CHICAGO — Kaye Pearson, who died of cancer in March at the age of 68, has been honored by the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) with the William B. Otto III Marine Lending Industry Service Award, according to a release from the NMBA.
The announcement was made Nov. 10 at the NMBA’s annual conference in Hilton Head, S.C. The award recognizes individuals within the marine industry who have given their time and energy to the NMBA or other marine-related groups, and who have helped colleagues achieve success in their business and careers.
A former boat dealer, Pearson founded Show Management in 1976 to operate the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year. Pearson grew the event from 200 boats at its start to current expos that feature more than 1,000 craft.
When the NMBA broadened the scope of its annual conferences to include industry partners, he was one of its first speakers and supporters, the group said. He shared ideas to make the most of boat shows, and was an early proponent of having marine lenders become an integral part of industry promotional efforts.
Pearson also gave back to his community, including the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, the International Game Fish Association, Fish Florida, Florida Ocean Science Institute and the Humane Society of Broward County.
In addition to a trophy presented to his widow, Cheri, recipients of the William B. Otto III Marine Lending Industry Service Award are listed on a wooden plaque kept at NMBA headquarters in Chicago. It was created by Mike Smith and Pam Stanley, principals in Traverse City, Mich.-based Global Marine Insurance. To nominate an individual for future awards, contact Bernice McArdle at 312-946-6280 or go to www.marinebankers.org.