Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award
Recipients of the NMMA Freedman Award are individuals who, in the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity, and personal motivation. The following are the categories for consideration:
• Marine aftermarket or OEM manufacturer
• Marine representative
• Member of a marine-focused media
• Boat dealer
• Marine distributor
• Marine trade association staff person
2001: L. Jeremy Crews, Marine Development Corporation
L. Jeremy Crews
In 1959, Jeremy Crews assembled his first water-cooled boat air conditioner in the garage behind his house. In so doing, he added new meaning to the word "pleasure" in pleasure boating.
His company, which he incorporated in 1961, was, arguably, the first to offer complete boat air conditioning systems to an industry that was just beginning the migration from wood to fiberglass in the larger boats. For years, his product, Cruisair, cooled virtually every production boat that came off the line with air conditioning. Today, the Cruisair brand continues to stand as a dominant name in pleasure boat air conditioning around the world.
Since the beginning, Crews understood the importance of our industry association. Until his retirement, he was an active participant in NATCON, an exhibitor at all the boat shows, and Chairman of the ABYC Standards Committee for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. He is truly a member of the "Old Guard."
Preferring to spend more time on the docks and less time chained to the desk of his rapidly growing company, Crews retired from full-time management of Marine Development Corporation in 1986. He remained as a consultant until 1999, doing what he liked best…going out on special missions to address the really complicated repairs in the field.