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MTA/NJ Hall of Fame
The MTA/NJ Hall of Fame was established to honor an individual, group or organization who, over the years, has proven to be outstanding in furthering MTA/NJ's objectives of promoting and protecting the marine industry. The award will be presented annually by MTA/NJ in recognition of extraordinary achievements, dedication and perpetuating the highest ideas, trust and professionalism for the recreational boating industry. Inductions take place at the MTA/NJ Annual Dinner & Elections. For more information, please contact the office at 732-292-1051.
To nominate someone for the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame, click here. Please print, complete and fax back to the MTA/NJ Office at 732-292-1041 no later than April 10th. Nomination forms will be reviewed by the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame/Nominating Committee and, if someone is selected, inductions will take place at the Annual Dinner & Elections.
MTA/NJ Hall of Fame Inductees
2011 – John C. Curtis, The Ship Chandlers, Inc. Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. and Atlantic Marine Distributors, Inc. Manasquan, N.J.
John C. Curtis, owner of The Ship Chandlers Inc. and Atlantic Marine Distributors, has been involved in the marine industry most of his life. Starting in the family retail marine business, The Ship Chandlers in 1967, John was involved in day to day operation of the marine store. In 1977 John founded Atlantic Marine Distributors, a wholesale marine parts distribution company that eventually served over 500 dealers in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas. Wanting to give back to the industry that he dedicated his life to, John was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey where he served for over 20 years, the final 14 years as Treasurer of the organization. John felt that after 14 years it was time to turn the Treasurer position over to another member and stepped down in 2010.
2008 - Genevieve Boehm Clifton, NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources
Genevieve Boehm Clifton of the NJDOT Office of Maritime Resources was inducted into the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame in honor of her outstanding contributions and commitment to the marine industry and waterways in New Jersey. Genevieve has worked tirelessly on behalf of the marine trades industry for over 10 years. She manages the Marine Trades Program at the NJDOT which includes the I BOAT NJ Program, the National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program and the Dredged Material Management Program to name a few. It is through her efforts that the recreational boating industry has received millions of dollars in improvements and enhancements, improved relations with other state agencies, and has a stronger voice in Trenton. Her dedication and perseverance has made New Jersey a better place to boat.
2004 - Kenneth Winter, Winter Yacht Basin, Inc., Mantoloking, NJ
Kenneth Winter, owner of Winter Yacht Basin, has been dedicated to the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey and the boating industry for decades. He is a long time member, supporter, past president, and friend of the MTA/NJ serving on many committees, most recently as Chair of the Education Committee in which he worked to helped find skilled workers for the industry. He was extremely committed to the industry and the MTA/NJ.
2003 - Walter F. Johnson, Jr., Johnson & Towers, Inc., Mount Laurel, NJ
Walter Johnson, Jr., who began working for Johnson & Towers in 1950, was instrumental in creating the JT series of marinized Detroit Diesel’s which, from the 70’s to the mid 80’s took the New Jersey Boat Builders and worldwide boat building to a new level of performance. His efforts over the course of his career have greatly contributed to the success of Johnson & Towers and all that they have done to further the recreational boating industry.
2002 - Larry Polizzotto, Ocean Beach Marina, Lavallette, NJ
Larry Polizzotto, General Manager of Ocean Beach Marina, has been dedicated to the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey since the early 1980’s. As a long time member of the MTA/NJ, he has served in several officer positions, on numerous committees and last as President for two terms. As Master of Ceremonies at MTA/NJ’s Annual Dinner for many years, Larry is known for his quick wit and humor. He was honored with the Hall of Fame award for his commitment to New Jersey’s boating industry. Larry had the foresight to know that the financial future of New Jersey’s marine industry depends on the success of its boat shows. As MTA/NJ’s Boat Show Chairman, he put a plan in motion that will give MTA/NJ and its members a solid foundation in the boat show arena. During Larry’s two year term as MTA/NJ President from 1993-95, MTA/NJ became a highly visible organization with a strong voice in the marine industry nationwide.
