Greg Knight from Avalon Pontoons sat patiently as winners from 13 different categories were announced at the Miami International Boat Show on February 16. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) were awarding the prestigious 2012 Innovation Awards and one of those categories was specifically for pontoon and deck boats.
Knight had entered the Ambassador by Avalon. When the feature-packed pontoon that has the industry's only electric reclining rear loungers and pop-up wine rack was announced as the winner, the Avalon representative proudly accepted the award from Zuzana Prochazka, Innovation Awards' Judge Chair and president of BWI Board of Directors.
After receiving the award, Knight then called to let Avalon President Jim Wolf know they had won, which was a great honor for the Michigan-based manufacturer.
"We're pleased to see our hard work and effort recognized," said Wolf in an interview. "We want to develop products and features that "wow" the consumer and we are committed to building products that stand out amongst the crowd."
Wolf went on to express his appreciation to his great staff of dedicated engineers at Avalon and Tahoe and is happy for the entire company.
"Winning the 2012 Innovation Award means a lot to our organization as it is verification that our hard work and efforts to lead the industry in new product development is paying off."
The luxurious Ambassador pontoon was a crowd stopper at the Miami Boat Show, but it was the judges of the Innovation Awards that seemed to have the most to say.
"The winners recognized at the boat show today are a testament to the ongoing commitment to boating ingenuity necessary to the future of our industry, and we're excited to see how these products adapt in the marketplace," said Prochazka.
The Ambassador design is like no other and that is why the judges seemed to really like it. In fact, one judge referred to the three-logged pontoon as a "Yacht-Toon," which made Wolf smile.
"The Ambassador is our flagship model and is loaded with the unexpected such as the electric recliners, automotive style walls, phenomenal captain stand and electric wine-rack," said Wolf. "The Ambassador stands well ahead of the pack, however we still use the same high-quality materials and craftsmanship throughout our entire product offering."
The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of award receipt. For more information on Avalon visit www.avalonpontoons.com.