MRAA names scholarship recipients during awards celebration at MDCE

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During its second annual Opening Night Awards Celebration on Dec. 9, the MRAA presented various members of the marine industry with scholarships across a variety of categories.

The Awards Celebration took place on the first night of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.

Patrick Green named 2018 Kevin Lodder Scholarship recipient

Patrick Green, Director of Certification and Customer Service Manager at Tobler Marina of Hayden, Idaho, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Kevin Lodder Scholarship, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation. The scholarship recipient was honored Sunday evening, Dec. 9, at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo during the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Opening Night Awards Celebration at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

This scholarship was founded in memory of Kevin Lodder of Lodder’s Marine in Fairfield, Ohio. Kevin worked in his family’s dealership and was dedicated to the marine industry from an early age until his untimely passing. The recipient of this scholarship receives tuition to attend the Spader Total Management 1 Workshop in Sioux Falls, S.D., and a stipend to offset travel expenses.

From the very beginning of his career, Patrick Green has persistently pursued opportunities for growth. Today, when he sets his eyes on the future, he aspires to run his own marine dealership as a general manager or owner. But he acknowledges that the path to realize that goal involves continued education and training.

“I have learned over the past 15 years working in the industry that Spader programs are essential to leadership,” he wrote in his application. “I believe that the accounting principles, best practices, and accountability workshops taught in the Spader training are going to enable me to take the ball and confidently execute processes to my everyday roles in the dealership.”

The Spader Total Management 1 Workshop is a five-day program in Sioux Falls, S.D., geared toward decision makers, leaders, and key employees. Topics covered include decision-making processes, business adaptability, pricing practices, inter-department profit plans, and communication skills. 

“Anyone who has spent much time in the boating business knows that it takes real persistence and passion for your work to find success,” commented Matt Lodder of Marine Sales Group and the MRAA Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “Those qualities make Patrick an ideal candidate for the Kevin Lodder Scholarship. By applying that persistence and passion to what he learns during the Total Management 1 Workshop, he will turn this investment of our Foundation’s funds into real results for him, Tobler Marina, and the industry.”


Chad Taylor named Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship recipient

Chad Taylor, owner of Taylor’s South Shore Marina in Waynesville, Ohio, has been selected as the recipient of the sixth annual Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation yesterday. 

As a second-generation owner, Taylor has been charged with leading his organization into the future. Over the last 7 years, Taylor’s South Shore Marina has experienced rapid growth and has recognized a need to invest in its young and motivated staff.

Taylor was described by nominees as an individual with credibility and conviction that sets him apart from his peers throughout the industry. He is someone who strives to continuously improve himself and his results, but also encourages the personal and professional development of others.

The Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship was founded by Spader Business Management and the MRAA Educational Foundation in 2013 to honor the marine industry service of Spader founder Duane Spader, as well as his leadership philosophy of lifelong learning. The recipient receives full tuition to attend the Spader Leadership Development Program, valued at $14,875. Applicants must be employees of a Marine Retailers Association of the Americas retail member.

“My business [Taylor’s South Shore Marina] is at a critical point of growth, and I am eager to learn how to grow it to the next level and cultivate the best team while doing so,” wrote Taylor in his application. “I believe the Spader Leadership Development Program can provide me with the training to be the leader our team needs.” 

Chad demonstrates a strong commitment to the future success and stability of the marine industry through his involvement in a Spader Marine 20 Group, as a regional director on the MRAA Board of Directors, and a board advisor for the MRAA’s Young Leaders Advisory Council.

The Spader Leadership Development Program is a 15- to 18-month program for current and future leaders that involves five, three-day sessions in Sioux Falls, S.D. Between sessions, participants are tasked with putting what they’ve learned to work in their dealership and tracking the results of those efforts.

“We are thrilled to award this scholarship to someone who has already contributed so much to the marine dealer community,” stated Jeff Siems, president of the MRAA Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “Given his dedication to his dealership and the industry, we are confident that Chad will be able to leverage the scholarship to achieve great things.”