2001 - Georgianna Forlenzo, MTA/NJ Executive Director 1991-2001
Georgianna Gieser-Forlenzo received the Hall of Fame award in recognition of exemplary executive leadership on behalf of the association and the recreational boating industry while serving as MTA/NJ’s Executive Director from 1991 to 2001. One of her greatest achievements for MTA/NJ was her outstanding role in the negotiations that led to the settlement of the boat show disputes – so critical to the financial status of the marine industry in New Jersey. Also during her ten-year tenure, MTA/NJ’s membership base doubled and the MTA/NJ Foundation, dedicated to boating safety and education, was established. This is all the more notable since Georgianna took the Director’s position during a major reorganization within the association. In the late 1980’s the recession and the infamous luxury tax had taken its toll and, by the early 1990’s, many marine businesses had closed down, MTA/NJ’s staff had been dramatically downsized and the membership was dwindling. Thanks to Georgianna’s untiring dedication, the MTA/NJ is a vital part of the marine industry which continues to flourish.
1998 - Bob Healey, Viking Yacht Company, New Gretna, NJ
Chief Executive Officer at Viking Yacht Company in New Gretna, NJ, Bob Healey was presented the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame award for continuously demonstrating outstanding leadership on a state and national level for many decades. Bob started his boat building business with his brother Bill Healey in the early 1960’s. Always in the forefront, Bob is one of the top leaders of the marine industry. His optimism and determination during the dark times of the onerous luxury tax brought Bob recognition in the marine industry nationwide during the early 1990’s. He organized and led a grassroots campaign to repeal the infamous tax. His group rallied nationally to persuade Congress to eliminate the luxury tax that put countless companies and some 150,000 people out of work. It was non-stop dedication, from Trenton to Washington and back again. He led the fight and didn’t quit until the tax was repealed. Thanks to Bob and people like him, the industry survived one of its most devastating attacks.
1997 - The Harrison Family, Baywood Marina, Brick, NJ
On MTA/NJ’s 25th Anniversary, The Harrison Family of Baywood Marina… “Three Generations Serving the Marine Industry For More Than 25 Years”… was inducted into MTA/NJ’s Hall of Fame. The late Ed Harrison, Sr., was one of the founding fathers of MTA/NJ in 1972. He brought marina owners together, putting petty rivalries aside, to work toward the best interest of the boating industry. The objective was to act in concert when dealing with environmental and governmental issues that threatened the industry. The Harrison Family has been actively involved with MTA/NJ and industry matters ever since. When Ed Harrison, Sr. retired in the early 1980’s, his son, Ed. Jr., took his place. Ed Harrison, Jr., served as President of MTA/NJ from 1984-86, and has remained an active member of the Board today, serving on the Citizens Advisory and Water Use Advisory Committees for the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program and the Industrial Stormwater Pollution Advisory Committee and Monmouth-Ocean Alliance to Enhance The Manasquan River. The Third Generation, Ed Harrison III, serves as Director of the Central Region and is active in the legislative arena. The Harrison’s have been model members for a quarter of a century – always ready to lend a hand to fellow members- a prefect example of what MTA/NJ stands for.
1996 - Don Challoner, Antique & Classic Boats of NJ, St. Michels, Md.
Don Challoner of Antique & Classic Boats was honored for his tireless efforts to preserve the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey during what may well be remembered as the worst times in the history of the boating industry. During the late 1980’s, the marine industry was hit hard, not only by the recession, but also by the infamous luxury tax. Morale was low, many businesses were downsizing -- if not closing – and the membership was dwindling. In 1990, Don Challoner accepted the position of MTA/NJ President and spearheaded a major reorganization which ultimately led to the resurrection of MTA/NJ. When others abandoned ship, Don Challoner had the stamina to keep going. It was an uphill battle that consumed a tremendous amount of his personal time and energy and the members of MTA/NJ are forever grateful.
1995 - Alan Davidson, Green Cove Marina, Brick, NJ
Alan Davidson of Green Cove Marina is a Past President of MTA/NJ and was honored for more than twenty years of outstanding service dedicated to furthering MTA/NJ’s objectives of promoting and protecting the marine industry. Al has put endless hours of his personal time and effort into making MTA/NJ the cornerstone of New Jersey’s marine industry. He is MTA/NJ’s Legislative Chairman, serves on the NJ Industrial Stormwater Public Advisory Group, the NJ Clean Vessel Act Advisory Committee, and Tidelands Resource Council. Alan Davidson was the driving force behind the association during the long term – but successful -- battle to repeal the devastating luxury tax in the early 1990’s. The MTA/NJ membership expressed their gratitude to Al Davidson in 1995 by making him the First Inductee to MTA/NJ’s prestigious Hall of Fame.