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Roy Finney, Jr. Named 2015 Duane Spader Scholarship Recipient

Wednesday, November 25, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jay Corn
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Roy Finney Jr., vice president of The Boat Shop in Tafton, Pa., has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the third annual Duane Spader Leadership Development Scholarship. The scholarship was officially announced Wednesday morning, Nov. 18, during an awards breakfast taking place as part of the annual Marine Dealer Conference & Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.


“Having an opportunity to cultivate the next generation of leaders is immensely fulfilling,” David Spader, primary instructor of the Spader Leadership Development Program, said. “I look forward to working with Roy and helping him become the leader he wants to be."


Roy will receive full tuition, valued at $14,875, to attend the intensive Spader Leadership Development Program, an 18-month course designed for current and future marine industry leaders. The curriculum tasks students with taking lessons from a series of five, three-day seminars and applying them to day-to-day operations at their respective dealerships.


“As an individual I have aspirations of growing my business, my family and, of course, myself,” Roy wrote in his scholarship application. “I need to lead my family as a mentor and role model, lead my business by making sure my team has the tools, knowledge and foundation to succeed—in good times and bad—and also lead myself to try to better who I am every single day. With the help of this scholarship, I can do that.”


Roy has spent his entire life on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack, located just east of Scranton and Pennsylvania’s third-largest freshwater lake. Roy’s father began selling Scott-Atwater outboards and wooden whirlwinds back in 1962, and instilled in his son the importance of quality service and attention to detail. Still, Roy, Jr. never intended to make a career in the boating industry.


When his dad was diagnosed with colon cancer last November, Roy finalized a decision to shelve medical school and return home to pilot the family business.


“I made the choice to stay home, and after literally a two-week crash course in the day-to-day operations of the business I was in a managerial role while he underwent surgery and recovery,” Roy said. “Luckily we had a great staff and they covered up my inadequacies, but to say it was a trial by fire is an understatement.”


Father and son have since set up a succession plan, and The Boat Shop was again named a “Top 100 Dealer” in 2015 by Boating Industry Magazine. Roy Jr. says he eagerly accepts the challenge of continuing his family’s rich tradition of retail and service excellence, stressing the opportunity to attend the Spader Leadership Development Program will be a key cog in carrying out that mission.


“The boating industry and the people who make it successful have always been a big part of Spader Business Management’s work,” David said. “Helping to lay the groundwork for its continued success is both an honor and a privilege. In Roy’s case, he has a running start thanks to his father's sweat and sacrifice. Now he has the opportunity to build on that strong foundation and lead the business into the future."


Founded in 2013 by Spader Business Management and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Educational Foundation, the scholarship honors the contributions of Duane Spader to the marine industry. The Spader Leadership Development Program takes place in Sioux Falls, SD and Fort Lauderdale, FL and specializes in cultivating the next generation of business leaders.


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

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