NMMA Hall of Fame Awards Logo The National Marine Manufacturers Association Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to recognize and honor individuals who have made or continue to make substantial contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry. It is NMMA’s most prestigious recognition.


To be eligible for the NMMA Hall of Fame Award a candidate must:

  • Have made a substantial and lasting impact on the industry or their particular segment

  • Are known in the industry and are beyond personal or professional reproach

  • A past (deceased/retired) or current member and supporter of NMMA

  • Actively involved in the marine industry for a minimum of ten years


Nominations are being accepted for the 2024 program through June 27, 2024. Active members in good standing with the NMMA are eligible to nominate a worthy industry leader. An official nomination form must be submitted, along with; supporting documents (letters of support, articles around the candidate's work in the industry, etc) that will enhance the nomination portfolio by the given deadline.


All nomination portfolios will be reveiwed by the NMMA Hall of Fame Committee after the nomination deadline. The NMMA Board of Directors will make a final vote to determine the award recipient(s). Nominators will be notified of award status August 2024.


Award recipients will be presented at IBEX during the Industry Breakfast taking place on Tuesday, October 1 in Tampa, FL.


Contact: Rachel Harmon
Email: [email protected]


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2023: Ben Speciale, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit

Ben Speciale

Ben Speciale became President of the Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit, in May 2010. The Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit is a part of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. and located in Kennesaw, Ga.
From an early age, Speciale engaged in his family's marina and marine dealership, fostering his passion for boating and fishing as well as a respect for the resources that provide those opportunities. His early experiences shaped his career choice, interests and advocacy. He joined Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. in 1987, initially working with Yamaha Marine Parts and Accessories.
Over the years at Yamaha Marine, Speciale held positions in marketing and promotions. Speciale left Yamaha in 1992 to serve as New Fishing Production Manager at Fenwick Fishing Tackle in Huntington Beach, Calif. He returned to Yamaha Marine in 1996 in strategic planning and financial operations. Yamaha promoted him to Vice President, Operations and Planning in 2005.
In his capacity as President, Speciale is responsible for all U.S.-based marine activities and subsidiaries, while also serving as the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Marine Engines and Boat Power Systems (BPS). He provides guidance and leadership to Yamaha's boat companies and subsidiaries, including Skeeter bass boats, G3 aluminum fishing boats, Precision Propeller Industries, Inc., Bennett Marine, Kracor, and Siren Marine. Yamaha Marine boasts a network of approximately 2,300 dealers while also serving as an OEM outboard supplier to over 120 independent boat brands in the United States.
During Speciale’s tenure as Vice President of Yamaha Marine, outboard products received many design and innovation awards from the marine industry and national media. Yamaha also is the only outboard motor company to receive awards in the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Customer Satisfaction Index survey every year since its inception.
Speciale has taken various leadership roles within the marine industry. Previously, he fulfilled the role of chairperson for the Board of Directors at NMMA. He holds a position on the board and is chairperson of the Engine Manufacturers Division Board.
He received the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award in 2020 for his outstanding contributions and commitment to the recreational fishing and boating. This recognition, presented by the Center for Sport Fishing Policy (CSP), acknowledged Speciale's efforts to enhance angler access and promote marine conservation. He serves as a board member for CSP.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership celebrated Speciale at the 14th annual Capital Conservations Awards Dinner, presented him with the 2022 Conservation Achievement Award for his leadership in conservation and environmental stewardship. He serves TRCP as a member of its corporate council.

Speciale lives in Kennesaw, Ga. with his wife Kim. They have two grown daughters. The family enjoys recreating on the Tennessee River near Ben’s childhood home.