Austin Kalina named first-ever recipient of the Marine Appretice Technician Scholarship

Austin Kalina, a marine technician apprentice at Indian Lake Marina, in Central City, Pa., has been selected as the first recipient of the Marine Apprentice Technician Scholarship, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation. 

Before bringing Kalina on board as an apprentice technician, the dealership had searched for an experienced marine technician for several months with no luck, according to General Manager Brandon Mick. Kalina’s application demonstrated limited boat repair experience and zero formal marine technician training, but his passion for learning shone through clearly. Since he has joined the team, his appetite for knowledge and team-oriented approach to his work has made him a “great fit,” according to Mick, who nominated him.

In his application, Kalina wrote: “The ability to go and receive more in-depth training would allow me to reach my goal of becoming a marine technician sooner. I hope to one day be able to be certified and maybe expand our shop at the marina. I am always looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge any way that I can.”

The Marine Apprentice Technician Scholarship was created to offer financial assistance to dealership apprentice technician personnel while attending engine manufacturer training as they work their way to becoming certified. Each year, the recipient of the scholarship will receive $1,000 to cover travel expenses related to said training.

“Apprenticeship is one of dealers’ most powerful solutions to the technician shortage,” Siems said. “We are thrilled to support dealerships like Indian Lake Marina and individuals like Austin through this scholarship, as we know the end result will be a stronger workforce to carry our industry into the future.”


Carter Goettling named Marine Industry College Scholarship recipient

Carter Goettling, a marine technician apprentice at Blue Springs Marine in Blue Springs, Mo., and a full-time welding student at Metropolitan Community College, has been selected as the recipient of the third annual Marine Industry College Scholarship, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation. 

After completely rebuilding his family’s boat, Carter has worked toward a professional career within the marine industry. For the past three years, he has contributed to the success of Blue Springs Marine in many ways. He started in the service department as a Parts Associate and has since earned the title of Technician Apprentice.

The Marine Industry College Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Priority One Financial Services, Global Marine Insurance Agency, and the MRAA Educational Foundation. It offers Retail Members of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, their employees, and their dependents the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 college scholarship to financially assist in the training and education of those working in or planning for a career in the marine industry.  For applicants to be considered for the scholarship, they must display a passion for the boating lifestyle, be preparing for or currently engaged in a career in the recreational boating business, and show evidence of enrollment in an accredited college, university or post-secondary technical school program.

In his scholarship application, Goettling shared his desire to continue his education after school and become a master technician. He wrote, “I have been a part of the marine industry for most of my life, and I hope that it continues to be a large part of the rest of my life.”

“If our industry wants to grow, we need to support the education of people like Carter who are pursuing careers in marine retailing,” said Stacy Greenwood of Cleveland Boat Center and the MRAA Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “We’ve seen what a difference this scholarship can make in the lives of our recipients, and we can’t wait to see how it propels Carter’s career.”


Marine Trades Association of New Jersey awarded technical scholarship

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Marine Trade Association Technical Scholarship, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation. 

The MRAA Educational Foundation’s MTA Technical Scholarship funds will be distributed through the new MTA/NJ Technical Training Scholarship program. The New Jersey association created this scholarship as a way to expand its Foundation’s support of members with their training and certification needs. As a result, four members of the MTA/NJ, selected by the MTA/NJ Education Committee, will be awarded full scholarships to attend the ABYC’s Marine Systems Certification Course.

Initially underwritten by the OMC Foundation and now made possible by industry donations, the purpose of the MRAA Technical Scholarship is to offer financial assistance for technical training of current and prospective dealership personnel. Applying marine trade associations must show evidence of plans to offer a scholarship for technical training of marine dealership personnel in the year ahead and commit to matching the $1,500 scholarship provided to the association, should they be selected.

“The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey shares our dedication to helping marine businesses train and grow their employees,” said Matt Lodder of Marine Sales Group and the MRAA Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “We are proud to be able to support their efforts – and contribute to the professional development of four of their members – through this scholarship.”

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