Boating Industry Magazine Announces 2007 Top 100 Hall of Fame inductee

MINNEAPOLIS – After two consecutive years of being ranked the No. 1 marine dealer in North America by Boating Industry magazine, MarineMax Inc. has been named the inaugural inductee into the 2007 Top 100 Dealer Hall of Fame.

The award recognizes the company’s position atop the industry in a league all its own, demonstrated by its commitment to the customer, evident throughout the entire 88-store organization. This news follows the company’s retirement from the Top 100 Ranking in 2006.

The Top 100 ranking recognizes those marine dealers that are unsurpassed in overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism. Collectively, the 2007 Boating Industry Top 100 employ more than 5,250 people and operate 289 retail locations across North America.

When you add in Boating Industry’s 2007 Top 100 Dealer Hall of Fame Award Recipient MarineMax Inc., those numbers become even more impressive. Total retail sales rise to more than $3.2 billion — more than 8 percent of the entire $39 billion marine market — employment figures jump to nearly 7,500 and total locations rise to 377.

“We want to thank MarineMax for being one of the Top 100 Dealer program’s biggest supporters,” sad Matt Gruhn, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry. “It has demonstrated not only that it shares our mission to help the industry improve and grow, but that it’s willing to contribute its own best practices in an effort to drive marine retailing forward.”

Like many marine retailers, MarineMax has felt the impact of the boating market downturn. But because it remains committed to the practices that made the company so successful in recent years, this boating business has a lot to celebrate.

For one, MarineMax is doing what it said it would do, using the downturn to improve its market position. The company’s Sea Ray market share, for example, is up by almost 25 percent.

The company says that’s the result of “getting back to the basics,” holding more than 1,000 customer events this year – more than any other year in its history; continuing to use Topgrading to hire, retain and train its employees; adopting the Net Promoter Score concept to gauge and improve its customer loyalty; and launching more than 40 new Lean Six Sigma projects throughout every facet of its business.

Perhaps most importantly, MarineMax is delivering a customer experience on par with companies like Starbucks, Costco and Harley. In fact, MarineMax Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President William H. McGill, Jr. personally monitors about a dozen MarineMax stores’ Net Promoter Scores each week and e-mails feedback to each store’s manager.

“This is a true honor,” said McGill. “Helping people live the boating dream is at the heart of what we do. Our entire team works hard to deliver the best sales, service and ownership experience possible, and to have these efforts recognized is tremendously rewarding.”

More than 400 people joined Boating Industry to honor the Top 100 Dealers at a black-tie celebration Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Accepting the Top 100 Hall of Fame Award was MarineMax CEO Bill McGill.

To help bring the Boating Industry Top 100 to life, Ehlert Publishing Group, the magazine’s parent company, created the Leadership Alliance, an elite group of the marine industry’s leading suppliers. These companies were invited to participate because they possess, as one of their corporate values, a true belief in and commitment to raising the bar of professionalism across all marine industry sectors, and particularly for dealers.

The 2007 Leadership Alliance members include: BRP US Inc. /Evinrude, GE Capital Solutions & GE Money, Yamaha Marine Group, BoatTrader, Volvo Penta, ADP Lightspeed, Honda Marine, Channel Blade Technologies, Manheim Specialty Auctions and the Marine Retailers Association of America. For more information on these leading suppliers, please visit the Top 100 section of

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