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Mary Jo Goettling Selected as Duane Spader Scholarship Recipient

Wednesday, November 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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Mary Jo Goettling, sales manager of Blue Springs Marine in Blue Springs, Mo. has been selected as the recipient of the second annual Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship. The scholarship was presented to Goettling Wednesday morning, Nov. 19, during the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo Awards Breakfast at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

During the scholarship presentation, MRAA Educational Foundation Board President Ed Lofgren of 3A Marine Service Inc. shared with audience members that while Goettling may not have grown up in the boating industry, she quickly fell in love with the boating business when she started at Blue Springs Marine back in 2005 and wasted no time ingratiating her family into the boating lifestyle.

“Ultimately, her passion for people — customers and team members alike, combined with her skills and experience — have brought her much success; and with that success, she has become a leader and manager for her dealership,” Lofgren said during the award presentation.

The Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship was founded by Spader Business Management and the MRAA Educational Foundation in 2013 to honor the marine industry service of Spader founder Duane Spader, as well as his leadership philosophy of lifelong learning. The recipient receives full tuition to attend the Spader Leadership Development Program, valued at $14,875. Applicants must be employees of a Marine Retailers Association of the Americas retail member.

“While every applicant this year was very worthy, Mary Jo stood out because of her strong desire to continuously improve herself, her dealership and the industry as a whole,” says David Spader, the program’s principal trainer.

The Spader Leadership Development Program is a 15- to 18-month program for current and future leaders that involves five, three-day sessions in Sioux Falls, S.D. In between sessions, participants are tasked with putting what they’ve learned to work in their dealership and tracking the results of those efforts.
“It’s absolutely thrilling to present this unique learning and growth opportunity to a rising female star in the marine industry,” says Liz Walz, MRAA director of education and executive director of the MRAA Educational Foundation. “Mary Jo is at a pivotal point in her career, where’s she’s on track to keep advancing to the highest levels of management and leadership. This scholarship to attend Spader Business Management’s Leader Development Program is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for her to further develop her current skill sets, learn new ones, and continue elevating to the most elite ranks of the retail marine industry.”

In her scholarship application, Goettling says she’s anxious to learn and grow within the marine industry and looks forward to contributing to a bright future for Blue Springs Marine.

“Forging my own path as a rookie and a woman in this industry has not been easy, but I work hard, persevere, and endure the trials to improve not only myself as a person, but also to further our dealership’s reputation, profitability and growth potential,” Goettling writes. “I am confident this scholarship program will equip me with the tools to achieve many of my goals.”

For more information, contact Liz Walz at 315-692-4533 or

About MRAA Educational Foundation
As part of its mission to create a strong and healthy boating industry, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is committed to offering training, education and professional development opportunities to its members and the entire marine dealer community. In 2004, the association launched the MRAA Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation, to provide financial support for education, training and professional development in the recreational marine trades. For more information, visit

About Marine Retailers Association of the Americas
At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the companies that interact with the boater in their community must thrive. Those businesses determine the boater’s experience and are the leading factor in the industry’s success. The MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those businesses, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit