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.

2000: Byron L. Godbersen, Midwest Industries

Byron L. Godbersen

Founder and chief executive officer of Midwest Industries, Byron Godbersen has been involved in the marine business for 40 years. Noted for his intuitiveness, courage, determination and mechanical genius, Godbersen first developed new boat hoists, docks and marine accessories in the late 1950s, receiving his first marine patent on the ShoreStation boat hoist. He also redesigned the boat trailer, receiving a ShoreLand’r boat trailer patent for the “Godbersrn-Lift” mechanism. In 1998 the company manufactured its 1,000,000th trailer.

Godbersen was awarded National and Iowa Small Businessman of the Year recognition (1973) and Albert Gallatin Award (1974). In 1996 he was listed as the leading Iowa inventor of the 1990s for registering 25 patents in the decade. With more than 50 patents to his credit overall, he was also inducted into the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame and named Inventor of the Year in 1996.