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.

2019: Earl Bentz, Caymas Boats and Scott Deal, Maverick Boat Group

Scott Deal


As the founder, owner and CEO of Maverick Boat Company, Scott Deal has been a driving force for innovation, enterprise, and advocacy in the marine industry. 

Scott launched his career in the marine industry in 1984, when he and his brother paid $12,000 for the 18 foot Maverick boat molds. More than 30 years later the company, now named Maverick Boat Group, manufactures four boat brands—Hewes, Pathfinder, Maverick and Cobia—and 25 models.
Under Scott’s direction, the Maverick Boat Group has enjoyed steady growth and been a model of innovation in boatbuilding. When Scott purchased the Hewes brand from Bob Hewes, inventor of the flats boat, in 1989 the company became (and remains to this day) the country’s biggest builder of flats boats. In 1991, Scott built the first skiff designed for silent, shallow water poling, the Maverick Mirage, in the process creating the ‘technical poling skiff’ flats boat category. To meet anglers’ need for a versatile boat that could fish shallow and also run comfortably in larger, open bodies of water, Deal developed the Pathfinder brand in 1998—and launched the bay boat revolution. The proprietary VARIS (Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion System) introduced in 2001, offers the highest strength to weight ratio possible in fiberglass construction and is used on 13 models across the company’s Cobia, Maverick and Pathfinder lines. After purchasing the Cobia brand from Yamaha Motor Corp., Deal completely revamped the model lineup with new fishing-focused models for the family, growing it into the one of the top-selling center console brands in the country.  
A leading advocate for the nation’s fisheries Scott is active on a number of conservation boards; including the Coastal Conservation Association, the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Everglades Foundation. In 2006, he was the first recipient of the Coastal Conservation Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was also honored with the Ted Forsgren Conservation Award in 2014. He is also a member of the Everglades Foundation.
Committed to industry leadership, Scott serves on several marine industry boards. Deal joined NMMA’s Boat Manufacturer’s Division (BMD) in 2005 and served as Divisional Chair for the BMD Board. He’s been a member of NMMA’s Board of Directors since 2007, an Executive Committee Member since 2011, and was the initial chairman for Grow Boating. In 2017, NMMA presented Scott with the inaugural Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award, recognizing extraordinary service and commitment to advocacy on behalf of the recreational boating industry. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for Sportfishing Policy, which presented him with the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Conservation Award in 2014. He serves on the Independent Boat Builders, Inc. (IBBI) Board of Directors and served as its Chairman twice. 
An assertive and articulate advocate for boaters and anglers, Scott has testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross regarding fishery management in the Gulf states and authored an opinion piece for Washington D.C.’s The Hill urging Congress to pass the Modern Fish Act. He’s also made his mark as Co-Chair for the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management and co-author of “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” which helped set the groundwork or passage of the Modern Fish Act in 2018.