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.
HALL OF FAME NOMINATION CRITERIA
To be eligible for the NMMA Hall of Fame Award one must:
Made a substantial and lasting impact on the industry or their particular segment
Known in the industry and is 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
Active members in good standing with the NMMA are eligible to nominate a worthy leader. Nominations will be accepted in Spring 2022.
Contact: Rachel Harmon
2020: Kris Carroll, Grady-White Boats
Kris Carroll came up through the ranks at Grady-White Boats, starting as a production control clerk in 1975 and eventually was promoted to vice-president of engineering and manufacturing in the late 80’s. In 1993 Kris was promoted to president of Grady-White Boats. She was the first woman to ever hold this position in the boat manufacturing industry.
Kris has led Grady-White to the top of the industry through her steadfast belief in putting the customer first, and through building a great leadership team. Under her guidance, Grady-White’s mission of customer satisfaction is achieved through building one-to-one customer relationships. This commitment to the consumer is proven by the fact that Grady-White has been ranked at the top of customer satisfaction surveys in every third party measure ever done in its respective categories; this includes every top award from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) since the inception of its Customer Satisfaction Award program in 2003, as well as the highest satisfaction rankings in every marine study done by J.D. Power and Associates.
Kris and her top leaders consistently demonstrate their belief in team-building within the Grady-White organization of employees, dealerships and vendors. They relentlessly encourage the achievement of the company’s vision “Together, delivering the ultimate boating experience” while creating a company environment where everyone can “Enjoy coming to work on Monday… like they enjoy going home on Fridays”. With a deep dedication to helping each person develop their individual potential, Kris created and continues to promote the Grady-White reading program for all employees, where team members are paid to read books for personal growth in all areas of life. This has built a committed culture with common values--everyone knows the meaning of Win-Win at Grady-White.
Carroll holds active leadership roles in the industry and her community; she is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association). She has served on the Advisory Council (and Board of Directors) of the Boat Owners’ Association of the United States (Boat US), the Board of the Center for Coastal Conservation (now Center for Sportfishing Policy), and is the past chairwoman of the NMMA Boat Manufacturers’ Division Board. She is also currently on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
In the industry, Kris has received the MRAA’s 2002 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year Award. The recipient of the Briggs award demonstrates leadership and commitment to the boating business as well as a willingness to volunteer their time and effort in their communities and social organizations. She has also been celebrated by the Center for Sportfishing Policy with the 2012 Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award for her dedication to conservation efforts and service to the organization and the Board. She also received the NMMA’s 2018 Hammond Marine Leadership Award.
At home, Kris is a former board member of Pitt County United Way, and provided leadership for many community outreach programs including STRIVE and VISIONS, as well as speaking often to outside groups like the Teacher’s Executive Institute, Pitt Community College, and East Carolina University. She has a heart to help those who struggle and personally contributes to many initiatives for those in need in her community and is a mentor to many people.
Kris’s ability to assemble and inspire the best people, her steadfast beliefs, and her hard work continue to set an example for the entire industry.