Sea Tow Foundation to present boating safety awards at Elevate

The Sea Tow Foundation, with the help and support of its newly launched North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council, announces the unveiling of a new national awards program designed to recognize the best boating safety work in the for-profit sector of the recreational marine marketplace occurring within the United States.

The inaugural presentation of the “National Boating Industry Safety Awards” will be held the opening night of Boating Industry’s Elevate Summit on November 22 in Orlando, and will honor top boating safety programs and promotions in four separate categories.

According to Sea Tow Foundation’s Executive Director Gail R. Kulp, the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council developed and recommended the recognition to spotlight the best in class work of marine retailers, marine manufacturers and marine media. A fourth award will be presented for the best overall marine marketing outreach program promoting boating safety.

“We are very enthusiastic about the work of our Sober Skipper Advisory Council members who have collaborated with us to develop this important awards recognition,” said Kulp. “While there are some existing boating safety award programs, none focus on and recognize the contributions of the greater for-profit sector of the marine industry. Our goal is to help build awareness and inspire new opportunities within the for-profit sector to better promote boating safety and to showcase best practices throughout the industry within the U.S. We hope our program not only serves to recognize the outstanding work currently underway but will ultimately spur greater industry support and participation in the future.”

“We are very pleased to participate with the Sea Tow Foundation and the North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council in hosting the inaugural awards presentation at our Elevate Summit,” said Top 100 and Elevate Managing Director Jonathan Sweet. “Our event is designed for key influencers and decision-makers throughout the boating industry, so we felt this new award presentation was perfectly suited for our audience and our venue.”

Nominations will be accepted between August 15 – October 1, 2019 and includes the boating safety work of marine industry for-profit organizations conducted between August 15, 2018 – August 18, 2019.

Applications are available for download at

Economist Elliot Eisenberg named as Elevate keynote speaker

Economist and columnist Dr. Elliot Eisenberg will kick off the first full day of the 2019 Boating Industry Elevate Summit.

Eisenberg will speak at 8 a.m. November 23. Elevate runs from November 22-24 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. The full schedule for Elevate is available at

“Elevate is designed for the top executives in the boating industry and having Dr. Eisenberg on board will help us deliver the kind of information they need to run their businesses,” said Jonathan Sweet, managing director of Boating Industry’s shows and the Top 100 program. “Dr. Eisenberg not only knows his stuff, he also makes economics fun and interesting.”

Eisenberg is a nationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making economics fun, relevant and educational. Eisenberg is the Chief Economist for GraphsandLaughs, LLC, an economic consultancy that serves a variety of clients across the United States. He writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70-word commentary on the economy that is available at

“I am already very excited to be part of the 2019 Boating Industry Elevate conference,” Eisenberg said. “There will be great educational and networking opportunities that should not be missed by anyone in the industry!“

Eisenberg has spoken to hundreds of business groups and has been invited to testify before lawmakers and is often asked to comment on proposed legislation. His research and opinions have been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Bureau of National Affairs, Forbes, Fortune, and many other publications. He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio.

James Pogue to offer Elevate keynote

Renowned generational expert Dr. James Pogue has been named as the first keynote speaker for the inaugural Boating Industry Elevate Summit.

Elevate is Nov. 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

Dr. Pogue will be kicking off the final day of Elevate with his keynote presentation on engaging across the generations. He will focus on how the boating industry can improve its outreach to all generations as potential buyers and employees.

Dr. Pogue is an expert speaker, consultant, researcher and coach, and his military service and overseas deployment in the Middle East give him tangible examples of the critical balance between leaders and followers on teams. His work provides leaders with well researched data partnered with highly engaged training to drive their ability to impact behavior and the bottom line. In his spare time, Dr. Pogue continues his martial arts training where he has won five National Championships and both Silver and Bronze at the World Championships. He has two daughters, four granddaughters and resides in Plano, Texas. Find more information about Dr. Pogue at

The Boating Industry Elevate Summit is where industry leaders, emerging leaders, and influencers unite to explore forces affecting the boating industry’s business models. Designed for leaders, executives and managers in all industry segments, Elevate will deliver content that matters to the top leaders in the industry, from economic trends to managing generational challenges to a deep dive into key industry data.

A Q&A with Elevate’s Content Director

A few quick questions and answers from Jonathan Sweet on the 2019 Boating Industry Elevate Summit.

What stands out to you about the conference that you want attendees to know?
It’s the only event in the boating industry designed for the top leaders from all segments of the industry. The lineup of speakers and engagement opportunities will be impressive and I’m excited to start sharing that soon!

What can people expect to leave the conference with?
Important intelligence about key trends facing the marine industry and information to help them guide their businesses through whatever comes next, whether it’s continued growth or the next downturn.

Who is this conference for?
Leaders and emerging leaders in the boating industry, from dealers to manufacturers to suppliers. Anyone who is a top executive or manager at a company in the marine industry will find useful content and networking opportunities.

What is going to be your favorite part of this new conference?
Bringing together all areas of the industry for deep dives – and discussions – on important industry topics.

The Top 100 … 2019 and beyond

This year we will be celebrating the 15th year of the Top 100. Since 2005, Boating Industry and the Leadership Alliance have recognized the best boat dealers in North America for their financial success, marketing, customer service, industry advocacy and overall business acumen.

The 2019 Top 100 will culminate with the annual Top 100 Gala, Nov. 24, at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Fla., on the final evening of the new Boating Industry Elevate Summit.

Elevate is our new conference that will focus on important business trends and economic issues facing the entire industry. Elevate is Nov. 22-24, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

While the industry has changed a lot in the last decade and a half, the goal of the Top 100 has not. The Top 100 not only honors the top dealers, but – more importantly – also shares their best practices with the rest of the industry. It’s about making the thousands of dealers in the industry better. We like to think of it as the industry’s biggest 20 Group. That reflects the mission of everything we do at Boating Industry – sharing the best ideas from the top dealers, manufacturers and service providers with the entire marine industry.

If you haven’t applied before, you might be surprised to learn how much better the process can make your company. Many dealers have told me over the years that simply going through the application has made them take a hard look at their practices and operations.

One of my favorite stories along those lines is from Fred Pace, who was the managing partner of Legendary Marine when that company won Dealer of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013.

Even after the company won its second Dealer of the Year award, and was no longer required to fill out the application, Fred had his employees go through the process just because of the improvements it had helped Legendary make in the past.

We’re happy to provide feedback on your application as well, whether or not you made the list, about how you stacked up compared to the rest of the Top 100.

We’re also continually looking to bring more benefits to the dealers who are part of the Top 100. Along those lines, this year you’ll notice an advertisement in every NMMA show guide that recognizes the Top 100 dealers as we work to increase consumer awareness of the program.

Top 100 dealers will also receive a discounted admission to the Boating Industry Elevate Summit. We’ll continue to try to find new ways to bring value to the dealers, so keep an eye out for that.

If you have any questions or issues as you start working on the application, be sure to ask for help. You can email me directly at and keep an eye out for more tips and advice throughout the year.