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National Marine Representatives Association Presents 2022 Mel Barr & Old Pro Awards

KILMARNOCK, VIRGINIA – Two marine industry veterans were recognized by the National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) as the recipients of the 2022 NMRA Mel Barr and Old Pro awards.

The awards, originally scheduled to be presented during IBEX , were presented virtually due to the cancellation of the show ahead of the projected arrival of Hurricane Ian in the Tampa, Florida area.

The Mel Barr Award was created in memory of Mel Barr, an independent marine rep deeply involved in our industry, one of the founders of the NMRA and its first president. On his untimely death in 1967, his family, along with the NMRA, established the award to honor an individual who has contributed to the improvement of the marine industry. It’s voted on by NMRA member rep groups.

The 2022 NMRA Mel Barr Award recipient is Will Keene (shown left, above), who recently retired after 33 years with the Edson Corporation.
Will joined Edson in 1979 and worked his way up the ladder, becoming head of west coast sales and working with sailboat builders to install Edson steering systems. But he is perhaps best known for his involvement in the marine industry’s pro-active response to what was the growing concern over the environmental impact of effluent discharge in USA harbors. Edson developed a pumpout boat that led to the company becoming a leader in waste water pump-out equipment. Will was instrumental in promoting the first “Clean Marina Award” that has grown into what is now known as the Clean Marina program.

The NMRA Old Pro Award recognizes a NMRA member who actively contributes to the association and the marine rep profession as a whole.
The 2022 NMRA Old Pro Award recipient is Tim Conroy (shown right, above), President of ComMar Sales. Tim has more than 40 years of experience in the marine industry and over 30 years as part of the ComMar Sales organization.

In 1998, Tim was a Director with the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) and helped start the Marine Electronics Journal. He is the longest-serving NMEA Director and currently holds the position of Vice President. Tim has also served on various committees and on the boards of NMMA and NMRA.

NMRA is the leading professional membership organization for independent marine sales representatives. For more information, visit

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