Center for Coastal Conservation inaugurates award in honor of Eddie Smith
WASHINGTON, DC – In recognition of her conservation leadership, the Center for Coastal Conservation (Center) honored Kris Carroll with its inaugural Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award. Carroll serves as president of Grady White Boats and was an early board member of the Center.
“Kris Carroll is an exemplary marine manufacturer,” said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) in 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 by the Center to honor extraordinary commitment to conservation by manufacturers. An icon in marine manufacturing, Smith 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.
“Eddie Smith has long been charting the course for responsible conservation of America’s marine fishery resources and has continually strived to connect manufacturing with conservation,” said Center President Jeff Angers. “When the Center proposed to unite sportfishing and conservation advocates to marine manufacturing, Eddie was among the first to say ‘count me in.’”
Carroll continues in active leadership roles throughout in the industry. She is an 18-year member of the NMMA board; former chairman of the Boat Manufacturers Board, and active on the Advisory Council of Boat Owners’ Association of the United States (Boat U.S.). Carroll rose quickly through the ranks at Grady-White Boats, starting as a production control clerk in 1975 and eventually being named vice-president of engineering and manufacturing. She was named president of Grady-White Boats in 1993 and at the time the only woman to hold such a post in the boat manufacturing industry. Carroll’s ability to assemble and inspire the best managers, her steadfast beliefs, and her hard work continue to set an example for the entire industry.
The Center for Coastal Conservation brings under a single umbrella the leading advocates for marine recreational fishing and boating. The organization promotes sound conservation and use of ocean resources by backing federal legislators who support its goals. For more information, visit www.CoastalConservation.US.