Boating Industry

October 2016

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October 2016 | Boating Industry | 29 to boats 27 feet or greater โ€” about 20 percent of the market. The RTX is aimed at the rest of the market. The RTX โ€“ named a 2016 Top Product by Boating Industry โ€“ made its debut at the 2016 Miami Interna- tional Boat Show on a Scout Boats 275 Dorado. The patented RTX operates with a simple push- in/pull-out mechanism to extend or retract shade for a cockpit or bow within seconds, providing access to sunshade on smaller boats. A manually operated and fully self-supported shade, RTX requires no electrical wiring or obstructive support poles and can be factory installed or aftermarket. "We think there's a huge untapped market of sport boats and wake boats," she said. "This will change and overhaul the way shades on boats are currently supplied." More than a product Russikoff strongly believes that SureShade is about more than just building a product. It's also about growing boating and improving the experience for everyone. That's why SureShade is the presenting sponsor for the Sun Safe Boating Campaign, which encourages boaters to wear sunscreen and use other protection on the water. "We want people to boat more but at the same time we also want them to be safe while doing it," Russikoff said. The campaign was inspired by calls the company received from skin cancer survivors who said the product was allowing them to get back on the water and enjoy boating again. "Seeing the impact that the product had, we thought there was an opportunity here to really send a message and bring the issue of sun safety and exposure more to the forefront," she said. "We looked around the industry and didn't really see anyone with a focus on it. We saw an opportunity to align ourselves with a very, very important message of maintaining sun safety protection while out on the water. Hall of Fame third baseman and local Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt, himself a skin cancer survivor and boater, reached out to SureShade and is now working with the company on the campaign. "He was out there promoting the issue and we were getting ready to take our steps to promote the issue so we joined forces as a way to kick off the Sun Safe Boating Campaign," Russikoff said. Made in the USA The Russikoffs also continues to give back to their local community by keeping manufacturing in their hometown of Philadelphia. Eighty percent of the components of the SureShade are manu- factured in the United States. "It's important to us not only to build a product but to create sustainable jobs, jobs where people can earn a living wage," she said. "We want to create that wealth and have other people share in that with us." With SureShade launching just as the Great Recession hit, the company has benefitted from various incentives and programs that encourage U.S. manufacturing. "With the timing of the business getting started and the country having this wake-up call, we've been at the right place at the right time," Russikoff said. The city of Philadelphia has a very aggres- sive growth initiative and we've been able to align ourselves with that and take advantage of the opportunities of these incentives." The company also used a Small Business Administration loan under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to help grow the business in its early years. That experience has highlighted the importance of being involved in industry advo- cacy, and SureShade was one of the hosts of this summer's Day on the Water at the Dem- ocratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Russikoff has also been an advocate for the local boating industry. "We should always be looking to work for a cause that's bigger than ourselves," she said. 50 + ยป BOAT BRANDS OFFERING SURESHADE

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