Boating Industry

February 2017

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Page 7 of 51 INDUSTRY NEWS 8 | Boating Industry | February 2017 BY BRIANNA LIESTMAN Susan Bonivich, dealer/OEM sales manager at Volvo Penta of the Americas, was named the 2016 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year at an industry breakfast during the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. The Darlene Briggs award, which was created to honor the late Darlene Briggs of Wayzata Marine in Wayzata, Minn., is pre- sented annually by Boating Industry and the Marine Retailers Association of the Ameri- cas to an outstanding woman who is actively involved in the marine industry at any level. It recognizes long and devoted service, un- tiring commitment and the advancement of women in the marine business. 2016 marked the 30th anniversary of the award's inception. Bonivich came to the marine industry in 1998, having previously worked in purchas- ing. After holding the title of parts and acces- sories buyer, Bonivich moved into a dealer development manager position and to her present role working with top Volvo Penta dealers and OEMs. Though she did not grow up as a boater, she has developed an undeniable passion for the recreation. "Susan Bonivich represents the spirit of what is great about this industry," said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Penta of the Amer- icas. "She develops and nurtures relationships that are time and event tested. Whether it is with the top builder OEMs or dealers, she is respected for her tenacity and courage to be the best business partner in the industry and an exemplary role model inside and outside of Volvo Penta." We sat down with Bonivich to discuss her marine industry career and how the industry can attract more women like her. BOATING INDUSTRY: What are your responsibilities in your current role at Volvo Penta? BONIVICH: "On the dealer side, I take care of our top 80 percent of our dealers that are our fast movers who [sell] a lot of Volvo Penta product. … I'm kind of like the advocate for our dealers if there's an issue or an advocate for them when they need to learn how to sell a product or if [there are] new products that they're introducing and they need to learn about it and they need to know how to sell it. … On the OEM side, I help them with pricing, delivery issues, I make sales calls to them, train their sales guys on how to train their dealers on how to sell our product. I attend dealer meetings for that OEM that I repre- sent. [I also handle] accounting issues, overall li- aison between myself and top management with the OEM between the OEM and our company." BI: What impact has traveling for your position made on your marine industry career and your knowledge base? BONIVICH: "I think the interesting thing about it is you cannot look at the boating industry as a whole; you have to look at it regionally, because what works for one region doesn't necessarily Volvo Penta's Susan Bonivich named 2016 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year

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