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.

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.