Maria Blevins (312) 946-6231/[email protected]
MIAMI BEACH (February 11, 2016) – – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today honored Ken and Rick Garelick, President and Senior Vice President of Garelick Mfg. Co., with the 2016 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award. The award was presented this morning during the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast held at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.
NMMA’s Marine Accessories and Components Division (MACD) 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.
Cousins Rick and Ken are a second generation now leading Garelick Mfg. Co. Their fathers Joe and Saul were brothers who founded the company and handed down the reigns of leadership to Rick and Ken in the late 1980’s. After passing the company on to their sons, the Garelicks have continued to build their own name into a brand, EEz®-In, that is synonymous with quality and innovation. Their passion for what they do is evident through the quality of their products including ladders, seating and upholstery, seat hardware, outboard motor accessories, housewares and more. Ken and Rick have taken their innovation and ingenuity beyond just the product level and are applying it to how they manufacture and compete for market share in the leisure industry resulting in a company with a long history of success, as 2016 marks its 64 year anniversary.
During the recession of 2008, Rick and Ken led the company through challenging waters. By cutting operating costs and lowering their own salaries, the Garelicks were able to preserve jobs and their company’s health in order to bounce back in the years to come. By further diversifying their product line, Garelick Manufacturing showed creativity and innovation, turning a difficult economic climate into an opportunity for future success. In November of 2015, Garelick Manufacturing was acquired by Brunswick, adding to its growing portfolio of marine accessories. Garelick Manufacturing is the winner of three NMMA Innovation Awards, the 2003 Motor Boating Magazine Boat Keeper Product Award, 2005 Motor Boating Magazine Best Product Award, 2011 Twin Cities Business Magazine Small Business Success Story and the 2015 National Marine Distributors Association Supplier of the Year.
In addition to being leaders within their company, Ken and Rick have contributed richly to the marine manufacturing community as a whole. Rick served as chairman for the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) hardware committee from 2006 – 2013 and has been instrumental in developing over 20 active patents for marine OEM and aftermarket applications. Ken served on the National Association of Marine Products and Services board throughout the 1980’s and 90’s and was chairman from 1995 – 1997. He also chaired the Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award committee from 1984 – 1999, following the recognition of his father Saul with the award as its third honoree.
“NMMA congratulates Ken and Rick Garelick on receiving the Alan J. Freedman Award and thanks them for their unwavering dedication, support and passion for the marine industry,” notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “We are proud to work alongside Ken and Rick as innovators who have made substantial contributions to marine manufacturing and continues to help make boating the preferred choice in recreation.”
# # #
About NMMA: National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit NMMA.org.