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.

2019: John H. Thommen, Ocean Marketing

John Thommen

John H. Thommen has been passionate about marketing quality marine equipment for more than 40 years. Marine safety is of particular importance to John and his focus on not only bringing quality safety products to the marine market, but in providing instruction on the proper use of these products to dealers, retailers and end users is testament to his commitment to boating safety.
John is the founder, owner and CEO of Ocean Marketing, Inc. a well-respected marine accessory marketing agency headquartered in Guilford, CT and established in 1981. John and his group provide valuable marketing support for their manufacturing clients, and the company has become one of the premier marine sales agencies in the United States under John’s leadership.
John is also the founder and owner of Ocean Accessories, LLC, which manufactures, imports and distributes marine accessories. Ocean Accessories markets products throughout North America and 22 foreign countries and has warehouses in Guilford, CT and Kent, England.
John is loyal and supportive of his team of professional sales representatives is always willing to help a customer, dealer or distributor in need. John is a passionate supporter of the marine industry and is the first to volunteer his valuable time for any agency or panel that seeks his guidance.
John served on the board of the National Marine Distributors Association for eight years and is a past Director of the National Marine Representatives Association, and a past president of the United States Marine Safety Association and has worked on various NMMA show committees.
He is a Life Trustee of the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation and a former trustee of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI—a trade school dedicated to the education of students in the restoration of classic and traditional vessels. His also a past trustee of The Shoreline Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that works to bring recreation and education to the Connecticut shoreline communities.
John is currently a member of the New York Yacht Club, Sachem’s Head Yacht Club, and Guilford Yacht Club. He is also Chairman of Guilford, CT Harbor Management Commission, a town committee dedicated to the stewardship of Guilford’s shoreline.