Twelve top franchise achievement awards were recently presented by Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio at the recent Freedom Boat Club National Franchise Conference held December 7-10 at Hawk’s Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida. Club owners and operators from throughout the nation gathered along with key vendors for a variety of professional development and training programs, new product launches and award recognitions.
Winning the “Franchise of the Year” was Bobby Parker from the Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, Fla., clubs. Parker, who won the Rookie of the Year award last year, doubled both sales and membership in one year, while opening a second location. The organization was cited by Giglio as a “model club” featuring both an outstanding, well maintained fleet and top-notch facilities. In addition, the club’s professional staff, strong marketing programs and highly satisfied club members all contributed to Parker’s selection for the company’s most prestigious award.
A new series of awards were launched this year to recognize top tier clubs for outstanding overall performance and the top percentage of revenue growth. “The Pacesetter Awards” were given to six franchisees including Freedom Boat Club of Daytona Beach/New Smyrna; Freedom Boat Club of Lake Norman, N.C.; Freedom Boat Club of Massachusetts; Freedom Boat Club of San Diego; Freedom Boat Club of Tampa Bay; and Freedom Boat Club of Lake Austin/Texas.
The “Highest Percentage of Revenue Increase” award was also won by a California club based in San Diego, owned by Dan Hausbrouck and Jennifer Cirillo. This dynamic duo posted a 1000 percent increase in sales and boosted membership significantly in their two years in business.
Two marketing awards were presented by Freedom Boat Club Chief Marketing Officer Wanda Kenton Smith. The “Marketer of the Year” was won by Lisa Almeida and Kevin Seelig of Jacksonville and St. Augustine. This franchisee advertised year ‘round and was actively engaged in successful social media initiatives; developed strong PR positioning in both print and as invited guests appearing on television and radio shows; hosted multiple special member events throughout the region; participated in dozens of community programs and local boat shows; and contributed to many fundraising auctions,
The “Marketing Brand Champion” award is given to an individual who most passionately promotes Freedom Boat Club. This year’s winner, Karen Berry of The Grand Strand in South Carolina, coordinates member socials, manages several social media platforms, is actively involved in community networking events and serves in leadership capacities, She was named ‘Ambassador of the Year’ for her local chamber of commerce, plus her fundraising activities for several charitable organizations have contributed over $100,000 for well deserving organizations. She is the voice for Freedom Boat Club in the area, hosting regular radio marine reports.
The 2015 “Rookie of the Year” award, given to a new franchise with the best overall sales and performance statistics in a one-year period, was presented to Andrew Hard of Huntington Beach, Calif. Hard established his new club in alignment with the national model, posted favorable first-year sales and membership growth, invested in multiple marketing initiatives and established strong community relations within his market.
The “Guardian of Reciprocity” award was won by Dan Kettelson, Brandon Rex and Brian Gwinnup of Freedom Boat Club North Gulf Coast. This award is presented to the club owner who most warmly welcomes and embraces “reciprocal” club members and delivers an exceptional member experience. Reciprocal membership is one of Freedom Boat Club’s major distinctions, which allows members to boat in club locations throughout the country, above and beyond their home club location. In 2015, this club with five locations from Gulf Shores, Ala., to Panama City, Fla., welcomed 191 members from outside their market.
The “Territory Expansion Award” was presented to Glenn Bergoffen of Tampa Bay. Bergoffen and his team recently opened their tenth Florida location in Tierra Verde, Fla. A second location in John’s Pass also launched in 2015.
“Our franchisees are enjoying record-breaking performances all across the country and we are very pleased to recognize the very best of the best,” said Giglio. “Our conference this year was the largest in history in terms of participation along with the number of awards presented. Already, 2016 is shaping up to be a tremendous year and growth opportunity for our franchise organization.”