The National Marine Representatives Association presented its 2017 Mel Barr Award to Ron Schmitt, president and CEO at G.G. Schmitt & Sons. The award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the improvement of the industry and is named in the memory of marine rep Mel Barr, one of the founders of NMRA and its first president. Tim Hennagir, editor of Boating Industry magazine, and NMRA incoming president Neal Trombley made the presentation at the 2017 IBEX Industry Awards Breakfast in Tampa, Fla.
Schmitt, son of company founder G.G. Schmitt, started at the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based family owned and run business after graduating from the University of Baltimore in the 1970s. G.G. Schmitt & Sons designs and manufactures marine hardware.
From early on, Schmitt's inventiveness shined. He holds numerous patents for products that continue to impact the industry. He also successfully led his company through the turbulent economic downturn that affected many of his colleagues.
"His successful career is one dedicated to leadership, hard work and integrity," said Hennagir during the presentation. "It's one that exemplifies the values of the NMRA and its members."