MIAMI, Fla. – As the excitement level at the first co-produced International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) remains high, many people believed it appropriate that show co-producers Thom Dammrich and Carl Cramer were recognized with the Mel Barr award, which recognizes an individual who has contributed to the improvement of the marine industry through personal involvement.
This marked the first time in the history of the award that two people were recognized with the award, and it took the two individuals a good deal of partnership and compromise to bring their boatbuilding trade shows together in one place and one timeframe. IBEX had been produced by Cramer’s Professional Boatbuilder magazine since 1992, while the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) produced Boatbuilding, a similar show that was put on at different times and at a different venue.
Cramer has served as the IBEX show director sine 1992 and was recognized for "pouring his heart and soul into our industry through the development of trade show, a vast array of educational programs, and family boating events."
Dammrich, who has worked in association management for 25 years, was recognized because "he’s deeply involved in many boating, sailing, and recreational organizations and has been a driving force behind some of our industry’s most recent accomplishments."
The Mel Barr award was created in memory of Mel Barr, who was one of the founders of and the first president for the National Marine Representatives Association. Barr was also deeply involved with the marine industry on a variety of levels.
Boating Industry magazine’s Liz Walz, who was given an exclusive story on the merger of the shows earlier this year, presented the award.
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