorization of Magnuson-Stevens.

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas was also recognized with ABC’s first Ambassador Award. The Ambassador award was developed this year to thank the ABC co-host organization that promoted the event through the most marketing activity. MRAA was selected from among the 38 co-hosts for their efforts to promote the conference to its membership and beyond.

Three companies also received BoatPAC Company Leadership Awards as the top three contributing companies to the industry’s political action committee in 2013: Regulator Marine, Grady-White Boats and Intrepid Powerboats. The companies are three of the 15 that have now implemented payroll deduction programs to encourage contribution to the PAC. In 2013, the PAC raised $102,351, the first time it raised more $100,000 in six years.

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