NMMA honors Bellwoar with Freedman Award

MIAMI – The National Marine Manufacturers Association gave George Bellwoar, vice president of sales and marketing for Miami-based Perko Inc., the 2006 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award, the association said in a press release Friday. Bellwoar received the award at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference Industry Breakfast at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

NMMA’s Accessory Manufacturers Division introduced the Freedman Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who, throughout the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

Bellwoar has spent more than 30 years in the marine industry, including a decade concentrated in the commercial and military sectors. In that time, he has worked with several companies considered industry leaders in their respective areas of expertise, including Perko, Ampco Metals, General Switch, Faria Instruments and Wilcox Crittenden.

During his three-plus decades of industry service, Bellwoar remained very active within NMMA. He was a participating member on several NMMA committees, including the association’s education and international marketing committees. Bellwoar has also served as chairman of NMMA’s Mutual Efficiency Forum, Market Research & Communications Committee and AMD board of directors. After his term as AMD chair expired in 2004, Bellwoar took over as chairman of the NMMA executive committee and NMMA board of directors, a position he currently holds. His terms ends this year.

Among his career accomplishments, Bellwoar was the driving force behind the MEF, serving as its founding chairman and primary author of the industry’s first best practices manual. His vision of improved supply chain communication among all levels of marine accessory distribution channels achieved its main objective: streamlining the system between trading partners. Since its creation, the aftermarket MEF has grown to include an OEM and E-Commerce committee, both of which have made advancements in their respective areas of operation.

Throughout his tenure as NMMA chairman, Bellwoar has been a driving force behind the industry’s Grow Boating Initiative. He was one of the original 30 business leaders who met in Chicago during October 2003 to decide to move forward with the initiative, which is proving successful and raising boating awareness and drawing positive attention to the boating lifestyle. Bellwoar remains active in all aspects of Grow Boating, and in May 2005 proposed the Water Access Task Force be created to protect and preserve access to our nation’s waterways as a part of the initiative.

“George has been a positive agent of change for the marine industry and for NMMA,” said Rick Russell, Grandview, Mo.’s Anderson Marine Division director and AMD board of directors chairman. “Our members will continue benefiting from his leadership for many years to come.”

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