15 years of the best

By Jonathan Sweet

The Boating Industry Top 100 is a celebration of the best in the boating industry. 

As we mark 15 years of recognizing the top boat dealers in North America, we’re not only celebrating the past, but also the future.

You’ll notice some changes in this year’s program as we have listened to the feedback from dealers about how we can make the Top 100 better, but we’re not forgetting our history. 

Photo Credit: Versatile Photography

This year, we’ll be giving special recognition to those Boating Industry Legends that have been part of the Top 100 since the first listing in 2005. This elite group is especially noteworthy for their long-term success – something achieved by only a small group of dealers.

At the same time, this year’s Top 100 is about looking to the future. We had a record number of first-time dealers apply this year, bringing with them fresh creativity and exciting new ideas.

It’s also the first year for the Top 100 at its new home, the inaugural Boating Industry Elevate Summit. We’ll be able to incorporate the Top 100 in the conference as never before, with panel discussions and other content. Elevate is designed for leaders in every segment of the industry, so it’s a natural fit for the Top 100 and we’re very excited about how the combined events will work together moving forward.

Finally, we see this year as a natural time to explore new things. Based on extensive feedback from dealers, we are making several changes to the program. You’ll see a different look later this year, not to mention a revamped application process based on extensive conversations with Top 100 and non-Top 100 dealers, along with the Top 100 Hall of Fame. We’ve identified pain points and obstacles to participation and you’ll see that in the new process we’ll be rolling out for the 2020 Top 100.

It’s also important to recognize those organizations that are making this celebration of the Top 100 possible: The 2019 Boating Industry Leadership Alliance. These are the companies that are willing to step up and support the dealers and we’re thrilled to have all of them on board.

This year’s Leadership Alliance includes Volvo Penta, Dealer Profit Services, Evinrude, Kicker Marine Audio and the Water Sports Industry Association. It is their support of the program that allows us to not only recognize the outstanding dealers of the Top 100, but also to share their best practices with the entire boating industry.

The 2019 Boating Industry Top 100 will be unveiled on November 24, at the Top 100 Gala on the final night of the Boating Industry Elevate Summit, in Orlando. Hope to see you there! 

Jonathan Sweet is the director of the Boating Industry Top 100 program and former editor-in-chief of Boating Industry magazine. He can be reached at jsweet@boatingindustry.com or 763-383-4419. Follow him on Twitter at @JonathanWSweet.

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