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 are being accepted to the 2022 awards program through December 23, 2021. Download the formal application, complete it in full and submit, along with additional support material, to Rachel Harmon. Supporting material for consideration would be referencing additional industry affiliation(s), articles about the nominee, letters of support, etc. All nominations will be reviewed following the December 23 deadline. Nominators will be notified in January 2022. 


The 2022 Alan J. Freedman Award will be presented during the Miami Industry Breakfast on Thursday, February 17, 2022.


Contact Rachel Harmon at



View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2006: George Bellwoar, Perko, Inc.

George Bellwoar

Bellwoar has spent more than 30 years in the marine industry, including a decade concentrated in the commercial and military sectors. He’s worked with several companies considered industry leaders in their respective areas of expertise, including Perko, Ampco Metals, General Switch, Faria Instruments and Wilcox Crittenden.

During his three-plus decades of industry services, Bellwoar remained very active within NMMA. He was a participating member on several NMMA committees, including the association’s Education Committee and International Marketing Committee. Additionally, Bellwoar served as chairman of NMMA’s Mutual Efficiency Forum, Market Research & Communications Committee and Accessory Manufacturers Division (AMD) Board of Directors, a position he held from 2003-2004. After his term as AMD chair expired in 2004, Bellwoar took over as chairman of the NMMA Executive Committee and NMMA Board of Directors.  His term ended in 2006.

Among his career accomplishments, Bellwoar was the driving force behind the Mutual Efficiency Forum (MEF), serving as its founding chairman and primary author of the industry’s first Best Practices Manual. His vision of improved supply chain communication among all levels of marine accessory distribution channels achieved its main objective-streamlining the system between trading partners. Since its creation, the aftermarket MEF has grown to include an OEM and E-Commerce committee, both of which have made advancements in their respective areas of operation.

Throughout his tenure as NMMA chairman, Bellwoar has been a champion of the industry’s Grow Boating Initiative. He was one of the original 30 business leaders who met in Chicago during October 2003 to decide to move forward with the Initiative. Bellwoar remains active in all aspects of Grow Boating, and in May 2005 proposed creation of the Water Access Task Force to protect and preserve access to our nation’s waterways as a part of the Initiative.