The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas named Gary Briggs of Wayzata Marine as its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
Recognizing Briggs at the MRAA Opening Awards Ceremony at its annual conference last month, MRAA celebrated his numerous accomplishments in the marine industry over the last 51 years. Briggs opened a start-up selling and servicing marine equipment in 1967 and spent his career serving the marine industry in numerous ways.
He was a founding member of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Marine Dealers Association and has remained active for more than 50 years. He held a 43-year membership of the North Central Marine Association, and he became an MRAA member in the mid 1970s. And over the years, he was recognized as Boat & Motor Dealer magazine’ National Dealer of the Year, a 12-time Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer, an Irv Rosenthal Award winner and an NCMA Hall of Fame inductee.
“Gary Briggs has made a significant impact on the marine industry and particularly that of the marine retail body, to which he dedicated a career of contributions,” says Matt Gruhn, MRAA President. “Not only did he volunteer his time to several worthy causes in our industry, but he made it a priority to reach out and contribute, personally, to the success of a number of colleagues across the industry.”
Briggs became a founding member and the chairperson for the joint NMMA-MRAA Marine Industry Certification board; he became a spokesperson and a prominent figure through his time and efforts with the MRAA, and he championed a significant transformation in Consumer Warranty Policies. But the crowning achievement of his work was the creation of the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award, a 30-plus-year standing recognition of the incredible contributions of numerous women leaders in the marine industry. The award was named in honor of his late wife, Darlene, who was very active in their dealership until she passed away in 1986.
To conclude the second annual MRAA Opening Night Awards Celebration, Briggs gave a well-received, motivational presentation on how dealers could succeed in today’s marketplace. “It is very important to do what you say you will, when you say you will do it,” Briggs commented, "and always remember nothing happens, nothing, until someone sells something.”