NMMA Inducts Two Leaders To Hall of Fame

Two industry pioneers have been inducted into the National Marine Manufacturers Asssociation (NMMA) Hall of Fame. Joan Maxwell, president and co-founder of Regulator Marine, and Bill Watters, president of Syntec Industries, will be presented with the 2021 NMMA Hall of Fame Award during the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX). The ceremony takes place at the show’s annual Industry Breakfast on September 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, Florida.

Founded by Maxwell and her husband in 1988, Regulator set out to reinvent the deep-vee center console experience and engineered what is known today as an unbeatably smooth and dry ride. The company now operates in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Edenton, North Carolina.

Maxwell has long been actively engaged with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) becoming the first woman to chair the NMMA board of directors and she remains on the Boat Divisional Manufacturer’s Board.

Her dedication to service is evident not only at Regulator, but also to the local community in which Regulator is located, where she serves on the Edenton-Chowan Partnership Board.  Maxwell established a volunteer program at Regulator Marine that pays employees their regular wages during working hours while they volunteer their time and services to local organizations. In 2018, Maxell established the “In His Service” program at Regulator, which oversees Regulator’s charitable giving, as well as its employee emergency assistance fund. She is a member of C12, a Christian based leaders’ roundtable that focuses on building better businesses for a greater purpose.

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Recognized as an exceptional leader both at her company and in the recreational boating industry, Maxwell’s accomplishments include: the 2018 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award; the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award and the National Association of Manufacturer’s STEP award.

In 1986, Watters and his brothers formed Syntec Industries and began selling carpet to the marine industry. Syntec has been a major supplier to the marine industry ever since. He brought innovative products to market and set trends for boat builders that positively influenced boat sales.

Watters has served in multiple roles on the MACD, NMMA, Grow Boating and MLA Boards, including Chairman of each. He has been AMD Chair- and Vice Chairperson, and a member of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council and has served as IBEX Planning Committee Chairperson.

Watters also supports multiple youth groups, local organizations and charities in his hometown of Rome, Georgia, including the Darlington School Board, YMCA, Jaycees, Boy Scouts of America, Floyd Healthcare Foundation, Kiki’s Kids, Coosa Valley Soil & Water Conservancy & Development, and the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, to name just a few.

The NMMA Hall of Fame was established in 1988 and recognizes individuals who have made, or continue to generate, substantial and lasting contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry. It honors individuals whose names and deeds are synonymous with the pursuit of quality, innovation, and perfection within their respective spheres of expertise.