NMRA Announces Industry Award Winners

Two marine industry veterans were recognized at IBEX 2023 by the National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) as the recipients of the 2023 NMRA Mel Barr and Old Pro awards. 

The Mel Barr Award was created in memory of Mel Barr, an independent marine rep deeply involved in the boating industry, one of the founders of the NMRA, and its first president. On his untimely death in 1967, his family, along with the NMRA, established the award to honor an individual who has contributed to the improvement of the marine industry. It’s voted on by NMRA member rep groups. 

The 2023 NMRA Mel Barr Award recipient is John Bender, Marine National Sales Manager for CRC Industries, who will be retiring next year after more than 50 years in the marine and automotive industry. Bender became an automotive sales representative with Echlin Inc., the owner of Sierra Supply, and eventually reached the position of general manager of Sierra International Inc. After many years at Sierra, Bender co-founded Mallory Marine, a division of Mr. Gasket High Performance Group.  After his time at Mallory, Bender joined CRC as national sales manager for the marine division. 

The NMRA Old Pro Award recognizes an NMRA member who actively contributes to the association and the marine rep profession as a whole.  

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The 2023 NMRA Old Pro Award recipient is Tim Groseclose, who is retiring after 33 years at the helm of North Pacific Marketing. Groseclose, has more than 40 years of experience in the marine industry and before founding North Pacific Marketing, he was VP and general manager of Polyform US Ltd.