CHICAGO – March 4, 2021 – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today honored Will Keene, Owner of Edson International, with the 2021 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation. The award was presented during NMMA’s State of the Recreational Boating Industry and Awards Presentation earlier today.
Will joined Edson in 1979, working alongside his father and brother and moving through the ranks as they built the company to what it is today, manufacturing industry-leading marine products for both power boats and sailboats, plus marine sanitation devices, marine pumps, industrial pumps, and commercial pumps.
For more than four decades, Will has been dedicated to improving inshore water quality with a commitment to building holding tank pump-out systems. In line with this commitment, Edson created the Edson Green Team, which encouraged all boaters and manufacturers of marine equipment to join in the Edson Green Team initiative.
What’s more, Will’s efforts were instrumental in the passing of the 1992 Clean Vessel Act, including his testimony before a Congressional committee. He and a group of industry peers then came together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to write the standards for the Federal Grants for Pump-out Stations. He was also a leading voice in the establishment of the Clean Marina Award while serving on the Facilities Development Committee at the NMMA.
“Will Keene’s commitment and expertise to new product innovation and his conservation efforts on behalf of the entire recreational boating industry are awe-inspiring,” noted Norm MacLeod, partner at ComMar Sales, who presented the award. “His work and achievements made Edson International a leader in high quality products for both power and sail and helped marinas and boatyards become cleaner than ever, protecting public access to boating and preserving our nation’s waterways for decades to come. I am proud to honor Will with the 2021 Alan J. Freedman Award.”
Will has served on the NMMA Board of Directors and Sail America’s Board of Directors. He also sits on the advisory committee for the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Will was honored with Sail Magazine’s Industry Leadership Award in 2005, and the BoatU.S. Environmental Leadership Commendation in 2007.
An avid sailor and windsurfer, Will not only works in the boating industry, he truly lives and loves boating.
For more information about NMMA’s Alan J. Freedman Award and to nominate a deserving leader for 2022, please visit http://www.nmma.org/industry-awards/alan-freedman-award.