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Freedom Boat Club continues path of unrivaled scale and celebrates its franchise network success

by Freedom Boat Club 1 Mar 2023 18:42 PST
Freedom Boat Club © Freedom Boat Club

Freedom Boat Club, the world's largest boat club operator, held its annual franchise conference last week, the 2023 Freedom Forum. This year's theme, "Global. Local. Remarkable," reflects the rapid growth Freedom has achieved around the world and recognized the commitment to excellence across the entire Freedom network. More than 420 attendees descended on Southwest Florida for five days of engaging workshops, the largest vendor and partner expo in franchise history, and collaboration during the largest Freedom conference to date.

"As we continue our path of unrivaled scale, it is imperative that we work together with our franchise partners to deliver remarkable experiences for our members - both on and off the water," said Louis Chemi, Vice President, Freedom Franchise Network. "Our annual conference provided a forum to share best practices and ideas among our franchise partners, as well as the investments we're making in our technology, operational and marketing efforts. We are energized by the direction of the Network and the passion among our operators who are committed to making boating accessible to all."

The Forum kicked off with Freedom's largest-ever partner and vendor expo giving franchisees exposure to products and services to support their business growth. During the expo, Freedom hosted more than 29 boats from 17 brands for attendees to engage in on-water testing, as well as 28 additional partners showcasing everything from electronics packages to insurance to assist franchisees in providing best-in-class member experiences.

The conference concluded with an award ceremony recognizing many franchisees for their performance and contributions over the past year. For 2022, the U.S. Franchise of the Year was awarded to the Sheriff family, Ross Roadman, Mariah Lawrence and David Drake from Freedom Boat Club of Tennessee, and the EMEA Franchise of the Year was awarded to Patrick Escoffier from Freedom Boat Club of Carnon, France.

"The Freedom Forum is so much more than a gathering of peers - it is a week of entrepreneurial spirits getting together to reflect, educate, and celebrate our successes from the past year and beyond," said Mariah Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Freedom Boat Club of Tennessee. "Freedom Boat Club is different in the sense that we, together, influence each other's success and serve as an inspiration for us to deliver our best every day. Having the opportunity to interact with franchisees and the Freedom leadership provides invaluable learnings, but also an appreciation for where we are today and where we are going because I know it can only get stronger from here with the support of our Network."

Other award recipients included:

  • Territory Expansion – Freedom Boat Club of Delaware, South New Jersey, Lower Hudson Valley, Maryland & DC, Tom, Bev, and Josh Rosella
  • Highest % of Revenue Increase – Freedom Boat Club of Tennessee, the Sheriff family, Ross Roadman, Mariah Lawrence and David Drake
  • Pacesetter Club Award (Recognizes clubs who meet specific financial growth benchmarks)
    • Freedom Boat Club of Delaware, South New Jersey, Lower Hudson Valley, Maryland & D.C.
    • Freedom Boat Club of Greater Boston and Cape Cod
    • Freedom Boat Club of the Space and Treasure Coasts
    • Freedom Boat Club of South Florida
    • Freedom Boat Club of Jacksonville and St. Augustine
    • Freedom Boat Club of Wilmington
    • Freedom Boat Club of Tennessee
    • Freedom Boat Club of the Gulf Coast
    • Freedom Boat Club of Seattle and Greater Puget Sound
  • Change Champion of the Year – Tracy Ottenbreit, Freedom Boat Club of San Juan Islands
  • Technology Trendsetter of the Year – Colin Smith, Freedom Boat Club of Seattle and Greater Puget Sound
  • Freedom Excellence Program Award
    • Freedom Boat Club of Seattle and Greater Puget Sound, Nick Hooge
    • Freedom Boat Club of Michiana, Tom Armon
  • Marketing National Brand Champion – Freedom Boat Club of Lake St. Clair, Steven Dobreff
  • Marketer of the Year – Freedom Boat Club of Rochester and Finger Lakes, Peter Coons, John Holland and John Rubens
  • Membership Executive of the Year – Freedom Boat Club of Jacksonville & St. Augustine, Bill Edinger
  • The John R. Giglio President’s Award – Freedom Boat Club of Ohio, Matt Carrick, Matt O’Connor, Kevin Seelig, and Dan Kettelson
  • Rookie Franchise of the Year – Freedom Boat Club of Bay City, Michigan, Charlie Card and Dan Kettelson

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