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.

2021: Joan Maxwell, Regulator Marine and Bill Watters, Syntec Industries

Joan Maxwell

Joan Maxwell, President and Co-Founder of Regulator Marine, is a trailblazer who has devoted her working life to the marine industry. Through her determination and faith, Regulator has grown to be a leading manufacturer of offshore boats, and earned a reputation as one of the most well-respected brands in the boating industry for more than 30 years running.

Founded by Joan and her husband Owen in 1988 in an abandoned A&P Grocery Store, Regulator set out to reinvent the deep-vee center console experience and engineered what is known today as an unbeatably smooth and dry ride. The company now operates in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Edenton, NC where their expert team continues the legacy Joan and Owen started years ago – always evolving to meet customer demand while staying true to their heritage.

As a respected leader of a premier boat company, Joan has long been actively engaged in the recreational boating industry’s leading organization, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). In an historically male dominated industry, Joan became the first woman to Chair the NMMA board of Directors and currently remains on the Boat Divisional Manufacturer’s Board.

Joan’s passion is to personally live out Regulator’s mission – to build the best center console sportfishing boats with people, processes and resources to honor God – and lead her team to do the same.  She demonstrates and demands the highest levels of integrity from her leadership team, and this extends to the factory floor where team members take pride in the company’s motto “Quality before Delivery.”

Her dedication to service is evident not only at Regulator, but also to the local community in which Regulator is located, where she currently serves on the Edenton-Chowan Partnership Board.  Joan established a Volunteer Program at Regulator Marine which pays employees their regular wages during working hours while they volunteer their time and services to local organizations of their choosing. In 2018, Joan established the “In His Service” program at Regulator, which oversees Regulator’s charitable giving, as well as its employee emergency assistance fund. Currently, she is a member of C12, a Christian based leaders’ roundtable that focuses on building better businesses for a greater purpose.

Recognized as an exceptional leader both at her company and in the recreational boating industry, Joan’s accomplishments include: the 2018 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award; the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award and the National Association of Manufacturer’s STEP award.

Joan grew up in rural Fairfield, NC. She graduated from Mattamuskeet High School and the University of North Carolina, where she received a BA in history. She is married to Owen Maxwell and they reside in Edenton, NC.

Joan’s willingness to give of her time and energy are well-known in the recreational boating industry, and this leadership inspires us all to pursue the very best in boat-building, service, and life on the water every day.