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Applicants Sought for Leadership Development Scholarship

Monday, August 31, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
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The MRAA Educational Foundation and Spader Business Management are currently seeking applicants for the 2015 Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship. 

The scholarship was founded to honor the marine industry service of Spader Business Management founder Duane Spader, as well as his leadership philosophy of lifelong learning. The recipient, who receives full tuition to attend the Spader Leadership Development Program, valued at $14,875, must be an employee of a Marine Retailers Association of the Americas Retail Member. The recipient will only be responsible for his or her travel expenses.

"It gives you the opportunity to become a better leader in an environment filled with peers who are there to help you succeed and to learn from you,” says Mary Jo Goettling, recipient of the 2014 Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship and sales manager of Blue Springs Marine in Blue Springs, Mo. ”I took a bunch of 5-hour ENERGY® with me because I thought it would be all lecture, but there’s a lot of hands-on training, and we’ve already implemented some of the strategies at the dealership.”

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.

Upon graduating from the program, participants will know how to:

· Lead their organization’s culture and strategy
· Improve their own leadership and management effectiveness
· Coach their team to higher performance
· Effectively understand and manage each area of Total Business Success®
· Hire the best candidates for each position
· Deliver world-class customer service
· Assess and improve their dealership’s organizational health

"The Spader Business Management team chose to base this scholarship on our Leadership Development Program because of the tremendous impact it has on the personal and professional lives of participants,” says David Spader, the program’s principal trainer. ”The program continues to help current and future leaders in the marine industry navigate the challenges of succession, employee management, strategy, and the many other issues facing dealerships.”

The 2015 recipient will be announced at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, taking place Nov. 15–18 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information and to apply, visit the Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship web page by clicking here. The deadline for applications is Oct. 9. Please contact Liz Walz with questions at or 315-692-4533.

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 and select "MRAA Foundation.”

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


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