Kenton Smith Wins 2017 Darlene Briggs Award

The Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) and Boating Industry magazine presented this year’s Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year award to Wanda Kenton Smith.

A figure in the marine industry since 1980, Kenton Smith holds many positions. She is president of Kenton Smith Marketing, chief marketing officer of Freedom Boat Club and president of Marine Marketers of America. In addition, she is a member of Boating Writers International, a marketing columnist for Soundings Trade Only and chairwoman of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council.

Kenton Smith has been a leader in supporting women in boating, from her creation of the organizations International Women in Boating, and the educational firm Marine Marketing to Women, to her launch of Freedom Boat Club’s new educational and networking group Freedom Boating Divas.

“Wanda Kenton Smith’s continued pioneering for the advancement of women in the boating industry over the past 37 years makes her an obvious choice for this year’s Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award,” Jeff Siems, president of the board of the MRAA Educational Foundation, said in a statement.

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The Briggs award is named for the late Darlene Briggs of Wayzata, Minnesota, who had a tireless dedication to the marine industry. The award is presented each year to an outstanding woman actively involved in the marine industry.

In addition to the Briggs award, MRAA also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Don Galey, of Galey’s Marine in Bakersfield, California. This was the first time this award was given.

Galey has worked in the industry for 62 years, starting Galey’s Marine Supply. He is a member of a Spader 20 group, chairman of Union Cemetery, and, at 81, works daily at his business alongside his son and grandsons.