Judges were impressed by Gator Guards’ holistic approach to growing their business through export

The winner of the 1st IBI Export Excellence Award, presented by IBI editor Ed Slack at today’s IBEX Industry Breakfast in Tampa, Florida, was Gator Guards.


IBI Editor Ed Slack announced the winner of the first IBI Export Excellence Award at IBEX 2018

The IBI Export Excellence Award is designed to recognise excellence in the realm of export sales by US boatbuilders or marine equipment manufacturers, or distributors and manufacturer representatives of US products. Judges were impressed by Gator Guards’ holistic approach to growing their business through export.

“Having decided to begin exporting four years ago, Gator Guards combined a serious level of legwork on the ground to earn the trust of its network of distributors, while showing application and resolve in tapping into a number of government-sponsored export programmes, attending key boat shows, as well as winning grants to boost its export credentials,” said Slack at the awards presentation.

The judges praised, in particular, the dedication and commitment of Gator Guards’ small team. “Ultimately the judges felt that Gator Guards highlighted the fact that it’s possible to be the best, no matter what your size,” said Slack.

The company is now anticipating mirroring domestic market success with double-digit growth in overseas sales well into the future.

“The judges were impressed by the serious credentials of this year’s entries. So much so that IBI is committed to following up a number of their stories as case studies for our magazine and website. All were deemed good examples of how to export, with some excelling in various aspects of the judging process.”

Highlights included entries from Mercury with its dealer follow-up programmes in Australia, NZ and the Pacific, the development of Correct Craft’s worldwide dealer base, Dometic’s courting of new light commercial markets in South America, and Seakeeper’s level of investment in growing its stabiliser business in Europe.