Boating Industry, MRAA Present 2023 Darlene Briggs Award

Michele Goldsmith, vice president and general manager of the Soundings Trade Only group, has been named the 2023 Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year, announced the MRAA Educational Foundation. 

Named after the late Darlene Briggs of Wayzata, Minn., who was admired for her tireless dedication to elevating women and the marine industry. Jointly, Boating Industry and the MRAA present the award to honor her memory. The annual award recognizes an outstanding woman who is actively involved in the boating industry, recognizing dedicated service, persistent commitment and the advancement of women in the marine business. Darlene’s granddaughter, Taylor Briggs, leads the MRAA Educational Foundation’s selection committee for the award, and helped present the award. The award was presented to Goldsmith, the 37th recipient, as part of the Dealer Week Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at Dealer Week in Tampa, Fla. 

Goldsmith started her marine industry journey in the summer of 1991, working alongside her father at Todd Enterprises, eventually assuming the role of leading sales and marketing, helping the company flourish and expand. She joined Charles Industries in 2000, as the director of sales and marketing for the marine division and earned an American Boat & Yacht Council electrical certification. 

After successful stints in sales, marketing and product development leadership roles for marine industry component companies Paneltronics, Mastervolt, Power Products, and Lippert, Goldsmith joined Active Interest Media (AIM) in 2018 as the publisher of Soundings Trade Only. In 2023, she was named vice president and general manager, responsible for developing and providing tools to the marine industry to enhance their marketing and business growth. Five years ago, Goldsmith spearheaded the Most Innovative Marine Company Awards to recognize companies that contribute significantly to the industry’s progress through initiatives such as product innovation, workforce development, sustainability and philanthropy.

Among the many industry events she creates and manages are the quarterly Women in the Industry series for female boating professionals. In 2021, she hired Balaji Krishnamurthy, Chairman of Think Shift, to lead a workshop on servant leadership within the industry. Starting in 2022, she took Women in the Industry series global, partnering with British Marine, Marine Industry News and METSTRADE to create an annual in-person panel event at the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam. 

“My enduring motivation lies in serving the industry, contributing to its growth and facilitating opportunities for the next generation of leaders, particularly women,” said Goldsmith. “I am committed to creating empowering spaces for them to connect, network, learn and build a supportive community.”

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