National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the trade association for the recreational boating industry, has recognized the founder and CEO of Millington, TN-based Indmar Products with its highest honor. Richard C. (Dick) Rowe was inducted into the NMMA Hall of Fame recently during a special ceremony at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Miami, FL.
The NMMA Hall of Fame Award recognizes those who have, or continue to generate “substantial and lasting” contributions toward the advancement of the marine industry. It honors individuals whose names and deeds are synonymous with the pursuit of quality, innovation and perfection within their respective spheres of expertise.
“Dick Rowe has helped elevate the recreational marine industry for more than 40 years,” says NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “His innovative spirit has turned Indmar Products into the largest privately held manufacturer of gasoline inboard engines, and he has unselfishly donated much of his time to promoting public policy issues that have benefited the entire industry.”
Rowe launched Indmar Products Company in 1971 after completing a 20-year career with the U.S. Marine Corps. Under Rowe’s direction, the company was the first to develop inboard engines with computer controlled electronic fuel injection, and remains the leader in this still emerging technology.
Indmar was also the first to marinize high-tech automotive performance motors, such as the Cadillac Northstar, LS-1 Corvette, General Motor’s Vortec HO 6000 and Vortec HO 8100 engines.
Rowe has received much credit from industry and government leaders for getting the USCG and EPA, as well as the California Air Resources Board involved in developing reasonable regulations regarding catalytic converters and other emission controls. He has also donated a number of engines and boats for use in emission testing programs.
“Many younger professionals in the engine industry, including myself, see Dick as a mentor. He has led by example by not only building a strong, respected company, but by also looking beyond the ‘four walls’ of Indmar to help improve the entire industry. NMMA’s recognition of his achievements is much deserved,” says Bombardier Recreational Products’ Fernando Garcia.
In addition to his public policy efforts, Rowe has also taken an active role in NMMA, serving on its board of directors from 1993 to 1999 and as chairman of the NMMA Engine Manufacturers Division from 1998 to 1999. Dick’s son Chuck Rowe has picked up where his dad left off, serving on both the NMMA board and Engine Manufacturers Division board.
“It’s with great pleasure and tremendous pride to see our Industry recognize my father’s contributions,” says son Chuck. “I have been witness to his untiring efforts representing our company, the marine industry and our precious environment. He has been instrumental in guiding and protecting our industry regarding national and international initiatives relative to emissions and fair trade, and he continues to be a guiding force at Indmar, an inspiration to all who work with or around him. I know of no one more deserving of this recognition.”