Alan J. Freedman Award

Recipients of the Alan J. Freedman Award are individuals who, in the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity, and personal motivation.  The following are the categories for consideration:
  • Marine aftermarket or OEM manufacturer
  • Marine representative
  • Member of a marine-focused media
  • Boat dealer
  • Marine distributor
  • Marine trade association staff person


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2000: Byron L. Godbersen, Midwest Industries

Byron L. Godbersen

Founder and chief executive officer of Midwest Industries, Byron Godbersen has been involved in the marine business for 40 years. Noted for his intuitiveness, courage, determination and mechanical genius, Godbersen first developed new boat hoists, docks and marine accessories in the late 1950s, receiving his first marine patent on the ShoreStation boat hoist. He also redesigned the boat trailer, receiving a ShoreLand’r boat trailer patent for the “Godbersrn-Lift” mechanism. In 1998 the company manufactured its 1,000,000th trailer.

Godbersen was awarded National and Iowa Small Businessman of the Year recognition (1973) and Albert Gallatin Award (1974). In 1996 he was listed as the leading Iowa inventor of the 1990s for registering 25 patents in the decade. With more than 50 patents to his credit overall, he was also inducted into the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame and named Inventor of the Year in 1996.