Chaparral/Robalo and Wet Sounds win “Best in Show” at 2014 MDCE

ORLANDO, November 19, 2014 — Chaparral/Robalo and Wet Sounds were each named “Best in Show” at the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. The awards were presented this morning, Wednesday, Nov. 19, during the annual MDCE Awards Breakfast at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

The MDCE “Best in Show” awards recognize the hard work that MDCE exhibitors put into creating engaging, attractive and informative displays for conference attendees.

Wet Sounds won “Best in Show” in the Small Display category (a 10-foot by 10-foot space), while Chaparral/Robalo took home the award for in the Large Display category (a 10-foot by 30-foot space or greater).

“Congratulations to Chaparral/Robalo and Wet Sounds for their creative and intelligently designed spaces,” says Kathy Johnson, national sales director for MDCE and Boating Industry magazine, which produces the annual conference in partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “Chaparral had its boats displayed in a rather unique way, while Wet Sounds had an exciting and engaging layout that really drew visitors into the space.”

MDCE “Best in Show” winners are selected based on the following criteria: Originality, creativity, design and best use of space. A panel of judges selected by MDCE organizers walked the Expo Hall floor Monday, Nov. 17, evaluated each of the MDCE exhibitors’ displays based on booth size (Small or Large display), and determined their favorites based on the awards criteria.

Judges for this year’s MDCE “Best in Show” awards include: Dodi Vessels, managing art director, Boating Industry; Lindsey Johnson, content manager, MRAA; Mike Alleva, vice president of national accounts and account management, Lighthouse Media Solutions; and Nancy Smith, vice president, Colorado Boat Center.

The 2014 MDCE features more than 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

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