MasterCraft COO passes away

VONORE, Tenn. – Terry Bell, MasterCraft chief operating officer, recently passed away after a battle with a serious medical condition, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Bell was with the company since 1997 and left a legacy of leadership, pushing MasterCraft to the higher standards of research and development, quality boat-building and manufacturing best practices, the company reported.

“To say Terry was a key figure in MasterCraft’s success over the last ten years would be an immense understatement,” said John Dorton, the company’s president and CEO. “When he arrived at our doors, we were building about eight models and only producing around 2,000 boats a year. Now we have 25 different models, we build nearly 4,000 units a year and our boats are built better than ever, thanks largely to Terry’s efforts. Most of us will remember Terry for his gracious demeanor, gentle spirit and bright outlook and how he cared deeply for this company, our staff, our dealers and our customers. We were blessed to know him and we will miss him.”

Bell came to MasterCraft in 1997 as plant manager with an extensive background in the marine industry, including 24 years with U.S. Marine Corp. In 2000, Bell was promoted to director of operations. A promotion to vice president of operations quickly followed in July 2001. In 2004, Bell was named MasterCraft’s chief operating officer.

Under Bell’s guidance, MasterCraft took on such initiatives as Six Sigma, lean manufacturing and Five Star safety standards that have contributed to cost reduction and overall company stability. Bell led the company with customer satisfaction programs that helped reward its dealers for servicing the customer in a timely and superior manner.

A native of Marysville, Wash., Bell is survived by his wife Debra, daughter Julia, son Nathan, daughter-in-law Brandy, and grandson Jackson.

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