Remembering Harold Schrock

Boating industry leader dies at the age of 97

Published in the July 2012 Issue Published online: Jul 11, 2012 Ask The Expert
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Harold A. Schrock, a true pioneer and industry, passed away on May 12, 2012 at his home in Syracuse, Ind. A true philanthropic and business leader, Schrock businesses included Starcraft Marine, Smoker Craft, Inc., Goshen Sash and Door, and Goshen Iron and Metal.

"Harold told us his first job was painting galvanized steel boats-hand painted in those days," said Doug Smoker, president of Smoker Craft, Inc. "He quickly moved up in the organization, ultimately becoming a successful leader as president of the company.

Schrock ran the company that went on to become Starcraft until 1966. In 1975, he acquired control of Sylvan Boats, then Smoker Craft.

Born in Goshen, Ind., on April 10, 1915, Harold grew up in his father Arthur Schrock's boat-building business, started in 1903 as the Star Tank Company.

"He was a pioneer and innovator in the boat business, experimenting with new materials and developing ways to improve the customer experience," said Peter Barrett, senior vice president of marketing for Smoker Craft, Inc. "My Grandfather was proud of our business's heritage, and attributed it to the wonderful employees in our company."

Harold and his family were giving to the community, and donated generously to Goshen College, his alma mater, and many other organizations in the community. He was president of the local Rotary Club, and was a member of several local non-profit boards.

"Harold had a tremendous sense of family and community," said Cinda McKinney, Smoker Craft, Inc. chairman and daughter. "Those values remain today. We pride ourselves in our employees, their work ethic and craftsmanship. When we say, `from our family to yours', those words drive to the heart of our business. My father has left a legacy, not only for us, but for the boating industry as a whole. He will be missed."

Through his established businesses, Schrock's vibrant personality will live on. The legacy he is leaving behind will always be because Schrock was adamant about serving his people. Before he passed, he was quoted as saying, "The most important aspect in any business is to have the right people. You have to have good people because that's all a company is. The buildings, the inventory, none of that matters. It can all be thrown out and replaced. But you can't replace talented people."

Having consolidated in 2007, Smoker Craft, Inc and Starcraft Marine is a family-owned and operated boat manufacturer with roots dating back to 1903. The company offers a complete line of marine products including aluminum fishing, pontoon and fiberglass boats under the brand names Smoker Craft, Starcraft, Sylvan, SunChaser, Starweld and American Angler.

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