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


Nominations to the 2025 awards program will open Summer 2024.

To nominate a worthy industry leader:

  • Nominators must belong to a member company and be in good standing with NMMA.
  • Submit the official nomination form.
  • Submit supporting material to enhance the nomination. Supporting material includes, but not limited to; an enhanced career timeline and accomplishments, articles about the nominee and letters of support. Supporting materials should be received digitally through the provided file share link by the entry deadline.

Nominators will be notified of award status in January 2025.


The 2025 Alan J. Freedman Award will be presented during the Miami Industry Breakfast at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Tickets are required for entry.


Contact: Rachel Harmon
Email: [email protected]


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2008: David Blackburn, Faria Marine Instruments

David Blackburn

Dave Blackburn has worked for the Thomas G. Faria Corporation and Faria Marine Instruments since 1980 when he joined the Company as Manager of Industrial Engineering; he has been the company’s Chief Executive Officer and President since 1992.

Mr. Blackburn serves on the Boards of the Thomas G. Faria Corp. and Faria Watchdog Incorporated, a satellite communications company of which he is also President and CEO; the Board of Acme Wire Corporation; and is a past Director on the Boards of the Marine Accessories Manufacturers Division of the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) and the NMMA Board of Directors.
Mr. Blackburn has also served on the NMMA’s National Conference and Boat Show Committees and was the first Chairperson of the Boating Week Committee, as well as the first Chairperson of an industry task force formed to develop a set of industry wide best practices. Until recently he served as the Chair of the IBEX Planning Committee.
Representing the NMMA in Washington, Mr. Blackburn pursued legislation to severely penalize companies and individuals who import counterfeit goods. He has testified numerous times on counterfeiting and IP before groups such as the U.S. House Committee on Small Business and the United States China Commission, and spoke on counterfeiting issues before a gathering of International Marine Industry Executives and Chinese Government officials in Guangzhou, China. For his efforts he was invited to Washington for the President’s signing of HR 32-the “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods” act. Currently he is supporting efforts to pass additional anti-counterfeiting legislation.
Dave’s leisure time is consumed by his love of boats, the water and fishing. He holds a 100 ton Masters license from the Coast Guard and traveled every ocean in the world. He enjoys fishing and boating around Block Island Sound with his grandchildren, and hopes they will develop the same enthusiasm for boating that has had such a positive impact on his life.