By: Tom Kaiser
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t the first day of the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ValvTect Petroleum Products announced the winner of its annual Marina of the Year award — Dog River Marina & Boatworks Inc.
Sonny Middleton, owner, and Bob Schwarz of Dog River Marina in Mobile, Ala., received the honor at a private Marina of the Year award dinner, and the award was publically announced Thursday at a ceremony held at ValvTect’s booth on the show floor of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.
Members of the marine press, including Boating Industry, as well as several marina professionals and industry suppliers participating in the three-day IMBC event, were in attendance the official award ceremony.
ValvTect President Jerry Nessenson praised Dog River for its reputation, customer service and impressive transient business for a marina of its size.
“Dog River is not huge by current marina standards, but huge by reputation,” he said. “Sonny and his crew have worked hard to create the Gulf ’s premier boatyard and marina by staying true to Dog River’s guiding principles which are honesty, integrity and superior customer service.”
“It’s just something we’re very blessed to have and we appreciate our people and our customers,” Nessenson said. “It means a lot to our employees, it means a lot to our customers [and] it means a lot to me. It’s an honor.”
We all have to work together in this business or we’re not going to make it. We’re in the toy business,” he added.
Dog River Marina is a full service marina — Mobile’s largest — with 90 slips 22 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. It is recognized as a Clean Marina and was previous named Marina of the Year in 2000. It accommodates craft up to 150 in length, with dockside depths from 12 to 17 feet.
ValvTect is a fuel additive maker with a large presence in the marina market with approximately 650 marina clients in North America.