Kris Carroll, president of Grady-White Boats, has been named the innaugural recipient of the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award, sponsored by the Center for Coastal Conservation.
Carroll was an early board member of the Center, which advocates for marine recreational fishing and boating.
“Kris Carroll is an exemplary marine manufacturer,” said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association, when presenting the award. “She is focused on the business of the boating business, and she knows that conservation of America’s fishery resources is a vital part of her business.”
The Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year award was established to recognize and dedication to marine conservation by manufacturers.
It is named in honor of Smith, chairman and CEO of Grady-White, who served on the boards of National Marine Manufacturers Association; Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; International Game Fish Association, Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council; National Association of Boat Manufacturers; American Boat and Yacht Council, and the Sport Fishing Institute. He was instrumental in founding the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina. Smith received the first-ever ASA Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of the NMMA Hall of Fame.
Carroll is an 18-year member of the NMMA board; former chairman of the Boat Manufacturers Board, and active on the AdvisoryCouncil of Boat Owners’ Association of the United States (Boat U.S.). She was named president of Grady-White Boats in 1993.